Ask Dr. Deborah | Is self-employment the right career path?

Dear Dr. Deborah,

Recently I’ve been thinking about starting my own business, but I’ve heard that it requires a lot of work, and that most startup businesses fail. It’s a really big risk and I’m not sure I have what it takes. As the breadwinner of the family, we depend on the income from my full-time job to pay our bills, so I can’t really afford to take too big of a risk, but I would really love to have my own consulting company. Do you have any advice you can share?

– Miranda, TX

Hi Miranda,

Starting a business is definitely a big risk and it does take a lot of work, so it’s a decision you should not take lightly. Since yours is the main income in your household, make sure you discuss this closely with your partner. Adjustments and planning will need to be made and budgets will most likely be tight for the first year or so should you decide to start a business. One path many have started taking today is to slowly transition from their regular full-time job to business ownership by working part-time on your startup. This takes away some of the risk since you will still have income from your regular job.

If you’re not sure that self-employment is the best option for you, I suggest you take the 1st step in our 5 Steps to Self-Employment free online learning program. This short self-assessment quiz will help you determine what your strengths are and what areas you may need to improve on. An important part of creating a successful new business is being prepared for it. If you don’t have the right skills and knowledge in place, it will be harder for you to get started and even harder to succeed. There’s nothing wrong with waiting a year or two to do your research first before you decide if this is something you truly want to do.

Wishing you the best of luck!

Dr. Deborah


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