The change from working in a team in a large firm to working on your own can be very frightening. Yet, this is not top in our minds when we make the decision to be self-employed. Suddenly there you are without the team around you to bounce ideas off, without the resources and infrastructure you have come to expect, set up in a smart office (or the garage if your are a Steve Jobs or Mark Shuttleworth) maybe you have a product, but do you have the know-how to market it and turn it into income? ‘Stok siel alleen’ as we say in SA.

The shift to self-employment is becoming more and more prevalent in the current market place, but few think through how lonely it will be to be on your own. I referred in a previous blog to how alone I felt when I first started setting up my own guest house. These days renting an office or desk in one of the Bureaux (e.g. Bandwidth Barn, Hub Space, The Business place) can ease the loneliness, but can the people at the next desk really understand what it is that you are trying to achieve?? Do they have the time to sit down and work through your problems with you, and look for solutions when they have their own business to get up and running!

A Coach–Mentor will put the time aside to help you get started, help you set goals for what you want to achieve and guide you in the setting up of your business systems. Of course, if the business idea is yours, you are the best person to build on that idea, but do you know all the ins and outs of running a business – employees, finance systems, tax, reporting lines, marketing etc.

Alternatively, you may have been running your own show for several years, but now pressure is on to increase the size of you business. Many start-ups fall flat on their faces when they decide to increase capacity and do it without proper planning and strategising. A Coach-Mentor is not tied up in your day to day dealing with crises, orders, complaints etc. They can help you plan and develop your strategy and assist with plotting the way forward at a measured, manageable pace that is best for all concerned.