Celebrate the Freedom to Embrace Your Dreams
One of the most popular reasons entrepreneurs give for starting their own business is a desire for freedom to pursue their own ideas, dreams and passions. Calling the shots, the chance to bring your vision to life and the possibility of significant reward is the siren song for those who crave their own Independence Day.
The flip side, of course, is the time commitment, risk, uncertainty and inability to just walk away at the end of the day. Research from multiple sources shows business owners work longer hours and feel more pressure than people employed by others. Still, most founders say they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Every once in a while, it pays to step back, take stock and revel in how your entrepreneurial spirit is lighting up your life. That might include your ability to:
Grow and stretch
Most business founders have been full-time employees before striking out on their own and many are motivated by job dissatisfaction, boredom, a lack of job progression or feeling undervalued by their supervisor and employer. Running your own business offers pretty much unlimited opportunity to expand your skills and keep growing without limits imposed by others.
If you don’t like the results you are getting, or see additional opportunities to explore, you have the capacity to switch gears and go after them as the leader of your own business. You still face market realities and funding pressures, but you are empowered to strike out for new territory when the data and your gut tell you the risks are worth the possible gain.
Experience multiple roles
Whether your metaphor is wearing multiple hats or being a jack of all trades, small business ownership offers diverse roles. Especially early on, you might be the top sales person, IT support, accountant and office cleaning crew all in one day. The work is demanding and requires a broad skillset, but that’s also what keeps things interesting and avoids the ruts too many people experience at work. You have built-in, energizing job enrichment.
Earn your way
In many paid positions, there are definite caps to what you can earn regardless of how hard you work or how well you perform. But the sky is the limit in free enterprise business ownership. The desire to build wealth is a motivating factor for many business founders who want to provide a higher standard of living for their families, achieve greater financial security, give back to their communities or even keep score of their achievements through financial metrics.
Achieve personal goals
For goal-driven, achievement-oriented people (hello entrepreneurs), the ability to keep raising the bar and moving through new levels of accomplishment can be highly rewarding. For some, the marker might be sales and revenue, for others it could be number of people employed, customers served, impact in your industry or more time with your family. Being self-employed allows you to pursue personal and professional goals in highly individualized ways that can build self-esteem, confidence and personal satisfaction.
Be a leader in your community
Even if your company is small, carrying the title of owner, president or CEO carries a certain cachet and can provide access and influence within your community. Your position, business contacts, networking and contributions to local business and civic life will often provide high-profile opportunities to meet decision makers, give back, have a voice and help steer the direction of the community to make a difference.
It may not be fireworks every day, but launching and growing a business is exciting, exhilarating stuff. No two days are ever the same and the paths you choose are your own to navigate. Yes, the hours are longer and the responsibilities greater, but so is the thrill of building something of your very own from the ground up. You get to celebrate personal independence every day!