Why you Should be your Own Boss

Estimated read time 8 min read

Small businesses are big business – in fact, those with fewer than 100 employees account for 98 percent of all businesses in the U.S.1

Starting a business may be daunting, but if you take account of the 30.7 million small businesses operating in the U.S. alone,2 you’ll find learning how to start a business is a lot easier than it used to be.

Today’s interconnected world has opened up millions of new niches for entrepreneurs to start small businesses and countless sources of advice are available on the web. In addition, the internet has enabled business owners to connect with their peers, learn from their mistakes, and use their successful decisions as a guide for their own paths.

If working nine to five isn’t suited to you, perhaps it’s time to climb your own ladder, set a pace that suits you, and make your mark on the world. If you have a bright idea or a burning interest, here are seven good reasons for starting a business today.

1. Be your own boss

Instead of bashing your head against a wall every time your boss makes a mistake, be the one making decisions – and hold yourself accountable to them. Of course, it’s human nature to want to avoid risks, but in the words of Nora Denzel, former CEO of American company Outerwall, “If you don’t take risks, you’ll always work for someone who does.”3

If that thought scares you, it’s time you begin planning your journey to become an entrepreneur. Here are just a few of the benefits of becoming your own boss:

  • Greater control: You decide where finances go, what kind of company culture you want, and the quality of work that should be expected
  • Flexible hours: You choose your working hours, meaning you have complete control over when you work and when you don’t
  • Diverse learning: You receive a crash course in every aspect of starting a business – from financial management to health and safety

2. Define your job description

If you think you possess a range of key talents, entrepreneurship presents a way to utilize these skills to their full potential.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll fill many roles in your business, especially when starting out, which is why you can’t be afraid of doing the dirty work. Many days you’ll find yourself in the position of anything from leader and marketer to therapist and receptionist.

Essential entrepreneurial skills include the following:5

  • Business management skills, which include multitasking, delegating, and making decisions about your company’s health and profitability
  • Teamwork and leadership skills are essential – in a small business, you’ll likely be supervisor and team member
  • Customer service skills will help you connect with your customer base and establish opening partnerships
  • Financial skills are needed to ensure you understand and control the money side of your business
  • Strategic thinking and planning skills are necessary to stay competitive, reach your business goals, and grow your market reach
  • Branding, marketing, and networking skills will be deployed to promote and grow your brand until you can hire someone to take this over

3. Turn your passion into profit

Starting a business is risky, so it’s important to remember why you’re doing this when the going gets tough.

Twenty percent of small businesses don’t survive their first year, and nearly a third fail in the second. Half fold after five years in business.6 Those first few years of a business are hard, which is why passion is crucial to sustaining you.

Try to keep these benefits of starting your business in mind during times of doubt:

  • It’s personal: You get to invest your time and energy into something you love
  • Self-actualization: You get to build your vision instead of someone else’s
  • Watch it grow: You get to see your creation grow from an idea into an empire

4. Increase your earning potential

Perhaps your current job doesn’t pay what you’d like, or maybe you’ve got a sideline passion project that has the potential to become a lucrative full-time career. Either way, you’ll have to put in the hours to turn it into a business. As U.S. entrepreneur Lori Greiner says, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.”7

You may struggle with finances in the beginning, but draw your motivation from these famous entrepreneurs who started out with pennies and turned them into billions:

  • WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum went from standing in line for food stamps8 to creating a messaging app now used by more than two billion people worldwide9
  • Sara Blakely sold fax machines door-to-door before founding clothing company Spanx, which helped her become the youngest female self-made billionaire in the world10
  • Shahid Khan washed dishes part-time while studying. He now owns one of the largest private companies in the world, Flex-n-Gate, along with NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars11

5. Improve the lives of others

In the U.S. alone, new businesses create 1.5 million jobs annually.12 Starting a new business means you have the opportunity to hire and train those who may not have had the opportunity for decent work in the past. It also means you get to make a meaningful impact on society.

These three entrepreneurs have used their entrepreneurial prowess to do something good in the world:

  • Jimmy Wales co-founded Wikipedia, creating the world’s biggest online encyclopedia and a source of information for millions13
  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has, along with ex-wife Melinda, donated more than $45 billion to charitable causes14
  • Chuck Feeney, who co-founded the Duty Free Shoppers Group, made it his mission to give away his fortune, donating $8 billion to charity15

6. Learn to fail and learn from your failures

Some companies fail because they make a poor product, others because their product is mistimed. Most companies fold because of a lack of market need for their product or service or because they run out of capital.16

When you consider that 90 percent of start-ups and 75 percent of venture-backed start-ups fall by the wayside, it becomes clear that failure is something to be addressed head-on and learned from.17 Here’s how you can do that.

  • Accept responsibility: Don’t blame the mistake on something else – take ownership of it
  • Respond accordingly: Understand why you made the mistake and how you can avoid it in the future
  • Do the humor test: Can you laugh at the last mistake you made? If so, chances are you’ve processed it and moved on

7. Become an expert

Instead of waiting for someone to give you a chance to be the best at something you’re passionate about, create your own opportunities.

Follow the words of Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” 18

Become an expert in one thing by:

  • Identifying your passion: Find something you’re passionate about – this means you won’t mind pursuing it after hours
  • Making time for it: The best way to become an expert is to practice, practice, and practice some more, whether this is through experience or gathering knowledge by taking online business courses
  • Taking every opportunity: Whether it’s paid or unpaid, big or small – accept anything that challenges you

If you want to challenge yourself and grow your entrepreneurial skills, consider joining the Oxford Entrepreneurship: Venture Creation Programme from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. This six-week programme offers practical guidance, from identifying a market opportunity and developing a business model to learning how to launch and pitch your venture.

Similarly, the University of Cape Town (UCT) offers the Foundations of Business Management online short course. This eight-week course helps students to gain leadership, marketing, finance, market-research, and competitive-analysis skills.

To help entrepreneurs develop the skills to navigate the legal and financial complexities of starting a new business, the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law offers the Entrepreneurship: Law and Finance online short course. This eight-week course will help you to understand and navigate everything from founders’ agreements and contract drafts to trademark law.

Credit – Taken from – https://www.getsmarter.com/blog/career-advice/start-your-business-7-reasons-to-work-for-yourself/

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