Most of the working class chooses to subscribe to the 9 to 5 paradigm yet many question why they chose this path. If you are stuck in a job you do not like or have wondered how to become a business owner read on. There is more going on behind the scenes than you may be aware of.
First of all you are where you are because you have made the choices to get you there. If you are not content with your circumstance it is within your control to make a change. When addressing change however one must also address the risk associated with that change. In the corporate world as well is in our personal lives we make the changes we do because the reward outweighs the risk. We do not make certain changes because the perceived risk is too great to justify the effort. This is especially true in organizations that have more of a groupthink dynamic in place.
So, the reason you haven’t broken out on your own and started a business is because the benefits of said business do not outweigh what it will cost you to get it going. I don’t blame you, the 9 to 5 paradigm offers many securities that a budding entrepreneur won’t be able to have when starting out. Things like insurance, consistency, and retirement plans work together to make a 9 to 5 a comfortable place to be.
I want to explore this reality a little further by applying the 6 layers of resistance to the proposition of starting up a small business and see if we can conjure up a few more insights as to why the majority of people choose not to break out on their own. These layers come to us from the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and fit into the basic three questions TOC seeks to answer; what to change, what to change to, and how to cause the change.
Layers of Resistance
- Lack of agreement of the problem
- Lack of agreement on the possible direction for a solution
- Lack of agreement that the solution will truly address the problem
- Concern that the solution will lead to new undesirable effects
- Lack of a clear path around obstacles blocking the solution
- Lack of follow-through even after agreement to proceed with the solution
Lack of agreement of the problem
The question of starting one’s own business often comes from circumstance. Think about this for a while, the better you can understand your problem (the thing that got you thinking about starting a business in the first place) the better you will be able to provide a solution. When did you first start thinking about starting a business? What is it you thing a business will bring you? Why do you want that? Before moving forward really try to nail down what you consider your “problem” to be.
Lack of agreement on the possible direction for a solution
A lack of contentment or the existence of an opportunity can lead to a person wanting to start a business but is a business really the direction you should go? When a person finds themselves contemplating starting a business they should understand a business is not the only possible solution. Starting a business can offer desirable outcomes but not always. Is starting a business truly going to solve your problem? How is starting a business going to help solve that problem? Are there other solutions that can solve your problem? For some professionals perhaps a change of company would align them with what they want. Or, perhaps it is a “job type” issue. If you don’t like working with customers perhaps you could work in the warehouse to get things ready for the retail side of things.
Lack of agreement that the solution will truly address the problem
It may be possible that a business could be your answer but is there also any possibility that it won’t solve your problem? For example many people believe a business will bring in the money and the lack of money is their problem. Well, while it is true businesses can be profitable they often require a good deal of startup capital and sometimes aren’t profitable for a few years. So, if say you just had a baby and need a quick influx of cash starting a business is probably not the answer you are looking for.
Concern that the solution will lead to new undesirable effects
Businesses can come with baggage. They require both financial and human capital in order to succeed and managing such capital is in itself a task. Additionally a business exists to fundamentally meet a need, what will be required of you to meet such a need. Small business startups are often service based, and generally speaking you will be the one providing that service so, you will probably spend a good deal of time on your new venture. Liabilities will also be a concern. If you are offering a professional service to others there will be an inherent level of liability put on your shoulders.
Lack of a clear path around obstacles blocking the solution
Whatever the obstacles are for you how you address them may not be clear. To continue off of the previous undesirable effects, you may not want to sacrifice time away from your family so you can concentrate on your venture. Or, perhaps you were looking at something like cleaning windows but have a huge fear of heights. No matter what obstacles stand in your way there are ways around them but it is your job to clearly define these paths and be ready to take them if the undesirable effects pop up.
Lack of follow-through even after agreement to proceed with the solution
Once you have decided that a business is indeed what you need to pursue you will need to put your feet to the pavement and get it done. Nothing will come without a good deal of work so be ready to put in some long tough hours in order to see your vision come to life. This follow through will also pertain to those in your social sphere such as family and friends. They may have supported you up to the point of you actually taking the plunge but once you do you may need to remind them of the sacrifices involved in getting a business off of the ground.
As I look over the above points I sort of feel as if starting small business comes off as an impossible task but I want to stress that it is not. It is demanding, won’t come easy, and will require a lot of time but for those who can put forth the effort I suggest you do so. The above considerations are simply points to consider when getting started which I hope will increase your probability for success. If you can adequately provide an answer to each layer of resistance you will be that much more prepared for the road ahead. Best of luck to you all and let us know how you are doing on your ventures.