Starting a business is not for everyone. Especially considering we're in 2019 and capitalism has led to a shower of businesses everywhere and really competitive markets. However, there're many strong reasons why you should start your own business.
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I won't lie, starting is the hardest step, but it's necessary.
"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right!" - Henry Ford
I have known from a young age that I would like to run my own business. This aspiration was as a result of watching my dad create his business, and seeing his trials and tribulations of having ownership over the direction of his career and livelihood.
I have always been fascinated by work. It consumes over 1/3 of our time in a given day and often comes to define us as individuals. Yet for many, work is just one of those things we do to ensure that we can live adequately and provide for ourselves and family. Most people I meet don't enjoy their jobs or seem constantly stressed by their day to day reality.
Now, I realize that starting a business is not for everyone. In fact, most people are better suited to a traditional employee role or corporate position. There is a good reason for this. Starting your own business is difficult, requires a certain level of risk taking, takes significant time and effort to set up and often relies on an element of good fortune to survive. Nonetheless the benefits - both financial and personal - can be tremendously fulfilling.
This post is for the individual who has a yearning to start their own business. It lists 20 reasons why I started my businesses. I often refer to this list when times get tough (and they will; starting a business is not easy). I hope this article provides inspiration for you to take action to start your own business or if you have already got your own business I hope this article reminds you why that was one of the best decisions you have made!
So without further delay here are my top 20 reasons for starting a business!
1. Avoid the ridiculous corporate culture of 'face time' - I have to show that I have put in the hours otherwise people will think I'm slacking. This type of culture always irritated me - it's unproductive and demotivating.
2. Escaping the reality of a confined job description which after time becomes monotonous, mundane and unchallenging. Running your own business is constantly challenging and exposes you to every facet of business - from stapling and filing to strategy, marketing, sales, and financial management. If you consider yourself a dynamic individual, your own business will definitely provide the dynamism you crave.
3. Working for someone is constraining. Being your own boss opens up a new reality defined by a key human virtue of autonomy.
4. Purpose is a key ingredient for happiness. In an employee role, the realization of purpose is often consumed by the overall purpose of the business. Having your own business makes it easier to align your personal purpose with that of your business - be it the purpose to make lots of money, further a cause, inspire people, free up time, etc.
5. Be the creator of your own destiny. Working for yourself opens up so many more options in terms of how, where and when you work. The feeling of liberation can be overwhelming and is not for the faint-hearted. Many people I meet who have started their own business have failed as they are poor at self-direction.
6. Escape the drudgery of the 9-5 where you work for a boss who you don't respect and colleagues who you would not choose to socialize with.
7. Wear what you want when you want. Of course, this is often tempered by the industry or nature of work that you are involved in, but I know very successful business owners who work in their boxers or when they are in the office in casual wear.
8. The line between effort and reward is so transparent when you work for yourself - this makes the effort have so much more purpose and the reward feel so much more fulfilling.
Starting a business can be a very lonely time - particularly if you don't have a business partner to help you along each step of the way. It can also be extremely taxing on your psychology as an individual. This is mainly due to the fact that you have explicitly exposed yourself to the potential of failure - and no one likes to be seen as a loser. The reality is that most businesses do fail.
I was always terrified by failure until I realized that failing was quite possibly the best thing that can happen to oneself as long as you have the right attitude to bounce back and try again. It may sound cheesy, but most people seriously admire those who try and fail and try again and again (as long as you are not mentally deluded in your abilities!). The reason why people show admiration, albeit unexpressed or conceited, for those who try, is because they realize that they don't have the guts to try themselves. Moreover, failing is by far the best way to learn from your mistakes and build serious character when times get tough again.
I often found inspiration from other people. Here are two quotes from non-business people which really helped me deal with the idea of failure.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
So back to the reasons to start your own business!
9. Every day get a huge feeling of accomplishment. You can walk into your office knowing you are building something for yourself and that each hour spent is an hour spent on building your empire - big or small.
10. Have full control over the strategy and direction of your business.
11. Run the occasional personal expenses through your business (shhh... I didn't say that and no business owner ever does that).
12. Grow your hair and a beard (if you're a woman die your hair pink) and not have to worry about what your boss thinks or have to answer to an employment tribunal.
13. Free up time in your schedule to pursue daily activities which are important to you. In your own business, it is easier to structure your life around your work (as long as you design your business to run effectively without always needing your presence to oversee things). Spend extra time in the morning with your kids, come home for lunch, go to the gym during the afternoon and leave early because you can!
A very inspiring yet humorous TedX speech on why everyone should start a business by a 28-year-old serial entrepreneur:
14. Get the sales buzz on a daily basis. Knowing that you have created something and successfully brought it to market is one of the most rewarding feelings.
15. Be able to proudly tell people that you had the balls, ambition, and intelligence to start your own business. Balls because it takes guts to stick your head out on the line and go it alone. Ambition because it requires relentless focus and perseverance to make it work. And intelligence because it takes strong commercial acumen to take £1 and turn it into £2.
16. Give yourself the opportunity to make serious money. Unlike a salaried employee where there is generally a ceiling to the amount, you can earn (unless you work in the front office of a bank where they pay stupid money to people who deliver very little value), in your own business the world is your oyster. Now that doesn't mean you will make lots of money (or even some money) but it does mean you will have the potential to make buckets of the stuff if your business becomes relatively successful. The idea of an earning ceiling in your own business is really only confined by what you think you are possible of achieving.
My tip: Aim high! Escape the rat race asap!!!
17. Get the chance to add real societal value by becoming an employer. Being a business owner and an employer adds huge value to your community and the wider economy. Having your own business gives you a sense of stewardship which is often lacking in an employee based career. Giving back by merely growing your business will make you feel great.
18. Running your own business allows avoiding the ridiculous red-tape and bureaucracy that often constrains an employee based role, and take immediate action to get things done faster and more efficiently. As a business owner, you call the shots - no more stupid corporate procedures or authorization gate-keepers.
19. Get out of bed every morning and feel motivated - at least 90% of the time - because you are building something for yourself (and not for some other rich business owner/shareholder). Working for yourself is the biggest motivator as you have everything to prove and only yourself to blame.
20. Finally, build something that not only pays your salary (large or small) but also has embedded value that can be sold when you want to exit and live the good life smoking Cubans in Monaco (Note to readers, I would rather be sipping good wine in Bordeaux). Your business should be seen as a cash-providing investment that can grow in value through better design and targeted effort.
The author: Meredith Karter is the founder and proud owner of BusinessEntity. Since 2010, she has helped over ten thousand Americans realize their dream of entrepreneurship by helping them incorporate. On her website, she provides DIY guides on how to check for business name availability and form various business entities across all 50 states.
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