When I meet business owners or entrepreneurs, I often ask them, “What made you start up your own business?”
While the reasons they give are as varied as the businesses themselves, there are some themes that come up time and again.
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, you may identify with some of these popular reasons.
1. Freedom and Flexibility
Having more freedom and flexibility are things I often hear from entrepreneurs.
In spite of all the hard work involved in starting a business or building it to success, having more control over the way you spend your time is very rewarding.
Once you have the right people and processes in place in your business, there is little to stop you organizing your schedule to suit you, or taking time off to spend with your family.
Maybe you’re a ‘morning person’ and do better work before lunch, or maybe you’re an ‘afternoon person’ who works better after lunch. If you’re doing it right, running your own business gives you the freedom to work when – and if – you prefer.
2. A Better Work Environment
The ability to define your own workspace is something that most employees never have.
Whether you work best in a quiet office or a buzzing open-plan space, chances are your workspace is defined by your employer. Being able to define your workspace so that it is conducive to maximum productivity and comfort is immensely satisfying.
And with modern technology, even ‘being in the office’ has taken on a new meaning.
I can tell you from personal experience, few things beat being able to do work or hold online meetings while sitting on the deck enjoying the day.
3. Achieving Your Dreams
How often do you hear children say, “When I grow up, I want to…”?
As children, most of us form our ideas of what we want to do or be in later life, yet few of us actually achieve those dreams.
As we grow, our dreams may change but the majority of people still end up doing their jobs to pay the bills – even those who are lucky enough to enjoy what they do.
Whether you want to own a 5-star restaurant, create designer jewelry for Hollywood stars, or fly to the moon; starting your own business can be a way to achieve your dreams.
4. Earning More
Another popular reason people decide to start a small business is to earn more.
Any business that is being run properly will generate profits and, if you are an employee, those profits usually go to someone else. Sure, you may get bonuses or a share of the profits on top of your wage or salary, but your earning potential is generally capped.
Short of winning the lottery, your chances of being able to afford a vacation home in the Caribbean while working for someone else may be slim.
Building a business to the point where you can dramatically improve your quality of life takes a lot of work but it’s also very rewarding. And remember – even the biggest businesses in the world started small.
5. Reaping the Rewards
As an employee, too often you may ‘go the extra mile’ without so much as a “Thank you”.
Starting early, finishing late or working through lunch may all be things that are expected of you and can leave you feeling unappreciated. Even worse, many contracts of employment these days contain an ‘intellectual property rights’ clause wrapped in complex legal terms.
When deciphered, the meaning of these contract clauses is usually the same – anything you discover, develop or invent while you work for the company belongs to them. Now don’t get me wrong, I can see the company’s point of view.
They invest in you through training, making tools available to you and guiding you along certain paths so they expect to get the benefit of that investment. But at the end of the day, something that you invent can end up earning them millions upon millions of dollars while all you get is a $50 bonus.
With your own business, you own anything new you come up with and you get the benefit of it.
6. More Fulfilling
I’m sure you remember your first sale, or the first time you helped a customer or your first finished project, and how good that felt.
If you run your own business and are doing that for your own benefit rather than someone else’s that feeling is magnified ten-fold or more.
Few things are more fulfilling or give you a greater sense of accomplishment than knowing that the sale you just closed adds to your bottom line; or that the award your business just won has your name on it.
7. It’s Worth the Hard Work
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and drive to start up a business.
In the early days especially, you may be putting in 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for little reward.
But once your business is established and you have the right people, products and processes in place, it can be extremely rewarding.
So what’s your reason for starting up your own business?