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Productivity / Business plans

Exit strategies: is it right to quit your business?

It's natural to think about leaving your solo business. Whether you're tempted due to financial, stress-related or personal reasons, you need to consider alternatives before deciding.

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I recently considered giving up on my solo career after completing a major project. I was facing the task of having to drum up new business and I didn’t feel up to it.

I started looking at the online job sites and requested email alerts. Suddenly, all these great job descriptions landed in my inbox. I thought about the advantages: steady money, new challenges and meeting new people. It seemed like an exciting and appealing prospect.

So I updated my resumé and applied for several jobs, even landed interviews. Butterflies tickled my stomach. What was I doing? Is this what I wanted?

The thought of a regular pay cheque appealed. Not having to track down accounts payable for unpaid invoices certainly appealed. No paperwork and simpler tax returns. The benefits stacked up in front of me.

Then I was offered a great job. And that’s when I really started thinking: I had only thought of the benefits. I’d forgotten about the negatives. It was only then that I remembered the reasons I went solo in the first place.

"If you love what you do, then the reality is that you will never really work a day in your life, because you’re driven by the passion of what you do."

I visualised trekking into the city for work, organising day care and long nights in the office. It’d mean having to report to a boss who would dictate what I worked on and my deadlines. I would no longer have the flexibility to work on my own schedule. Worst of all, I wouldn’t get to choose my work. I had to fit in.

I had forgotten to ask “What would I be giving up?”

Want more articles like this? Check out the business plans section.

Working for yourself offers opportunities to tackle whatever project or work you wish to conquer. Success boosts your confidence, and hopefully your bank account. The price is hard work, unabashed self-promotion and a strict sense of discipline.

If you love what you do, then the reality is that you will never really work a day in your life, because you’re driven by the passion of what you do.

I turned the job down, with the determination to refocus on my own business, doing what was needed to make it work.

If you are feeling the same, write down the pros and cons of leaving your business behind. Examine this list: Is the pressure to make ends meet too much? Are you finding it difficult sleeping at night because your brain is constantly buzzing with work issues? Maybe you’re sick of the paper work. Have you lost that passion for your trade?

The most important question is: are you doing what you love? If you are, but you’re finding it all too hard, remember there are places to go for advice and assistance.

The www.business.gov.au website is an excellent portal to different points of referral. Flying Solo is another brilliant resource, too!

I’m not saying you should never quit your business. If self-analysis into your personal situation tells you that your best option is to quit, take heart. You ran your own business; an achievement non-soloists cannot claim. You deserve to be proud of yourself.

Michele Hackshall

is a copywriter and technical writer with over 15 years’ experience writing marketing material for some of Australia’s most prominent brands. She’s written everything from postcards to books.

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