Employee to Entrepreneur
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Making the transition from employee to entrepreneur can be difficult. Like so many others I made this transition from factory worker. The money and benefits were good so there was no incentive to move on. This continued for many years and as time went by a lot of us started to say we have to get out of here. It’s hard to give up the pay and benefits so we kept on going.
That all began to change. Working for a family-controlled company in an non union factory they were free to make the changes they felt would benefit them with no uprising from the workers. The union had been voted down every time it came to a vote. The changes being made forced everyone to rethink this. Organizers began working and collected enough signatures to call for a union vote. This time it was successful.
The negotiations went on for several months to no avail. A strike vote was taken and a date set. The threat of a looming strike did not sway the company to negotiate in good faith. The date arrived and at 2 am we all walked off the job on to the picket line.
The company’s reaction, hire a strike breaking security firm and the hire more people to work inside that we had outside. After six months on strike the company had the workforce in place and petitioned for another union vote. The vote eliminated the union and at that point we all became unemployed.
The next several months was spent looking for work. One day I noticed an ad in the local newspaper for an insurance agent. With some encouragement from my wife and key people I made the call that changed my life forever. At the first interview I was given and aptitude test, I must have passed since I was eventually given a contract. Over the next several months there were numerous meetings and homework assignments. This is where I was introduced to the work of a man named Napoleon Hill.
We were employees in the beginning in the taxation sense of the word. We had to operate and grow our own insurance agency. This was my introduction to the world of entrepreneurship. Over time we were converted to independent contractors. This meant we were responsible for everything as any business owner is.
The company trained you in sales but that was the end of it at that time. We did have a field manager we reported to. There were many in that role but one came in and said we need to be operating as a true business that we were. He brought in a CPA and called a meeting. He pulled some documents out of his purse, (ok, European shoulder bag) which included a budget worksheet. This nearly gave me a hard attack. I remember saying, “I have to pay all of this!” No it was only a sample most would not apply to us. YET!
I began to educate myself on the business side of the equation. Learning everything I could about operating a business, from hiring employees to taxation. Thank goodness for a group of consultants and mastermind group members. This was what led me to be successful in my twenty-five year career as an insurance agent.
My advice to anyone finding themselves in a similar position is seek wise counsel, establish a mastermind group of those can help. Follow your passion. Read, study and take courses in the area needed to be improved.