A few qualifiers…
When I think of starting a business I think about creating a business that can operate with little to no involvement from you. Obviously many business owners are involved with their companies, but they could step away in most cases. Otherwise it’s more of a freelancing situation. And that’s totally fine too.
I’m also thinking of a business as being something people are paying you money for. It’s easy to kind of “play business” and make it seem like you’re doing something. Usually on the side. The product or service is always in development.
Anyway, let’s get into a few reasons why it’s a good idea to start your own business…
#1. You’re Doing It For Yourself
I remember when I was a kid growing up that I had a want to be a businessperson. Someone that owned a business or businesses. Operating them. Making them better.
My peers thought it was weird. Not in a necessarily bad way, but they just thought it was kind of odd. It wasn’t the normal thing for a kid in the ’90s to think about. It seemed like everybody else wanted to get a job.
Then sometime around 2010 it became kind of a cool thing to say that you were an entrepreneur. That always struck me as kind of odd. Especially considering the feelings toward the idea just a decade earlier.
Now there is a trap if you’re thinking about going into business. The trap is doing it for the seemingly cool reasons. Or doing it because you think you’ll impress others. You family. Your friends. Your network on LinkedIn or your followers on Instagram.
If your first instinct when you have a business idea is to rush and tell somebody then it’s probably a sign that you’re not an entrepreneur. Most people I know, including myself, that have gone into business keep their ideas to themselves. They work on them. They build them slowly. Even when they’re in business they don’t really like to talk about it.
They do it for internal reasons.
#2. You Want To Solve A Problem
Or solve it better than that’s available.
Solving a problem is a classic reasons to start a business. Many businesspeople that didn’t even realize they were entrepreneurs have started this way.
They often experience a frustrating situation themselves. Then they try to figure out a solution. They look at other areas of life and try to merge technologies to find a solution to their problem.
It could also be that you see someone else with a need or problem and you want to solve that. That’s kind of how my business, Ghost Blog Writers, began. I was curious about blogging and started blogging as a hobby. Then I started getting asked by business owners if I would write for their websites and blogs. Then I started seeing job listings for bloggers.
#3. You Want More Control
Entrepreneurs typically, but not always, like to have control. Some take it over the edge and try to control just about everything in their lives, including those around them. That can be unhealthy.
But most want to at least control as much as they can. They want to take accountability for themselves and their future.
I know I felt this way in 2009 when I started blogging. I wasn’t necessarily looking at blogging as a career, but the company I was working for did a layoff. Kind of as a result of the recession that year. Many companies did the same.
It was a little wakeup call to the real world where you might think you have a steady job, but in reality it might not be as stable as you think. So it’s worth taking more control over your career.
And what more control can you have than being the owner?
#4. You Want To Make Decisions
Similar to taking control of your work life (and possibly beyond), but I thought it was worth calling out on its own.
Decision making is one of the biggest challenges in life. I’m definitely a believer that making a decision is almost always better than making no decision at all.
People that feel this way can feel frustrated at companies and with bosses that struggle to make decisions. Some people struggle with it because they’re afraid of failure or afraid of not being right.
If you want to be decisive you can do it in a job, but you can usually do more of it when you’re the owner.
#5. Make More Money
You have to be careful with this one…
There has been a perception, especially the last decade, that entrepreneurship is all about making the big money and spending it on flashy things like cars, clothes and houses.
This can drive some to success. I read the biography of David Geffen, who was very successful, and he seemed to be driven mostly to make money. Not necessarily the type of business he was in. But it was interesting because he kept going into business and working very hard even after he became very wealthy.
The reality is that when you own a business or go into entrepreneurship that you do open up the possibilities for making more money. But if that’s all you’re focusing on then you can fall into traps. You can take shortcuts. You can make big mistakes and feel a lot of disappointment.
If you’re considering going into business for yourself then these are something things I would say are very strong indicators that it’s the right fit for you. It’s not easy. The initial excitement about the idea of being your own boss fades very quickly. And outside people really don’t care if you have a job or if you have a business.
It’s all about you and understanding who you are and what you want.