Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~
Inspiring Quotes of the Week + Bonuses!

Quit Your Job and Start Your Own Business

By Michael J. Katz

It's been five years since I made the decision to leave my corporate job and start my own company. No question about it, leaving nice coworkers, a stable paycheck and 12 years of tenure with one company was the scariest thing I'd ever done. And yet looking back, it was the defining moment not only of my career, but of my personal development as well. The fact is, I am now so enamored of blazing my own trail that I could never go back - I am hopelessly, incurably, unemployable.

As a result, I receive a steady stream of, "Can I buy you a cup of coffee?" invitations from old colleagues, new friends, complete strangers - anybody who is considering a change, and who wants to know, "Why should I start my own business?" This is what I say:

  1. You'll dance to your own music. There's a lot of noise in the corporate world. Not physical noise, but opinions, rules, history and a whole lot of, that's the way we do it around here, always just an inch or two below the surface. In such a setting it's hard to find your path, or as I like to say, hear your own music.

    Once you're on your own, you'll suddenly begin to hear what's there, and the more you can hear it and have the courage to follow it, the more enjoyable and yes, profitable your life will be. The fact is, there is no right way to live, to act or to grow a business.

  2. You'll never have to retire. Retiring is a strange concept to the satisfied, self-employed person. It implies that work is something you want to be done with, something you wish were over. When you truly find your passion however, the concept becomes meaningless. Do painters stop painting? Do musicians stop playing music? Do comedians stop being funny just because they've reached a certain age? Not if they are doing what they truly want to be doing. Sure, you may slow down or change focus as you get older, but the game is never over, since the game and your life will be one.

  3. You'll put your money where your mouth is. I never planned to start my own business, and I always secretly believed that I didn't have the guts to be successful on my own. When I look back now, I'm not even sure how I managed to convince myself to leave the perceived safety of living within the protected walls of a large corporation. When I finally jumped however, I was surprised by the number of friends, former co-workers and family who remarked on my courage. Frankly, I'm not any braver now than I was before, but I know with certainty that I don't need a corporation to take care of me (and neither do you).

  4. You'll no longer live in two worlds. I used to be two people: corporate Michael and home life Michael. Corporate Michael was less friendly, less intuitive and a lot less interesting. I found it easy to switch back and forth between the two Michaels, and for a long time it didn't even strike me as odd that I would make decisions at work based on a completely different set of criteria regarding what was fair, what was smart or what was worth doing. That's over I'm now one person no matter what I do, and I have a more balanced, more humanistic approach to business.

  5. You'll know your own power. Swept up in the turmoil of working as part of a corporation, there's a tendency to blame others, wait for others, think that others are making things happen. Working alone you'll realize how much control you actually have (and have always had). That realization will give you the courage and drive to do more things than you ever dreamed of when you saw yourself as an insignificant part of a big machine. You'll have nobody else to blame, and even more importantly, you will see how much credit you really do deserve for everything you've created.

  6. You'll be free to walk away. When you first start out on your own, you will probably be grateful for whatever business comes your way. The thought of walking away from a client may seem suicidal. It isn't. As your reputation grows, people will approach you, ready to hand you their money and have you begin work. That's terrific. However, in some cases, the fit won't be there - something in your gut will tell you it's a bad match. You will learn that you can say, "No thank you" and walk away. Nobody assigns projects or clients or teammates to you anymore. You and only you decide who you work with and on what terms, and if it doesn't feel right you need only say so.

  7. You'll make new friends. If you've been with the same company for a long time, you've probably developed several close relationships. You may be afraid that you'll be lonely and isolated out here in the cold cruel world. Nothing could be further from the truth. Starting your own business gains you immediate entrance into a collegial world of fellow sole proprietors and entrepreneurs, eager to have you along for the ride. We hold meetings, we have events, we meet for lunch, we talk on the phone, we share ideas, support each other and hang out together. Price of admission: a friendly demeanor and a willingness to help other people find their way.

  8. You'll pick the players. Wherever you sit in a company, you've got people you interact with every day. Your boss, your direct reports, the head of the legal department, the desktop support guy, the receptionist. Hopefully you like and get along with most of these people, but whether you do or not, you're stuck with each other. When you run your own company on the other hand, you pick who's on the team. You get to choose your attorney, your accountant, your landlord, your printer, your partners, your clients - everybody in your daily life is there because you decided to put them there. You get to choose.

  9. You'll have real problems, instead of imaginary ones. In a corporate setting, your happiness and success is dependent upon dozens of intertwined relationships and handed-down decisions, any one of which can change your world in ways you may not anticipate or even understand. With so much out of your control, it's hard not to spend time What If-ing and worrying about the future: "What does my boss really think of me? What if I don't get put in charge of that new project? What if they cut my budget next year?" Fear of what might happen can become worse than the situation itself - these are imaginary problems.

    When you're building your own business you're immersed in reality. Sure, you may have days where you worry about paying the mortgage, but you'll be in the game, fighting the good fight, and no longer obsessed with the possibility of being blindsided by an unforeseen shift in the corporate winds.

  10. You'll find your purpose. You didn't come here to follow somebody else's vision or sit on the sidelines watching the clock tick away until retirement. But somehow, somewhere along the way, you forgot. Now, after so many years of following the pack, you've come to see work as a place you go to earn enough money to do the things you really want to do. It doesn't have to be that way. Working on your own will give you the freedom and focus to find the exhilarating, balanced, self-directed career you've always dreamed of.
One of my favorite quotes is from the book, The Artist's Way, and I've had it taped to the top of my computer monitor for the last five years: "Leap, and the net will appear. Go ahead, I'll be waiting for you."
Michael J. Katz is Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development, Inc., a Boston consulting firm that helps clients increase sales by showing them how to nurture their existing relationships, and that specializes in the development of electronic newsletters. He is author of the book, E-Newsletters That Work.

More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Looking for a better life?

Trans4mind Training is our series of online, interactive video workshops. We present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with support from expert life coaches.
The human heart made visible.

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
I think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd