Magazine article Management Today

First Class Coach

Magazine article Management Today

First Class Coach

Article excerpt

I've been working for a big company all my life and am getting bored with corporate life. I'm strongly attracted to leaving and setting up my own business, but I'm not sure I have the confidence to do it. What if I fail?

It is always worthwhile exploring ideas that hold a strong interest for us, especially when they relate to our working lives - we spend so much of our time working that it is important to find the job that inspires us to our greatest energy and satisfaction.

Several of my clients have successfully undertaken this sort of move. Each one had done the necessary preparation to be clear-eyed about what life would be like as their own boss, free from the corporate shackles, but also without the support of a large organisation. It is important not to underestimate how reassuring it is to have a salary cheque thudding into the bank account, month in, month out. And to be the one that is responsible for buying the loo roll can also be a salutary experience for someone who is habituated to an infrastructure that insulates them from the mundane tasks of office life.

The first step is to get as much information as you can about the realities of working in your chosen field. What would you find yourself doing on an average day? What skills would you need, and do these match your capabilities?

If not, are there others who would join you and bring qualities and experience that your business would need? What resources would your company require?

What's the model on which the business will be based? Believe it or not, many small companies (and several dot.coms) have been started with their founders never having established exactly how the business would make money. If finance isn't really your thing, make sure even at this exploratory stage you get the help of someone who has experience of setting up a business on the scale you envisage.

Even if your business would initially be only you, it is important to realise that others may well be happy to help you. Some of my clients have been encouraged to do their own thing because their life partner has pledged their support or because someone they trust and admire has volunteered to be their mentor during the start-up phase. This has helped their confidence and ensured that in the inevitable tricky times in the early days of their new venture they have had the necessary emotional and practical help they needed. …

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