In small professional service businesses, there are options for choosing the services to provide. This is generally divided into camps — services you can provide based on previous skill and expertise and those services you’re most passionate to deliver.
What may seem like a clear-cut choice for some is really quite agonizing for a small business owner. This is particularly tormenting in the early stages of business growth and development when cash — or lack thereof — dictates decisions.
The Struggle of the Small Business Startup
This was certainly the dilemma experienced by one of my clients…
They left the safety of a well-paying, albeit boring and unchallenging job, to spread their wings in the unrestrained and exciting world of entrepreneurship. They have dreams. They long to be involved in work that flipped their switch, got them excited to get up every morning, and fed their soul.
Yet, they found themselves at the intersection of a very important decision.
Past employment allowed them to hone skills involved in services they can provide. Yet, the work choked the life force from their being.
Do they “play it safe” and focus on providing the services they can even though it makes them a bit queasy? Or, do they “take a risk” and deliver on their passion?
Safety and Security vs. Risk and Vulnerability
Risks are scary. They create fear and anxiety, which most like to sweep under the rug. Who doesn’t love a good “out of sight/out of mind” phenomenon?
Starting a business opens a world of uncertainty. There is unpredictability associated with revenue generation, client acquisition, and industry competition. There is also a danger of events that pose a risk, such as an unforeseen economic turndown or a weather calamity. (OMG, I’m scaring myself now!)
Yet, it’s only when one is willing to take calculated risks is the satisfaction of success experienced. Until we’re willing to discuss the fears standing in the way of delivering the kind of work we’re passionate about, we continue to live beneath our dreams, desires, and potential.
So, have the discussion. Get your fears out on the table. Sort through them. Find solutions that reduce exposure so you can face the fear and take the risk.