Jan 21, 2011 — Ten reasons why 2011 should be the year you finally start your own business.
1. You Control Your Own Destiny
Many entrepreneurs consider themselves “Type-A" personalities, folks that like to take control and make decisions. In other words, owning a business saves them from having to work for anyone else. “One reason to own a small business is the ability to direct the culture of your company," says Kasey Gahler, a certified financial planner in Austin who left a big company to start his own business Gahler Financial three years ago. “When you"re in the driver"s seat, you are making the decisions on how best to steer your company into the future. This might be overwhelming for some and one must know when and how best to delegate. However, when you are able to make your own decisions about how best to operate day-to-day, this leads to creating a culture, a brand and an organization."
2. You Can Find Your Own Work/Life Balance
One of the most oft-cited benefits of owning your own business is the flexibility that comes with it, whether that be working from wherever you want, setting your own hours, wearing a nightgown or even sitting next to your pet while you work. “I get to carry a knife, drive a pickup truck and hang out with my dog a lot more — what can be better than that?" says David Winters, who owns a mobile screen repair business called Screenmobile in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just as important, entrepreneurs say that owning their own business lets them set their priorities. “I make my own schedule, allowing me to spend time with the most important purpose in my life and the inspiration behind my company–my son, Zachary," says Yamile Jackson, whose company, Nurtured by Design, makes ergonomically designed products for babies and toddlers. “He went from having such a traumatic experience at birth (weighing less than two pounds and losing power to his life support equipment) that his story was featured in the TNT movie 14:Hours. He is now my company"s CIO (Chief Inspirational Officer) and my healthy 9-year-old boy."
Dig Deeper: 10 Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance
3. You Choose the People You Work With
When you work for someone else, you rarely get to choose whom you work with. If you don"t like your co-workers you"d better start sending our resumes. That"s not the case when you own your own business, since you get to make the decisions about who to hire (and fire). “Over the years, I"ve hired dozens of personal friends, family members and former business colleagues to work with me in different capacities," says serial entrepreneur Christine Clifford, whose Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based businesses include The Cancer Club and Divorcing Divas. “Why? Because they care about me. Surround yourself with positive people who give you the confidence and optimism you need to keep moving forward. Weed out the people that put out negative vibes. The smaller your organization, the larger choice you have about who you work with."
4. You Take on the Risk — And Reap the Rewards
There"s no question that owning your own business is a risky proposition. But, with risk comes reward. Said another way, the better you are at managing risk, the more rewards you can reap. “The thing I enjoy most about the company is playing the ‘game" of business," says Mark Dinges, who owns a Tustin, California-based business called California Creations that makes sophisticated windup toys called Z Windups. “It"s like combining high stakes poker with the greatest strategy game ever. There are an unlimited number of variables in almost every aspect of the company, and as soon as you think you have things under control in an area, everything changes. Specifically, I like having my own money at risk, then having to live with the consequences of my decisions (good or bad). Like every other great game, the more you play, the better you get. You learn to recognize good opportunities from bad ones. You learn how to look like you are committed to new products, without actually financially committing to it until you have feedback and orders from your customers. You also learn to create exit strategies for bad situations and how to maximize the good ones. The most fun is to work on a project for several years with your team, overcoming all of the obstacles, and then millions of people enjoy it around the world."
how to own your own business South Africa United States United Kingdom Australia Ireland Canada New Zealand Philippines India Germany
Atlanta Houston New York Washington Chicago Los Angeles Sydney Melbourne Toronto London