A guest blog post by Michele Di Magno

If you’re thinking about leaving your job and becoming an entrepreneur or have recently started your own business, here’s what to expect:

In my studio, there is a print that says, Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

I have always been inspired by such quotes, because I think that work is one of the most relevant parts of our life.

As a matter of fact, we spend at work a huge proportion of our time and we often do not stop to consider how short life is to do something that we do not LOVE (is it enough just to like our job?).

That is probably the reason why so many people, stuck in office jobs that do not fulfill their ambitions, plan to start their own venture to be their own boss.

But, is running a business just as cool as it seems?

1. The corporate job

Many people, after their degree, find the “good corporate job” their parents wished them:

They get a regular and decent salary as well as extras for overtime and benefits. They become quite good in their jobs so that most of the tasks become an easy routine. They have a slow but secure career path stretching before them and leave the office at 6pm to enjoy their free nights.

Nevertheless, after a while some people start to feel a weird sense of uneasiness and start asking themselves questions such as:

Is it what I want to do in my life?

Do I see myself in a corporate office for the next 45 years?

Do I love my job?

This is the point when, at times, they start to feel the need of freedom and the desire to build something from scratch with their own hands.

“So, what if I run my own business?”

2. The transition towards entrepreneurship

Yes, entrepreneurship sounds like a very cool thing: working whenever you want, deciding by yourself the activities to carry on, no bosses around, table tennis in the office and a big income.

The next step is resigning from their regular job, explaining parents and partners that “No, I’m not crazy. I just want to run my own business,” and pouring their savings in the venture.

The beginning is exciting: everything is new, lots of things to learn, most of the people around you applauding your courage, and wishing you all the best.

Most of the time, initially, it is difficult to make things running. Money IS hard to get but everyone knows that the beginning is always hard!

So, they persist looking forward to a quick and great success.

3. Running your own business

Truth is, people regularly get it wrong the first time and run out of money before getting the first revenues. Months or maybe years pass without decent results.

Business partners feel uneasy and may start to leave. Relatives and friends pass from being enthusiastic to be supportive and, eventually, worried. Working hours are flexible so they have no bosses yelling at them for being late at work. But work or thoughts about work do not end at 6pm, during weekends or holidays. Working is great because they decide what to do, when and how to do it.

On the other hand, if they are not happy they cannot just send some CVs and change company. Everything seems more difficult than it appeared on the plan. Customers, employees, business partners and investors – no one seems to notice how great their company is and each day is a struggle.

This is the point when, oftentimes, young entrepreneurs regret their free nights, their regular salaries, and the slow but steady career path before them. This is the point when most of the entrepreneurs quit.

4. So what?

Like other jobs, running a business requires specific characteristics:

An entrepreneur has to be resilient, optimistic, flexible, empathetic, eclectic. What is more, like many jobs with great rewards, the first period is very stressful and every successful entrepreneur had to cope with it at the beginning.

As any other job, not everyone has the right attitude to sustain and to enjoy it. Before leaving your corporate job, then, you need to ask yourself:

Is it really what I want to do in my life?

Am I able and willing to face up to all that?

If the answer is yes, then running a business can really be an amazing job.

There is no easy way toward success and every path has its downsides. Choose wisely your career path and carefully consider each aspect of the different choices you have. And always remember that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Have you been thinking about changing your career path? Do you think you’re ready to become your own boss? Share your thoughts with us.

About the author:

Michele Di Magno is the founder of Pixtury, an online marketplace for photographic prints based in Italy. Connect with her on LinkedIn.