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Comment Risk appetite (Score 5, Informative) 72

From the article:

Paying relatively well would be a major plus as would something that provides a solid career (20+ years of work).

Given the sentence from the article, the submitter may not have the risk appetite for what you're suggesting.

While I agree that starting your own business does provide the sort of flexibility and widening of job scope that the submitter wants, the solid career and the good pay are not guaranteed. I've read statistics (no sources spring to mind, sorry) that only about 10 - 30% of startups survive past the first three years. And these are the years where you're likely to be getting the least amount of pay out of the business as you'll be wanting to reinvest everything into the business to give it the best possible chance of succeeding in the long run.

That being said, starting (or trying to start) a business can be the most rewarding thing around. I've tried it several times and failed for various reasons, but I would do it all over again if I spotted a reasonably good opportunity because it gives you the chance (in fact, it's practically a requirement) to move around a good deal and fill in gaps in your knowledge you probably never knew you had.

Ask yourself the following questions if this is a route you're considering:

1. Are you prepared to take on a substantial amount of risk when you're starting out? Remember that you will not have much in terms of financial leverage and brand name, and there will be unscrupulous customers who will try to delay payment as much as possible just because they know they have a reasonable chance of getting away with it.

2. Can you ensure that you will have a good work-life balance when you're doing this? A lot of people I know who have started businesses of their own have started with a home office to save on costs, but having a family as well means that you will probably find it hard to differentiate between "work time" and "family time".

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