How to Start a Business After a Career Setback

Photo By William Stitt

Sometimes in life, the best thing that has ever happened to you is disguised as the worst. Getting passed over for a promotion at work or getting laid off unexpectedly can be devastating blows. But what if you look at these setbacks as an opportunity to pursue what you are really meant to do? If you’ve ever thought about starting a business, this is your time to make it happen! Being your own boss is hard work, but there is also a multitude of benefits. Here are some reasons why you should become an entrepreneur, and a few tips to get you started.

Benefits of owning a business

Making the decision to own a business takes a lot of courage. Many people will warn you about the risks you could possibly face and tell you about the grim statistics of small businesses that fail. It’s true that eight out of ten small businesses close their doors for good within the first 18 months, but while this is an alarming statistic, you cannot allow it to discourage you. Once you make it past the hard work and long hours it takes to run a successful business, the benefits ( be truly rewarding.

When you were working your previous job, chances are you didn’t have much flexibility. You may have had to miss out on events and moments that were important to you because you couldn’t adjust your schedule. As a business owner, you get the luxury of determining when you work and for how long. If something comes up that you don’t want to miss, you no longer have to feel torn! Being an entrepreneur also comes with a certain sense of pride that you don’t have when working for someone else. Being an entrepreneur means you had a vision and did not quit until you made it a reality. What could be more empowering than that?

Chose your business

Once you’ve considered all the benefits of being a successful business owner, it’s time to start thinking about what type of business you will be starting. A good rule of thumb is to choose a business that you are passionate about. Choosing to start a business that is true to who you mean that you will never feel like you are working! It is also much easier to make a success out of something you enjoy rather than owning a business that you have little interest in.

Choose something that is in an industry that you are already familiar with as opposed to trying to pick up a new skill in order to avoid unnecessary stress. If your background is in education, you may want to consider starting a tutoring service (; if you’re a whiz in the kitchen, you may love running a catering business or a food truck. Keep in mind that a successful business either offers a solution to an existing problem or offers something that the market needs. Make sure the business you choose has a market that will see value in the service or product you are providing.

Write a business plan

This is one of the most important steps in the beginning stages of becoming an entrepreneur. A business plan ( is a detailed document that shows a business’s future objectives and strategies for achieving them. The proper business plan will include a market analysis, company description, and a financial plan and projections. If you will need funding to get your business started, a business plan will be the first thing potential investors will want to see.

Your financial projections will allow them to know exactly where their investment will be going and how you will be able to pay it back. A business plan is a living document that will need to be adjusted as your business grows. Use it as a tool to measure the success of the business, as well as a guide to show you where you need to contract or expand.

As the saying goes, all things happen for a reason. In the bigger picture, your career setback is a minor occurrence that can put you on the path to living your best life. Consider starting your own business and allow yourself the opportunity to experience joy and independence!  – Sarah Lockwood

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