A lot of people have big dreams of running their own business and being their own boss, especially in this economy where small businesses are flourishing. Do you have an idea for a business, store, or service you’d like to start? I’ve had many ideas, but something always keeps me from acting on them. Usually, it’s initial capital. I always feel like I need to bide my time working at my current job, saving up as much as I can, then try to launch my own business once I have my savings built up.
This seems like a practical approach, right? So why am I still not working for myself? Because I’m not taking risks. To get rich, I have to be my own boss. And to be my own boss, I have to take a risk, put myself out there, and make my money work for me.
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to start a software company. He was in school, learning technology without a definite study or career plan, until his friend wanted to open a business with him. So Bill became a partner in a company; then… well, you know the rest. You know what happened because he became one of the richest, most successful people in the world, all because he took a risk. He left one of the best universities in the world to start a business, and look how that paid off!
Amanda Hocking wrote novels in her free time, and had 17 written by 2010. Instead of just letting these idle on her hard drive, she started self-publishing them as e-books. In just a year, she had sold over one million copies of nine books, and had made over two million dollars. This was unheard of for a self-published author! She sold an average of 9,000 books a day, which caught the attention of a big publishing house, who signed her. All of this happened because she just decided to take a risk and put her writing out there. Pretty inspirational, right? What can you do to make this type of success happen for you?
1. You become too comfortable to take risks.
My main problem is that I have a job, which means I have income. I can pay my bills. I have a little left at the end of each month to put into savings. It’s comfortable! I don’t need to change anything. Which means I haven’t. You have to push yourself to make a change in a comfortable lifestyle. If I lost my job, I’d have no choice but to kick-start my dream in order to have a job and income! So do something to shake up your life, and see how one change can push you to take charge and change everything.
2. You’re building someone else’s assets.
When you’re working for someone else, you’re helping them. This is well and good if you believe in the cause and just want to get by in life; but if you want to get rich, you’re only hurting yourself. You’re spending at least forty hours a week focusing on someone else. What about you, and what you want to do? Imagine if you have 40 free hours to work on something for yourself. It’s a lot of time, right? Once you get out of your comfortable career rut, you’ll have those forty hours to dedicate to yourself and your own assets. Everything you put into yourself and your business will come right back to you. The money you spend for the business can be deducted from your taxes, and any income is yours alone!
3. Time is more valuable than money.
Money is something you can save, something you can get more of (if you know how). But time is fleeting. You’ll never be able to make up time you’ve already spent. And, as we just mentioned, when you spend time working for someone else, you’re not able to use that for yourself. Sure, you’re making money while you work, but what if you finish your duties before lunch? You’re wasting the other hours of the day doing nothing, just to get that paycheck. Or, if you’re on salary, you might be working way more than forty hours, and not getting paid what you’re worth. The company you work for is in charge of your time. They dictate your schedule, they tell you when you can leave early or have to stay late, and they tell you if you can take vacation time. When you work for yourself, you might have to work harder, but you’re working for yourself, in charge of your own time.
4. You grow too focused on saving for a rainy day.
Saving is smart. We’ve all learned that, and it makes sense. But saving money isn’t helping you make money. Skipping Starbucks and making coffee at home might save you 5 bucks, but did it earn you 5 bucks? If it did, I want your coffee maker! You’re making a fixed income, and just putting money aside. Invest your money in your business, instead! Or if you’re not ready yet, invest in the stock market to watch your money grow.
Yes, it’s hard to get something started, but you have to take the chance! And maybe it won’t take off immediately, but that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Be patient, let your business find its footing and and follow through on things that will help you grow. Don’t expect everything to happen all at once, and don’t get discouraged — you can do it!
Featured photo credit: Nick Ares via flickr.com