Got the Entrepreneurial Itch?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  While the job market today isn’t “robust” by any stretch of the imagination, it’s still far perkier that what we all experienced in 2009 — and hopefully we’ll see the fog lift one of these days, consumers and employers will loosen up their purse strings, and we’ll get back to business as usual.  The fact that no fewer than FOUR of my clients reported transitions last Friday alone certainly gave me a dose of optimism that a fresh wave of opportunities might be starting to break loose out there!

In the meantime, as the market for most positions (especially executive roles) continues to be tight, many individuals are seriously contemplating whether it might be time to “buy out of the game” and create a position for themselves, through a self-employment option, versus having to compete time and time again for the finite pool of W2 opportunities out there.

This avenue is one that quite a few of my clients have considered over the years — whether in the form of starting a consulting practice, buying a business, purchasing a franchise, or exploring another entrepreneurial option — and while it might not be for everybody, it’s certainly a viable path for those who have the resources and management savvy to consider it.  On one hand, working for yourself can lead to some sleepless nights in terms of the inconsistent income stream and money you often have to invest, up front.  On the other hand, it can also lead to some sleepless nights based on the incredible surge of freedom, creativity, and personal growth that many entrepreneurs experience when they finally have the chance to fully control their own career destiny!

In terms of exploring this possibility, there are a tremendous amount of resources out there one can tap into for assistance, ranging from the Small Business Administration to the unemployment office’s SEAP (Self-Employment Assistance Program) initiative to a multitude of independent business brokers and consultants one can hire to provide expert guidance through this process.  On this latter note, if you need any recommendations of good coaches and consultants in the area, I have plenty — just let me know!

On that note, one of the coaches and business brokers I’ve known for many years, and who has been a good friend of the firm, recently alerted me to an article he’s written that provides some useful food for thought for would-be entrepreneurs — especially those in the latter stages of their careers.  This coach, John Martinka of Partner on Call Network, has written a piece that outlines some of the pros/cons that professionals should consider when evaluating the different self-employment possibilities.  You’ll find the article here and if you have any thoughts or comments about it, or want to know more about how to navigate the entrepreneurial waters, feel free to reach out to John for more information.  I’m sure he’d love to hear from you!


2 Responses to “Got the Entrepreneurial Itch?”

  1. Ben Meyerhoff June 24, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Matt, SBA does provide information to assist aspiring entrepreneurs and works with many banks to qualify them to make SBA loans to small businesses. However, the heavy lifting of helping folks who would like to start a business or are having difficult with managing a small business is done by SCORE, a partner of the SBA since the 1960’s and where I volunteer. SCORE has 70 volunteer business counselors in the Seattle office (which covers the greater Seattle area) all of whom have extensive business experience . We provide FREE and unlimited counseling to start ups and small businesses. In addition we offer several workshops every month at very nominal fee to assist folks who would like to start a business. A couple of our counselors have also developed a very comprehensive business plan template on a CD using Excel with instructions as to how to use it. This also is very low cost. We are a non-profit organization, thus our fees for workshops and the CD are very low cost and the only items that cost our clients any out of pocket expense. You and/or your readers can learn more about SCORE at and (our national web site)

    One other point, the SEAP program that allows unemployed people, who are collecting unemployment insurance, to try to start their own business in lieu of making the required three job searches per week. Thus, they can continue to collect unemployment insurance while pursuing entrepreneurial interests. BUT, they must use an organization that has been certified by ESD (WA Employment Security Dept)to develop a plan with that person and help them work through that plan to create a successful business. SCORE is one of the certified organizations and we have several SEAP clients that we are working with right now. They attend our workshops and see our counselors regularly.

    I hope this is useful to you and your readers.

  2. Matt, nice article helping people who are “on” the proverbial “fence”!

    I wanted to share some feedback I’ve received about a book I co-authored, which might benefit some readers.

    Though my partner and I wrote “Leadership on Demand: How Smart CEO’s Tap Interim Management to Drive Revenue” for executives, we’ve already heard from a number of corporate refugees who are using it as a “guide” to build an interim revenue management practice around.

    See Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or for more. You can read the first chapter for free at

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