I received an email today that may strike home for some of you.
I am just leaving a company I started two years and am going back to working for someone else, finding the opportunities is fairly easy, dealing with the different feelings and emotions is the challenge as well as thinking clearly enough to make a good decision.
When your own business does not do as well as you need it to, it’s not the end of the world and the solution is actually quite simple.
(A) You change what you are doing or
(B) You work for somebody else for a while.
I have dealt with many variations of (A) already, so let me address the ramifications of (B) in this post. The writer of the email has already spotted the biggest problem with (B), the feelings and emotions associated with abandoning a dream.
There is no shame in working for someone who is succeeding and wants your help. Great companies are built by tight little conspiracies of dedicated people who aid each other in achieving a common goal.
The major insanity that prevents this is the all too common propensity of subordinate players trying to take the lead by undermining the efforts of the lead player. Let me give you this uncommon advice. Read it until it is seared, seared in your memory.
It doesn’t matter if you are smarter, saner, and more experienced than your new boss. As long as you are working for him, support him and protect his flanks.
Do your job well and keep your criticism to yourself. If you push power in his direction and protect him from attacks, you should receive recognition and rewards from him. You may have to remind him from time to time that you need to be given power in return, so that you can carry out your responsibilities and run interference for him.
If he isn’t the kind of boss who understands that power has to flow both ways, then you get on the phone and locate a new job, quickly. When you leave, let him know that you are taking a position that offers more responsibility. Don’t do this to get even, do this for the others who work for him.
The other thing to remember is that your job is NOT your life. I have written about this several times. Use the Google search on this site to locate other references. Your job is what you do to feed and shelter yourself and your family.
If you have not been able to generate enough money to do this working for yourself, then you need time to figure out another approach. The best short term solution is to work for someone else. I would suggest that you work hard, but spend your time figuring out what your next venture will be and how to make it more successful than the last one.
If you keep your wits about you and observe what makes or breaks a company, you may even spot what was missing in your own venture. This will stand you in good stead when you depart and start up your next micro-business.
Good luck. Keep that money coming in by any means possible. It is far more satisfying to do it your way, but working with and for others can give you the leg up that you need to succeed.