Sam Schreim has been his own boss for almost 20 years.
Throughout his career he opened his consulting firm, launched multiple start-ups and advised high net worth clients as an independent consultant.
But if this 54-year-old businessman I could return to the past, it is possible that never would have taken the step of becoming a self-employed entrepreneur.
“If I’d had a crystal ball, I never would have made that leap,” says Schreim, who lives in Boston.
“I regret it all the time. I look back, and by now I would have consistently made seven figures as a management consultant if I had continued to work with the big companies.”
Leaving work to become your own boss has become a very popular option.
In 2022, for example, the applications to open a new business in the United States they shot up to their highest levels since 2004, with more than 5 million new companies registered.
But as he demonstrates US Silicon Valley Bank collapse in Marchwhich has left many small businesses without access to their accounts, being a founder comes with great risks and responsibilities, and makes some regret leaving their jobs as a company employee.
Schreim learned this the hard way in the Great Recession of 2008.
Then he was forced to pay wages with your savings to a team of 15 people. He racked up sleepless nights and huge debts.
The start-ups he’s launched lately have failed, and even now, as an entrepreneur who combines independent consulting with book writing and data-driven product development, he often looks back with regret at not continuing his work at a major consultancy. management in Beirut, Lebanon.
“My friends envy me,” he says.
“But they They don’t know what I went through. Every entrepreneur takes risks, and the world needs them, but it’s not an easy lifestyle.”
It’s not uncommon for the reality of running your own business to clash with expectations, says UK employment adviser Ayesha Murray.
“As business owners, we want to be successful, but often we have unrealistic expectations from the start in terms of sales figures, income or the time that must be dedicated”, he points out.
“If you’ve had a successful career before starting a business on your own, you might think that anything you try afterward will also work out.”
Added to this belief is the risk of comparing the harsh reality of your own experience as an entrepreneur with the seemingly prosperous experiences we see on social media.
That was the case for Catherine Warrilow, who set up her own public relations agency in 2006 after becoming disappointed with the hierarchy of a traditional workplace.
Seen from the outside it seemed like a move in the right direction.
The agency became a successful business, with seven employees and major clients.
“But I never switched off,” says Warrilow, 43.
“I felt overwhelmed and anxious all the time. She never felt like things were good enough.”
The stress made her “a total control freak,” always Micromanaging your team.
It was not what he had imagined.
“My biggest misconception was believing that being my own boss would give me freedom, that you could come and go whenever you wanted and set your own hours,” he says.
The reality was that life had to adapt to work, and the Clients expected her to be constantly available.
So in 2015, after one of her potential clients offered her a job, this mother of two decided to leave the company..
“The day I decided not to be self-employed anymore was probably one of the best days of my life professional,” he says.
relieved to leave
“I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”
Now the managing director of the travel company daysout.com, says that enjoy many of the freedoms that I expected hand in hand with the entrepreneurial spirit.
Can manage your time better and finish early some days to meet a friend for coffee.
As for Schreim, he will remain his own boss for now.
Although he tried to work full time for a large company in 2017, he just failed to transition.
“Suddenly, I found myself despising having a boss above me, having to report to work and having to deal with administrative tasks,” he says.
However, he claims that these elements may never have bothered him if he had simply never been his own boss before.
Of course, there are many success storiesand many people would never look back.
Still, Schreim is wary of encouraging anyone else to follow in his footsteps: “Anyone who wants to take that leap into entrepreneurship needs to be aware of the ups and downs.”
* If you want to read the original BBC Worklife article, Click here.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC News World. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss out on our best content.