Avoid The Happiness Trap

The major life decision to pursue entrepreneurship and open your own business can easily cause you to fall into a “happiness trap.” I will no longer have to report to my boss, and I will have the freedom and flexibility to do things according to my own schedule while spending more time with my spouse, children, family and friends. I will enjoy the opportunity for more vacation travel while building my personal wealth. Sound familiar? In fact, all of this could not be further from the truth. Anybody who has been successfully self-employed for the long term (e.g., 10-30 years) will report that it is far from the experience of fleeting feelings of pleasure, gladness and gratification.

However, those who match themselves to the right business (vocationally) will tell you that self-employment has provided them a far less common feeling of happiness, offering them a richer, fulfilling and more meaningful life with a powerful sense of vitality. Avoid the happiness trap of making a reactive, emotional decision (based on meeting a franchise salesperson, business broker, third-party referral consultant or doing a personality test), since matching yourself to the wrong business will contribute to short-term business failure. Like all major life decisions, getting it right the first time helps you and your family avoid the risk and vicious cycle of starting over emotionally and financially.