If only I had…

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There are the chosen few who have never worked for anyone else, and then there are the rest of us who used to be employed but now run our own businesses.

When we were employed we did not have total control of our destiny. Perhaps we didn’t choose the right employer or we could have moved somewhere else and we didn’t, and later we wished we had.

You know the sort of thing?

  • If I had known when I started work that I should have began at an investment bank and then I would have been paid today’s equivalent of 250K per year even if I were still making the tea.
  • I should have made a fortune working for an insurance broker and would have known to get out at the right time.
  • I shouldn’t have worked for XYZ. They were dreadful employers and just used me.
  • I should have earned megabucks in the Far East when I had the chance.
  • I should have stayed with EFG because they had and still have the best pension scheme ever (but I left to preserve my own self-respect).

We might all have certain variations on those themes. All those situations depended either on how we were dealt with by others who had power over us, or would have been pure luck along the lines of “if we had known then what we know now”.

Luck is chance and we can’t do much about unforeseen incidents in our lives. However in being in business for ourselves, we make our own decisions. We shouldn’t be at the mercy of anyone as we might be if with a bad employer. Our future is in our hands. We need to make the right decisions of course, and we need courage sometimes. We will still come to forks in the road and must do our best to take the right one. If we make a mistake we can learn from it, and need not look over our shoulders at what might have been.

When I started work I would have been surprised to be told where I might be now, but as an independent person in business who enjoys his work, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Anyway, if I had started at the investment bank, I wouldn’t be talking to you now, though I might have been a fat cat taking the flak for the economic crisis.

So having regrets is pointless, and being in control of one’s own destiny in business is beyond value, isn’t it? And isn’t business fun?


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