These days, the workers in the Northeast of England have the feeling that things have not been worse since the famine and plagues of the middle ages. Unemployment is at an all-time high, problems are escalating and you have a whole new generation growing up without any means of work or income other than government subsidies. Only fools entertain optimistic thoughts, let alone dare to leave the house with smiles on their faces.
Then to make matters worse, I just read an article about a group in the Northeast that is encouraging people who are facing layoffs from their jobs to consider becoming entrepreneurs.
How dare they? Is becoming an entrepreneur really an option for someone facing redundancy and unemployment?
What got me started? 20 years ago I was working for Norsk Data, a large corporation that went through several big rounds of layoffs. One year after the third round I learned from my boss that my name had been on the list of those to be fired in the last round. Being familiar with my work, he had rescued me from the list. Learning this news shook me to the core. I had never even imagined that I could lose my job. In spite of all the layoffs, it had not even been a remote possibility in my mind. After all, I was so smart and talented (I thought). Leaning this fact shattered my ideas about job stability. It made me completely rethink which career path was ”safe” and which was ”risky”. I vowed to myself that I would never again put myself in a position where another person’s whim could affect my future in such a dramatic manner. I decided that by becoming an entrepreneur, I could control my own fate and shape my own destiny. Within 3 months of receiving this news, I was involved with 2 software programmers in my first successful tech startup called BlueSky Software (renamed eHelp Corporation). Since then I have been involved with over 12 different startups and early stage ventures. It became a good career for me.
The threat of being laid-off prompted me to take action. How would you deal with this same situation? I sincerely believe that more people who are faced with layoffs should indeed consider becoming entrepreneurs. I will not promise you that it is an easy path to walk, but for the right type of person, it is a good move to make.
Excerpt from: Forum urges recession hit people into business:
“No one is ever going to suggest that starting a business is the easy option – such a step into the unknown can be daunting or even intimidating. But there has never been a better time to give it a go because you’re not alone. There are plenty who are in the same position and plenty who’ve been through it, come out the other side and once they’ve worked through the doubts and challenges never look back. And their stories are always inspirational.”
“Entrepreneurs have an increasing role to play in the future success of the economy and we should see this as an opportunity to transform the economic make-up of the region.”