I’ve talked a lot about developing your superpowers over these past few months. It’s because I believe we all have powers that we don’t use that could make a significant impact on other people.
It’s why I’m a big fan of starting a small business. Too often we get caught in a position within our careers that doesn’t allow us to optimize our superpowers. By starting your own business you can use the superpowers that you have been neglecting.
Small Business isn’t for Everyone
My wife would rather chop off a finger than start her own business. She doesn’t want the volatile nature of cash flow that every business has. Some months are great while others just suck. I can understand why she would be worried, but if the business owner is a good saver then this is a small barrier to overcome. There will be slow months without any business, but that just gives a person time to ramp up for the busy season.
I also know that my wife would hate to do sales. I’m actually working with a client whose kryptonite is sales. He is a great people person, but he doesn’t want to push people into buying his service.
He believes in the myth that all salespeople are pushy. He doesn’t want to be perceived as pushy, so he stays away from trying to sell himself. He thinks he needs a little more time to develop his sales tactics, but he is really just stalling because he doesn’t want to do sales.
He hasn’t figured out an emotional connection to sales that will allow him to pursue it. I’ve talked before about creating emotional connections, so we won’t get into it here.
There are myths to every endeavor, and starting your own business has plenty of them. You must educate yourself before you give up on the idea. It just might be the career move that fits your needs.
It comes down to the concept of getting your creative needs met. Are you creating solutions that makes yourself and other people happy? If so then you are probably in a great career. If not then you should think about starting your own small business. You may want big bucks so you can do this thing you love full time, or maybe you’d just like some nice side money to supplement your income. Starting your own business is as flexible as you can make it.
Every small business owner defines success differently. Some feel successful because they are allowed to live a nomadic life and others just like the challenge that their market provides. If you have the urge to start your own business, you’ll have to figure out what you want from the small biz.
Reasons to Start a Small Business
There are a lot of reasons not to start a business, but I believe that there are more reasons to start a business. Click here to read a PDF of researchers who tested individuals who worked for themselves and people who worked for a company to see who was happier. Researche’s at Dartmouth College believe that most Americans want to start their own business.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons I believe having a small business is an awesome idea for you:
1. You can control where your income is coming from
When you work for another company you have one source of income and if you piss off your boss then that one source of income could drop to none.
When you have your own business, even if it’s just a small online business, you have multiple streams of revenue. If your company ever cuts back hours or lays you off then you have income to support you.
2. Freedom to use your superpowers
Many companies care about keeping up with the status quo. If you are stuck in such a company then you probably can’t fully unleash your superpowers. You might have to suppress them so you fit in with the company culture. This is a dangerous scenario because superpowers can go dormant if they aren’t used on a regular basis.
By starting your own business you are creating the freedom to use your passions, focus and strengths on work that you want to do. I know that you can’t always use your superpowers 100% of the time, but believe me, if you start the right small business you’ll be using them often.
3. Expansion is up to you
You can take a business to any level you want. If you want to keep it a one person show, so be it. If you want to grow it into an international company then it’s there for the taking.
A career is far more limited. This can be a good thing if you have one superpower and that’s all you enjoy doing. You can focus on this superpower and not have to worry about all the other jobs that inevitably come along with running a business. I loved working for other companies because each one helped me build my superpowers. As I learned about myself, I grew more confident. This confidence allowed me to develop the business that I have now.
4. Personal knowledge will make you stronger
The flexibility of owning a business can multiply your personal knowledge. You’ll discover things that you never thought were possible.
The human body is an amazing vessel. I knew that I could start a business while I was working full-time, but I didn’t realize how much energy I would need. After working all day I would hang out with my family, eat dinner, then do an interview with another blogger, post a new article, interact on social media and set my itinerary for the next day to do it all over again.
I’ve learned how to do the most important things first, regulate my stress, and still have a good time while being super busy.
Starting a business is a great way to see what you really care about. You’ll have to make sacrifices, but every career has sacrifices. When you have to be at work from 8am to 5pm that’s a huge sacrifice.
5. You can fire a client
One of the best parts about starting your own business is the multiple income streams. You can make money in many ways. I have a friend who is a designer and is currently juggling 10 clients. If one client drops off she has 9 other clients who pay her for her talents.
If she doesn’t like one of those clients she can also fire them. Because she has a thriving business it means she can be more picky about who she works with.
6. A small biz can be started on the side
Like I talked about earlier – a small business can be built on the side. If you enjoy making jewelry or teaching guitar there are dozens of ways to start a business on the side.
A friend of mine recently hired a piano teacher to help him improve his playing. My friend lives in Texas and his teacher lives in New York. They use Skype video. The teacher watches and listens then gives tips.
