Often I meet highly competent professionals who are between jobs and “in the perfect world” would start their own business as consultants, passing on their invaluable knowledge.
They tell me that they are clear that’s what they want to do but they are reluctant to fully commit as they are the main breadwinner, they have a big mortgage, or “want to see how it goes”.
Typically, they start off with best intentions, by taking on a part-time employed role and aim to develop their business in the remaining available time.
They are embarking upon, what I call, the “I can have it all strategy”. Which, by the way, is doomed to failure.
Why can't you have it all?
The problem with this strategy lies in the psychology of the human state.
When confronted with choice, we tend to err towards the easier option, accepting immediate certainty, reward and structure rather than the more nebulous promise of future wealth, autonomy and contentment. Despite the surge of initial enthusiasm, characterised by copious research, the production of the most detailed business plans, and even full company formation, movement forward typically grinds to a halt at the point of prospecting for clients.
Then the inevitable happens. A three day week becomes a full-time role and the dream of running their own business gets put on ice.....
So why do you need to commit fully?
There are a number of very valid reasons:
“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
So can you reduce the risk for your start-up?
The good news is that you don’t need to run parallel lives to reduce your businesses’ risks. There are 6 simple actions you could do that will significantly enhance your chances of success:
Chris Lorimer is an
experienced consultant who has helped many organisations to grow through his unique 4 Ps approach.