Starting a business – and keeping it going – isn’t easy.
Unlike in a traditional job, where procedural, technical, financial and other back-end systems are (typically) already in place, you, as a business owner, have to figure all of those details out on your own. Deciding on your product or service offering, naming your business, standing up an appropriate business structure, opening a business bank account, tracking your financials, creating a website and/or place of business, and securing paying customers are just a handful of the steps you’ll need to complete when you are just getting started. And that’s just the beginning!
On the other hand, many people are making the leap from employment to entrepreneurship because of the additional personal freedom, autonomy, and creativity it affords. Traditional jobs provide a sense of security, typically offering consistent and steady compensation in exchange for working a set amount of hours. This exchange provides stability and structure, whereas entrepreneurship can be characterized by at least some level of unpredictability as you get your venture off the ground.
For those reasons, if you are considering a move to entrepreneurship, be forewarned that it’s not for the faint of heart! The uncertainty one may face in starting a new business can be daunting, and the ability to pivot quickly, try new strategies, and learn new and adapt existing skills is a necessity. However, the payoffs can be extremely rewarding, and potentially well beyond what’s possible in a traditional job – both financially and otherwise.
With that said, here are our top 7 reasons to love owning a business:
- Be your own boss.
In a regular job, we take direction and request approval for our decisions from a ‘boss’ – the person above us in the hierarchy. As such, our power and autonomy ends where our boss’s begins, making us subject to their values, desires, and biases.
As a business owner, you get to set personal and business goals relative to what you think is important, make up your own strategies, and take responsibility for your successes (and failures). Rather than living your job’s or your boss’s dream, you’re now able to pursue your unique destiny.
- Choose what projects you want to work on (or not).
Similarly, in a traditional job, we can be given assignments that we are not interested in, are not trained to do, or do not align with our personal principles. Many times, we have to force ourselves to do tasks that we do not enjoy, leading to job dissatisfaction over time.
Although when you start up a business, you may need to make some compromises, and take projects that aren’t a perfect fit, you are still the one who, ultimately, gets to make the decision. And that’s empowering.
- Wear whatever you want.
Although many workplaces promote flexible attire, we are often subject to the culture (and temperature!) of our office or place of business, as well as rigid ideas we may have about the ‘image’ we want to project to get ahead. This can result in a superfluous need to acquire ‘work clothes’ that we rarely choose to wear under normal circumstances, either because they are too dressy, too uncomfortable, or not appropriate for the actual weather in our climate!
On the flip side, owning a business means dressing in a way that is comfortable and practical for your environment and/or the tasks you have to complete. Now, you can spend less time and money trying to “dress for the job you want,” and focus on making your business thrive.
- Continuous learning.
When we work a traditional job, particularly over a long period of time, our experience can become monotonous. In the absence of new challenges and opportunities, we can get stuck in a procedural cul-de-sac with minimal room for creativity and growth.
When you start up a business, on the other hand, there are new things to research and learn about every day – sometimes too many! Avoid getting overwhelmed by making a priority list, and knocking out one or two items each day. Some things will come easily and others will take a bunch of effort and deliberation to figure out. Either way, you’ll be developing and applying new skills in uncharted territory.
- Make your own schedule.
A traditional, full-time job typically operates on a set schedule, with its employees working 8-hour shifts, 5 days a week (or more). This arrangement purportedly dates back to the industrial revolution, when assembly line factories wanted to give workers just enough leisure time (but not too much!) to buy stuff and stimulate the economy on their days off.
Between 5, 8-hour days, long commutes, overtime, and remote work increasingly blurring the lines between our personal and work time, we’re spending a disproportionate amount of time and energy on our jobs, while our relationships, health, and lifestyle suffer. Something’s gotta give!
While owning a business doesn’t negate the need to work hard, on a schedule, and, sometimes, a lot, it does allow you do to it on your own terms. Ditching the arbitrary, industrial era “9-5” and creating your own workflow can help you ride the waves of your natural creativity, and take breaks when you need to rest.
- Tailor your workflow to your business’s progression.
Along similar lines, most traditional jobs require you to show up and work the same amount of hours every week, month, and year, regardless of whether your workload warrants it or not. This pattern of overworking can lead to feelings of resentment and burnout when left unchecked.
Alternatively, when you own a business, you can work hard when business is booming, and take time off to recharge, connect with friends and family, and get freshly inspired during a slow week or month. Set and meet financial goals that get you ahead, and feel good about resting when there’s an inevitable lull.
- Drop everything and [insert fun activity here]
Whether it’s hitting the beach, the slopes, or the neighborhood dive bar for happy hour, having your own business means that you don’t have to ask for permission (refer back to #1) to take the rest of the afternoon (or week or month or year!) off.
Of course, you will always have commitments and assignments you have to complete within a certain timeframe; however, having your own business means that dropping everything and doing something fun is an option that is always at your disposal.
While there is valuable experience and knowledge to gain from a traditional job, it can be a liberating and exciting experience to create your own business.
If this is a transition you’re in or getting ready to make, you don’t have to go it alone! Check out our Services page and learn about how Perspective Media can support bringing your entrepreneurial vision to fruition.