There are a lot of reasons you should start your own business, and with the technology we have today, it’s easier than ever before. You’ll find a lot of articles written online about why you should start a business, but I’ve found many of them are written by people who haven’t actually had their own company. They read like many “top 10 lists” you’ll find online, without much context and sometimes even misleading. I founded my first successful company 13 years ago and have helped many others do the same. I’ve been though enough successes and failures to understand the true benefits of creating your own company, so I’ve listed my top 5 reasons below.
1. Start a Business to Make More Money
Starting a new business to make more money is both a great and awful idea.
People only pay their employees the minimum amount necessary to keep them from quitting or finding another job, so it only makes sense that there is an opportunity to make much more money if you start a successful company. In the past, the thought was that technology would make everything more efficient. Because it would be easier to get the same amount of work done, everyone would only have to work 20 hour weeks and still make the same amount of money.
It’s true. Technology made many things more efficient and even allowed employers to hire less people to get the same work done. So why are people now working harder than before and making less money relative to people in the past?
When employers got rid of half their staff because a new technology made the task easier to do, they didn’t take the money they were paying those workers and give it to the remaining employees. They kept it for themselves. The remaining employees were still doing the same amount of work as before, so why pay them more?
This has led to an increasing wage gap between owners and employees.
Knowing this income gap is only going to continue to increase between business owners and employees, which side do you want to be on?
I mentioned before that starting a business to make more money is also an awful reason to start a new business. The reason I say that is because starting a business will be hard; harder than you expect it to be. I’m not saying that to discourage anyone from starting one. I HIGHLY recommend starting one. I only bring it up, because when times get hard, the opportunity to make more money may not be enough to keep you going. Doing something you love to do is a much stronger motivator, and will help get you through the hurdles you’ll cross. Don’t start a business to make more money. Start a business to do something you love… which will end up making you more money.
2. Start a Business to Love what You Do
Do something you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life. It sounds like a phrase you’d find a motivational poster in the 90’s, but it’s actually true. When you find the ability to make money doing something you love, it improves your life in countless ways. Once you see how great it can be, you wonder how most people put up with the jobs they do.
Now of course you’re not going to love EVERYTHING you have to do to start your own company, but what’s great is that you even start to enjoy working on the stuff you don’t like, because it allows you to do the other work that you do enjoy.
You may start out working more hours than before, but because you love what you’re doing, you’ll enjoy it.
3. Start a Business to Have Complete Control of Your Time and Location
It’s hard to create your ideal life when you are regularly ordered to be somewhere at specific times. You have to create your life around the schedule someone else has set for you. When you start your own business you can create the business around your life, giving you the freedom to do what you like. Want to spend a month in Thailand? Go for it. Want to spend the morning hiking with your kids? You can do it.
There are a couple caveats to this. First, when you start your company you may have to put in much more time to get your business to point that it needs to be. This means you may be working A LOT – and this is where enjoying what you do pays off, because it won’t feel like it.
Second, not all businesses can give you complete control of your time and location. If you own a restaurant, you have to cater your hours to when you’re customers want to eat. If you own a company that employs many people, you’re going to need to be in the office to keep people motivated and keep an eye on their performance. That’s why I recommend creating a company that doesn’t require your presence.
I’ve learned this lesson slowly over time and have started to create companies that rely less and less on my being anywhere and at a specific time.
4. Start a Business to Learn
I have yet to find a better way to learn than creating your own business. With so many skills necessary to start a successful company (and a lot of motivation to do them well) it created a great opportunity to learn. When you work for someone else, you’re normally paid well to specialize in one area. When you have your own company, you may have a lot of experience in one discipline, but to be successful, you’re going to need to have a good understanding of many.
Budgeting, marketing, negotiating a lease, hiring, firing, motivating people, product pricing, building a website, taxes, credit card processing, financial forecasting, creating a brand, – depending on the business, the list can go on and on.
When the benefit to learning a new skill becomes important for you to continue doing what you love to do, it becomes so much easier to learn.
What’s also great about the knowledge you gain in starting your own business is that what you learn works right now in the real world. Many of the lessons that can be learned from books or school are dated and not all of them apply to what works today.
5. Start a Business to Be in Control of Your Future
When you work for someone else you have to work on what’s important to them, and you’re not fully in control of your success. Your boss may make a bad decision that tanks the company. Your boss may quit, leaving you to work under someone you despise, or you may find yourself laid off because the company decided to move in a different direction that no longer needs your department.
When you start your own business, you’re in complete control of your future, for better or for worse. And because you’re in control of all the decisions, you have no one else to blame for your successes for failures.
It’s can be both scary and liberating to be in complete control, but a funny thing happens when you’re in complete control. You become a better person.
Without the ability to blame anyone else and with the strong motivation of knowing that if you’re successful, you can continue working on what you love, most people step up to the plate and make it happen.
Have any advice to share with other new entrepreneurs or have a question? Let me know below in the comments.
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