Could you be tempted to re-run the rat race?

by Peter Crocker

It’s easy to get the impression that everyone in corporate land is quietly plotting their escape from the rat race to run their own business. But, it’s not a one-way street.

In Flying Solo’s last Understanding Micro Business survey, 90% of business owners said that they would not seriously consider working for someone else, even in a highly lucrative and suitable office job!

But, just recently, I’ve seen three committed and successful business owners be lured back into the arms of well-heeled corporate suitors.

One was a high profile editor who went from website founder to a senior role in a major bank. Another was a serial tech entrepreneur who went from start-ups to a big telco. And, a third was a veteran freelancer who went from almost two decades of soloism to running an in-house communications team.

Consider this job offer:

Flexible opportunity for independent professional

<Respected company> in <Your industry> is seeking an independent thinker
to lead a small team of great people. You’ll enjoy interesting work,
sensible hours, good remuneration and you can work from home
two days a week. You get to run your own show, all with the backing
of a stable business. Interested? Let’s talk!

Okay, so jobs don’t come along like this very often, but what if one did? My friend was offered a role like this recently, and after much consideration and assessing of their priorities, they understandably jumped at the chance. It came along at just the right time for their family.

A steady salary, holiday pay, the camaraderie of a team, freedom from having to do everything yourself, no debt collection, no sales pressure, no rent, no website updating, cleaners and free biscuits in the kitchen. Did I mention the steady cash flow?

It made me wonder, are we soul traders actually just one golden offer away from taking down the shingle? Or does the freedom, flexibility and passion for our own businesses offset the undeniable rational benefits of working for someone else?

It also indicates that in today’s rapidly evolving job market, the skills needed to run your own business – self-motivation, thriving on uncertainty, personal branding, social networking, creativity – are increasingly attractive, transferable and valuable skills for prospective employers.

I’m certainly not advocating a mass exodus to the dark side, but it’s reassuring to know that it’s yet another option for soloists should the stars one day align.

What would it take to tempt you away from being your own boss?

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