Whenever layoffs increase, so does the number of people who try to start their own companies — and as the job market rebounds, it’s natural to see some folks go back to the workforce. With employment at healthy levels, it’s a good time to re-evaluate whether entrepreneurship isn’t working out for you. Here are four tell-tale signs you aren’t cut out for it.
1. You’re Desperate for Direction
Some people love to be their own boss so much that they bristle at getting too much feedback from clients or venture capitalists.
But if you have neither giving you any directions — perhaps because you don’t yet have venture funding or your clients aren’t that picky — you might find yourself wishing you had someone giving you advice on what to do next.
While you would certainly benefit from finding a mentor to hook you up with some guidance — try networking with a local chapter of the Small Business Administration for leads — there’s only so much you’re going to get from that kind of a dynamic.
At a certain point, if you feel like you’d rather have someone pointing out what to do next, you might be better off following than leading. Accept it and the stress will evaporate.
2. You Feel Lonely
Working seven days a week might be okay in the short term, but it isn’t sustainable over longer periods of time. If you’re missing out on quality time with loved ones and would rather not do so, a simple solution to the problem is to go find a job that only takes up 40 hours a week of your time.
Another nice thing about going to work for someone else: A new job should put more people into your life.
Even if your line of work is relatively solitary in nature, you will probably still have coworkers to talk to once you start working for someone else. You will go from feeling like you’re not having a life to getting one.
3. You’re Tired of Being Broke
Supposedly it takes an average of two years for an entrepreneurial endeavor to become cash-flow positive.
If you’ve been at it for at least that long and you’re still unable to make ends meet, it’s possible you’ve chosen the wrong business model or industry.
But it’s likely the real issue might be that you’d be better off working for a company that can pay you a salary — and provide benefits too. Go look into getting paid more for what you do.
4. You’ve Run Out of Steam
Burnout certainly isn’t unique to entrepreneurship — but it can be a lot more intense than the variety that comes from working for someone else.
When you work for someone else, you have more room to take vacation days or other forms of paid time off to go indulge in some self care.
But if you are a one-person operation, that day or two you don’t work may mean not getting paid, which might motivate you to work anyway, thereby worsening the burnout you’ll feel.
Acceptance Feels Better
Put an end to this cycle by accepting that you’re not cut out for entrepreneurship. Then redirect your that energy toward applying for jobs working for others.
Although looking for work is supposed to be a full-time job on its own, you might not see enough opportunities to apply for to add up to a full 40 hours of week.
Hopefully that will give you enough down time to include some self-care that could help prevent further burnout.
Entrepreneurship Isn’t Working Out for You
If any of the signs above sound familiar, don’t be afraid to call it a day — and start applying for jobs working for someone else. Life is too short to continue anything that just isn’t working out.
Entrepreneurship experience looks great on a resume as long as you accompany it with a cover letter that clearly explains why you’re ready to return to working for someone else.
Fellow entrepreneurs, have you considered the possibility of going back to working for someone else?
Read More About Productivity and Burnout
- Avoiding Workaholic Burnout
- 5 Productivity Tricks for Entrepreneurs
- 3 Productivity Hacks That Actually Work
- 7 Productivity Tips When Working from Home
- Why Your Startup Has a 90% Chance of Failing
Jackie Cohen is an award winning financial journalist turned turned financial advisor obsessed with climate change risk, data and business. Jackie holds a B.A. Degree from Macalester College and an M.A. in English from Claremont Graduate University.