“Pandemic generating boom in side hustle startups .”
“The pandemic and lockdown has given birth to an explosion of side hustles in the UK as thousands of people tried different ways to earn a living,” said Glasgow-based Iain Scott – otherwise known as ‘Enterprise Iain’ - who has been a top specialist in why people start their own business and become their own boss for over thirty years, “and many of those people surprised at how much they enjoyed the experience of being their own boss,”
Self-employment in the UK has been rising since 2001 and now accounts for around 15% of the working population. In 2017 there were 4.8m self-employed people, compared to 3.3m in 2001, according to the Office for National Statistics. The indications are that that will now increase dramatically as a result of the pandemic.
According to Scott, who has created a new guide for these enterprise virgins entitled “How To Kick The Employee Habit & Be Your Own Boss”, “the pandemic and lockdown forced many people to look at their lives and how they earned a living. Suddenly all the reasons that stopped people taking the leap to self-employment vanished.”
Scott hopes his new guide, he won’t call it a book, will appeal to anyone who’s ever wanted to be their own boss but were too frightened to take the leap.
“No business ever started with a plan – it started with a conversation,” Scott says. “In my 30 years’ work with more than 1,600 people as they started their enterprise journey, what I found was that somehow the minute people were asked to do a business plan, they froze. They were happy to talk about their ideas and themselves. But sorting out that passion into the practicalities of starting their business was really, really difficult.”
Research in 2018 from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the professional body for human resources professionals, found that self-employed people – including freelancers and those running their own businesses – reported higher levels of overall job satisfaction than employees. Wellbeing factors included:
More autonomy over their work
Having more time or flexibility
Less excessive pressure on a regular basis
More work-life balance
Contentment with the nature and variety of their work
The ability to use their initiative and skills.
Enterprise Iain’s solution, which is the basis for “How To Kick The Employee Habit & Be Your Own Boss”, was to identify 6 steps that anyone could take to help them move away from the employee habit and act differently. His unique process involves:
Talking things through
Nurturing your idea
Learning by doing
Coping with the unexpected, and
Valuing your passion
Top tips include doing what you love, not what you loathe; starting out small but always thinking big – and asking yourself not what you want to do, but why you want to do it.
“Being in business is about a better life,” Scott says. “Be bold – but be yourself. Dream big. Imagine. Let’s do away with the ‘motivational’, do-it-my-way speakers, the business plans, the buzz words, the sit-down seminars. Let’s bring on the dreamers, the fishes-out-of-water, the ones who were told ‘you can’t’. You can.
“The big mistake is people think it’s all about the business plan or idea but it’s not. It’s all about you as an individual. I’ve seen people’s mood and mental wellbeing lift instantly when they’ve decided to take the plunge and strike out on their own,” Scott says. “For the first time, it can mean you’re in control and able to follow your passion, or put your talents and skills to good use. You might have been an engineer all your life – but want to roast coffee. Or you’ve got a great idea for a new start-up. For some people, starting a business can be an escape route from an awful job, an abusive partner or a bullying boss.”
Scott hopes his guide will appeal to anyone who’s ever wanted to be their own boss . He describes the guide as “perfect for the Instagram and twitter generation”.