The corporate world is getting to me and my kids are growing up without me. I need a plan!

The corporate world is getting to me and my kids are growing up without me. I need a plan! answers your questions.

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Answer Paywizard:

Rest assured that you are not alone in the concerns that you are voicing. However, although I am a wizard, try as I might, I am afraid I do not possess psychic abilities. I would need to know more information about your situation in order to give you the best advice possible. That being said, I certainly wish to support you in your decision-making process moving forward – and from my vantage point, it seems that you are perhaps facing two distinct challenges in your current worklife situation:

You are tired of the corporate world and in general do not like having a boss and;
Because of this you want to start your own business.

Machiavelli in his Discourses on Livy, one of his major works, wrote that there are two distinct kinds of people in this world: those that prefer controlling others and those that do not like being ruled.  
While we could certainly debate Machiavelli, when your time is already scarce, I doubt this is top-priority when you would likely prefer to focus on your children and squaring away your mortgage.  Another time, yes?  

For our purposes today, from your email, you sound to me like you fit into this latter group, and if that is the case I would advise you search for your inner risk-taker and if it tells you that you have to be your own boss to be happy, I would go for it!  

Now that you have the responsibility of two children and a mortgage, surely you understand fully that any risks you would take in a new venture would be informed risks.  Nonetheless, at 45, you now bring to the table, I presume, very respectable skills, knowledge, training, and experience.

If you believe that being your own boss will allow you to have greater flexibility in spending time with your children and exercising greater control over your worklife, there are considerable benefits to starting a private practice. While I do not know what your exact profession or area of expertise is, you can find plenty of guidance for new ventures at your local Small Business Development Center, at your local library, or online.  Certainly it takes time to develop that business plan, to launch, and to transition into a new work-family balance; however, for many who have realized this goal successfully – if it is a goal to which you are indeed committed – it can be tremendously rewarding.

But, as you well know, taking risks means that you could lose, and starting your own practice is a risk through you could lose a lot. Before you dive into the life of an entrepreneur, please consider a few important factors:

Is there any kind of career change that can provide you the freedom you desire without the risk of launching on your own?

If you do decide to become your own boss by starting your own practice, please carefully consider:

Is it possible to provide yourself the cushion you require – temporally, intellectually, and financially – to be able to plan for your new practice while also enjoying the time you need and want with your family?  In other words, while you may not be in your ideal situation right now, if you decide your own practice (or something else) is the goal, can you create a timeline and carve out the time now to work toward it while you have the security of your current job?  Can you save what you need to prepare? Once you leave your job, will you be able to make all necessary payments while launching and growing? Can you recover, financially and otherwise, if your practice is unsuccessful?

Small business owners are engines that drive our country’s economy,  Entrepreneurship may not be for everyone, but it can be an exciting and rewarding path for many.  

The best of luck to you and your family in whatever you decide!