Young: The rising tide of opportunity for self-employment

With the job market tight and with many specialized positions at a premium, self-employment becomes more of an attractive option.

Of all the advice I was given when I left my government career, I recall what a friend of mine in Saskatoon told me who had launched his own entrepreneurial venture.

He said to me: “Self-employment, Joel, is not for the faint-hearted.”

It has become clear to me in the years since hearing that piece of advice that downsizing has become a sociological norm in many corners of our world.

So with the job market tight and with many specialized positions at a premium, self-employment becomes more and more of an attractive option.

In my previous government /corporate life, I recall the mantra that we are all self-employed.

It was a call-to-action on how we should treat our internal customers as if we were in business for ourselves.

It was good training for operating your own company because whether you are employed or self-employed, it’s all about getting and keeping customers and building solid, meaningful and long-term relationships with them.

So, think of you own job in terms of being self-employed. It may shine a whole new light on how you relate to your customers/clients, and how important that becomes in the entrepreneurial world.

For the self-employed,  the greatest reality is you only get paid when you work.

I do miss my government and corporate days when eight hours was a paycheque even on those seemingly slow days when I caught myself “surfing the Net for a time.”  I still got paid. I got to eat lunch. I even got paid when I went to the nearby mall to find a birthday card for my wife.

Contrasting being employed by any organizational entity with being self-employed, on the surface you may not want to put that job security at risk.

You say to yourself: “I like the benefits, I like the daily routine, the security, the bi-monthly paycheque.”

I miss all those things as well, the daily interaction with colleagues, friends and clients.

Yet, there are rewards and trade-offs in the  world of self-employment.

The freedom is intoxicating, that feeling of accomplishment is self-assuring, the sense of success is rewarding and working without a safety net is a real confidence-builder.

Entrepreneur self-employment means you control your own destiny…and your income.

Getting up in the morning and walking down the hall to your home office brings on a different kind of “rush.”

Self-employment is a choice facing a multitude of highly skilled experienced professionals and career workers across our Okanagan region  these days.

You never know when you might have to trade in your assigned parking spot at the office .

The challenge of self-employment can be overwhelming to a person who has always worked for someone else.

The very idea of self-employment sends ripples of fear and anxiety into the hearts of traditional workers.

Traditional people, it seems, do not seriously think about stepping into the unfamiliar world of self-reliance.

Simply put, most people are followers who don’t wish to be independent.

So, why would you really even contemplate joining the ranks of the rising tide of entrepreneurial self-employed? Isn’t working for someone else less risky and just plain and simple easier?

Quite possibly so, but it’s not about freedom for  no one is truly free, it’s about the challenge and satisfying an inner urge for living life to its fullest.

It’s about an adrenalin rush in the risk and facing life in a whole new dimension.

And, in the end, it’s about finding your true self that you may, unknowingly, had hidden for an abundance of your life.

It’s about you—the depth of your endeavour depends on your ability to perform.  You must prepare to dedicate yourself for battle by making certain you can face the challenges ahead.

Speaking as someone who has launched several ventures in my life, there’s nothing to it—your entrepreneurial spirit will see you through the rollercoaster ride toward your success.