Entrepreneur to Employee
- Baby Boomer business owner who is tired of running their own business. They want to sell but want to continue to work.
- Baby Boomer business owner or a family member of a family owned business that has gone out of business or has been sold. As you can imagine, there were a lot of small businesses that went out of business during the great recession.
- Gen Xer who had the entrepreneurial bug started their own business but were not successful. I am currently working with a couple of clients are now in their 30s and need to find their first real job to be able to support their family.
The commonality in all three situations is the expectation that, after a short while. the former entrepreneur will want to return to running their own business.
The entrepreneur to employee transition will require a relationship to take you across.
Baby Boomer Business Owner
Let me tell you about Dan. Dan was a business owner who had bought and sold several businesses. After selling his last business in his early 50s, Dan was tired. He did not want to retire but wanted to go back to work for someone else.
He worked his network and got a number of interviews with a large tech employer in the area. It went nowhere.
I explained to him that he scared the heck out these middle managers who could hire him.
- Hired and fired people
- Run payroll
- Managed marketing campaigns
- Run successful sales campaigns
- Managed inventory and logistics
Over the 30+ years of owning his own business, he had done it all. He had far more expertise than any of the hiring managers and could do their job and do it better. They were scared of him.
He needed to find a close relationship who truly valued his expertise and would take a chance on him.
Dan eventually became a car salesman and traded options on the side. Did he become a real employee?
NO! He was still working for himself, just not as a business owner.
Family Owned Businesses
I have worked with several family members of family owned businesses that have been sold or went out of business. After having worked in a family owned business most of their lives, they do not fit the classical employee mold. There is nothing wrong with them, but they do not fit the mold.
In the next couple of weeks, I will tell the story of one who became a necessity entrepreneur, Bob Butler and Blue Spot Pets. This story is about how a close relationship allowed him to start his own business.
When the business his grandfather started was sold, he was asked could he be an employee? He thought he could. Several years later and now in his 60s he was let go.
He just could not see himself as an employee, again.
Gen X Entrepreneur to Employee
Gen Xers started to enter the job market in the last 1980s when the concept of a “job for life” with one company was coming to an end. They were far more likely to be entrepreneurs than my generation—baby boomer.
This is a very similar story to the first example of a baby boomer business owner. The difference is that many are now in their late 30s or early 40s and have started a family. They need a paycheck.
I am currently working with a gentleman who took a job that he hates. He hates it because the mission of the company is at odds with his own values. We focused on:
- Defining his values. He is a cause-driven individual
- Clearly defining his brand
- Developing a target list of companies that align with his values
- Developing the right relationships at those companies
He was just given an offer of employment from a company that aligns with his values. It is not a perfect fit, but is far better than where he is today. It is just one part of his career pivot.
The key is that it was a close relationship that got him into this company.
The transition from entrepreneur to employee is a difficult one most will fail at, but for those that do succeed, it will almost always require a close relationship.
You will not do this alone!