To some of you, I’m preaching to the choir. There are however, a group of people reading this that are trying to decide if they should make the leap into entrepreneurship.
Each of us spends 40-plus hours of our week in some form of work. That time could be spent doing something you love or doing something that makes you miserable and affects all other areas of your life. Here are reasons why you should consider spending those hours on something that’s yours.
- Control your destiny.
When you work a 9-to-5 you’re at the sympathy of your boss and the company you work for. They can decide to employ or fire you, they decide how you spend your eight hours every day and what happens in those eight hours affects you beyond that time.
You have little control and in exchange, they give you a paycheck. The problem is today’s economy. Gone are the days of working at a company for years and retiring with a pension. These days entrepreneurship is the new pension plan. Your income is too important to leave in the hands of someone else.
- Doing what’s important to you.
Life is short and time is the one thing we’ll never get back. This makes time one of your most valuable resources and you should treat it accordingly. Entrepreneurship gives you the ability to balance your time.
If you have family or other life circumstances come up, you can decide to forgo any work for that day. You don’t have that kind of flexibility at a job. Your work should fit into your life, not the other way around. The life part has to come first.
- Make enough money as possible.
At a job, your earning potential is set by the job or a contract a union negotiated. You can get raises and promotions, but those are the exception, not the rule. Your earning potential is capped no matter how long you stay at that job.
To be fair, you could earn nothing at your business, but those who jump into entrepreneurship are self-motivated to build a profitable business. Entrepreneurs aren’t happy with the status quo and continue to grow their business and income. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that there are no gatekeepers to keep your income regulated.
- Location freedom.
The beauty of having your own business is the ability to create something that supports you no matter where you are in the world. There are more than 2.5 billion people online daily, which means you could have an unlimited customer base and build a location-independent, online business.
No longer do you have to be tied down to any one location. You can have freedom to be where you want. This is great because different environments can foster innovation and creativity. Last year I got to travel to 12 countries all over the world and still made money. You just can’t beat that.
- Make a lasting legacy.
When you build your dream business it can carry on to your kids and their kids. What starts as a quest for freedom can end as something that’s in your family for generations? A company like Ford has been passed down through the generations and continues to impact lives.
If your business is started out of something your passionate about, that passion will impact lives for years and generations. You can leave your children something you’re proud of.
We live in a time when we can use technology and the Internet to create the business and life we love. It’s not going to be easy and it will take time, but it is possible. If you’re thinking about making the leap, make sure you’re prepared. You don’t want to turn your dream into a nightmare.
Have an emergency plan, just in case. Have a clear plan for your business and a plan for growth. Have a plan to market your business that goes beyond the cliches. Don’t jump into this world until you understand what it involves. We’re celebrating a New Year and another chance to do all the things you’ve wanted to do in life. Here’s to you and your success.
When you build something successful, it’s a great feeling. You had a vision, were able to execute it and not can reap the benefits of saying “I did this.” On the other hand, it’s tough to be proud of the zillionth request for proposal you fill out for your employer.
Having had mentors and getting to be a mentor have been some of the best experiences of my life. Learning from the masters and getting to help those less experienced than you gives you such a sense of satisfaction. From my experience (and other’s stories) the entrepreneurial community is very willing to give back and lend a helping hand.
People ask me how I learned about SEO, social media, pay-per-click, PR and all the other marketing techniques I utilize. I tell them that I was forced to learn them, otherwise I wouldn’t survive. The same way I was forced to learn how to build a spreadsheet, how to balance a budget, how to negotiate leases and countless other skills I picked up because I was the only resource I had. While developing new skills can be tough and takes times, it can pay off in spades. These skills will be invaluable throughout your life.
Everything I’ve done as an entrepreneur has affected me in my personal life. I used to be poor at committing to changes. But having been an entrepreneur for over a decade has forced me to become dedicated and determined to causes. (Now I can stick to an exercise plan much easier.) I’m also better at being a father and husband because of that determination I learned.
I’ve started and sold several companies over my career. And every time I sell a company, I’m presented with an opportunity to reinvent myself all over again. On the flip side, if I had received my law degree, I’d be a lawyer (not a lot of room to recreate myself). But as an entrepreneur, I get to be whatever I want to be.
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