The teacher has a full time job as an English teacher. It’s possible to create almost any kind of small business on the internet. We are lucky to be living in this time period.
7. Creativity on your terms
Many people quit their jobs because they can’t use their superpowers at their work. Maybe the boss has different plans. This happens all the time.
Creativity is stifled within a corporation because they don’t listen to the employee’s needs. This doesn’t apply to Zappos, Google, and many other companies, but there are exceptions in every circumstance.
As a small business owner you can develop projects that use your superpowers. I only work on projects that excite me. This creativity allows me to focus on high energy projects, which allows me to create great results.
Sometimes your passion isn’t strong enough. This happens. I find the opposite if true for most people though. The passion is there, but the fear is screaming for them to sit down, shut up and keep doing their boring job. They listen.
If you want to push outside your comfort zone, you have to believe that doing the action is more important than avoiding failure. Once you believe that creating this small business is more important than your fear, you’ll find the time.
What about you?
Do you want to start your own business?
Are you afraid of starting your own business?
What are you doing to overcome this fear?
* Join the Work Happy Now Facebook Page and interact with other people who are trying to improve their superpowers. It’s very basic right now, but it’s a fun place to visit. We ask good questions, support each other, and laugh. I’m going to improve the design some time soon, but until then stop by and hang out.
* Stacey over at Mom Renewal Project has a wonderful guest post about a volunteering at a charitable organization to boost happiness.
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10 thoughts on “Why You Should Start Your Own Business”
Great stuff! I used to be exactly like your wife... I couldn't even entertain the idea of working for myself or out of a "formal... organized" context. I couldn't be bothered with any of that and loved the laid out routine and security I got from the job I had (which in this case was teaching).
And then, things changed. And I didn't wake up one day and think "I want to start my own business" - I woke up one day and said I want more freedom. And so I began my journey of working for myself.
I still wouldn't consider myself to be a small business owner. I still don't consider myself that business savvy. I am somewhere in between that and just loving what I do, no matter what comes of it. It is working for me, so I love it!
Naturally for most people there is more pressure on making an income from it, and having a certain growth or expansion, so the tips you offer are awesome on all levels. My favorite... the creativity on my own terms!
I agree with Evita this is excellent. My daughter is like your wife. Hubs and I have each only worked for others a few years of our life. I'm the rebel type and don't like doing what I don't want to do. Or don't like taking orders from others. True confession!
My advice to those who have a job, just start small and go at your own pace. If you don't begin today where will you be 5 or 10 years from now? Still hoping and wishing and whining. That's where! Gosh is this too direct;)
I suspect that sales and promoting one's business is the equivalent for a lot of individuals who like most other aspects of working for themselves--myself included. If you're just starting out and don't have many clients or leads it may not be such a good idea to start firing clients right off the bat 😉 so it helps to think of them as "learning experiences" and valuable players in helping you to more clearly define your ideal clients and interactions with clients. If they are truly clients from hell and it's playing havoc with your health, then it might be worth considering firing them--and in order to retain some smidgin of professionalism it might also be a good idea to connect them someone else who can finish their project for them.
Have a great week.
Hi Evita, Owning a business isn't for everyone. Some people are born entrepreneurs, others grow into it and some just don't want it. That's why we have the culture that we do.
I also like the idea of creating on my terms. Creativity is such a huge part of why I love what I do.
Hi Tess, You make a great point. Too many people rush in and fail. We need to know what we really want, so it's easy to plan for success.
You always give just the right amount. The more direct the better. Thanks!
Hi Sue, You speak the truth. When stating a business we can't fire willy nilly. We need to be smart about or choices, but like you said if the person sucks a batch of rotten eggs then it's not worth it. Fire the sucker and find some new clients who appreciate your hard work. 🙂
As you know, I started my own business this year. Actually, today is the launch. Yay!
I love being my own boss. I love that I can choose how to spend my day. I do work more hours but because I love what I do...it is more like fun.
The key, what I have noticed so far, is to really know what it is that you want to convey and to really be an expert in your field. That means keeping up to date with technology and whatever else you need to know.
A business is not static...it is like a river...so you have to learn to go with the flow and really be aware of your audience.
I could write a whole lot more but then this comment would be a post!
Being a business owner is not for everyone because it takes a certain mindset. However, it is worth the journey!
One of the things I like about having your own small business is that you are pretty much free. You are not at the mercy of your boss. You are more free to work towards your values and desires.
> ome feel successful because they are allowed to live a nomadic life and others just like the challenge that their market provides.
Good distinctions. We all define our own success, and that carries over to our business ventures. One person's trash might be another's treasure, so success is all relative.
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