I quit the City to start a business but I'm worn out

An entrepreneur who gave up her job to start a cake making business is exhausted. Should he go back to the City or stick it out?

by Jeremy
Last Updated: 28 Mar 2014

Q: Two years ago, I quit my job as a sales director and remortgaged my house to start my own cake-making company. I'm passionate about the business and have clinched a few decent contracts but I'm struggling with the long hours, the scant pay and the stress. I feel as if I've invested too much into this to give up and I don't want to go back to my old job with my tail between my legs, but I'm not sure that the entrepreneurial lifestyle is for me.

A: My guess is that much of your unhappiness springs not from overwork and the resultant stress but from loneliness. You seem to have no one to share your burdens with; no one who tells you to shut down for a day or two; no one to pat you on the back when you've bagged a new contract; no one to have a drink with at the end of another exhausting day. Even entrepreneurs need company.

With two years of relentless struggle behind you, you're probably over the worst. The chances are that you're so obsessed with getting and keeping business that you're underpricing yourself. So seriously consider bringing someone in to join you. Ideally, whoever it is could look afresh at your cost base. They could not only relieve the pressure on you but, if possible, pay for themselves as well.

This is still a business you're passionate about.

- Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. Email him your problems on editorial@managementtoday.com. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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