It starts off simple enough, you have a midnight epiphany of some idea that you swear could make a million dinar provided you rush to market before someone else swoops in. Or perhaps you are the slow and steady type that just always saw business as the only constant in a rapidly changing economy, so you took the tried and true path of College, MBA, and enough work experience to be as comfortable in the boardroom as you are by the copy machine. Either way, going into business for yourself is a road littered with the failed attempts of people who started as energized as you, only to be disappointed later. But you trudge on anyways, content in the knowledge that your plight will be different. Whether you sell it off for a million dollars, or fold after a few years of pouring your heart into it, there is no feeling like the gratification of standing back and saying—yeah, I did that! Here they are, your top 5 love/hate conflicts for the dream—nightmare! —That is…being the boss!
#5 You’re known as the guy who does that thing – There can be a lot of identity tied up in your business, especially in a place as small as Kuwait. You can’t go to the corner bakala without running into somebody who introduces you as the guy who makes his own guacamole, or has his own rabbit farm. This is nice. You are doing the thing you love so really don’t mind it. Until it starts to bother you. While you love being the boss when business is great and everyone knows it, it is harder when it is not going well and everyone knows it.
#4 Steering the Ship – Having full control of a company sounds great most of the time, but the reality is, most of us benefit from having people stop us from doing all the things that enter into our crazy little heads. If I had my way, every company I ever worked for would have had basketball breaks between meetings and tacos delivered like clockwork. The expense of this alone could kill any company. So what do you do when you suddenly have free reign to do anything you’d like? The plus side is that you really can go with any idea you have as the way to go; the downside is that there may be nobody there to save you from yourself! This could be a problem.
#3 Hiring and Firing – So you sit back at your big ‘ol desk and think, “I guess it’s time to expand”. Well, why not? Business is picking up and you’re humming along. So you start off by telling your friends you are looking to grow the team. Before you can turn around you have friends as employees…mistake! And just as you bring them in and say you’re hired, you muster up your best Donald Trump and tell em’—you’re fired! This can be tiresome enough in itself, but you may never get those friendships back.
#2 The responsibility – Ok, if you are trying to get the word out on your new Etsy craft business or future brownie-baking conglomerate, it makes sense that you are going to start out via the free advertising gift that social media has become, but we are getting serious pitch-fatigue here. If all your friends ever hear of you is your latest sales pitch, it may be time to rethink your work/life balance. Still, most businesses don’t start with as much capital as is needed (unless you got a fat loan, in which case—good on ya!) and in the give and take that is running a new company, the owner gives and the operation takes. The responsibility is yours! The downside to 100% achievement when things are great? 100% blame when things are bad.
#1 The Energy Spent – You love your business. You love the way it makes you feel to be achieving, and for the first time in your life, you can see what people mean when they say they feel like they’re not even working. The candle gets burnt at both ends, the hours of sleep lessened, and you ride the caffeine high straight through most weeks; all of which if fine, until it isn’t.
Love/Hate is your monthly guide to the things that irk and entertain us in equal measure.