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20 Reasons You Should Start Your Own Business

20 Reasons You Should Start Your Own Business

Becoming an entrepreneur easier than ever before—technology is shrinking the world, opening markets, and making it possible for many people to strike out on their own in the field of their dreams.

Yet, many who feel the tug of inspiration are afraid to take the leap.  Don’t be one of those people who look back and regrets not starting their own business.  Take control of your life, and your dreams.  There are countless great reasons for starting your own business, and I’ve gathered 20 of the most compelling here—but whatever your reasons, don’t hold back.  It’s time to start taking steps to take control of your own life, and there’s absolutely no better way to do that than to take ultimate control of your career, through starting your own business.

1. You Receive Many Tax Benefits

Living on a salary, as someone else’s employee, there’s little you can do to control your tax situation.  It’s simply a fact of life.  There are some things you can do to affect it, of course—using retirement plans, deferrals, special savings accounts, and the like, but your options are truly very limited.  On the other hand, starting a small business can transform your relationship with taxes.  The government is very supportive of small businesses right now, and is likely to continue to be.  You’ll be able to write off extraordinary amounts of your income, as long as you hire a good accountant (or educate yourself well on tax law). Bonus points if you can employ family members, even for small tasks—the money stays in the household, the tax write off helps the business, and your family has become a team that drives its own success.

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    2. You Make Your Own Job Security

    If you have skills in an industry that’s in demand, there’s no excuse for not starting your own business.  You never have to worry about whether or not you’ll be laid off when you start your own business, whether you’re up for promotion, or whether you’re going to be automated out of your job—because you’re the boss. As your own boss, you have another advantage, too.  Not only can you not be laid off, but you can take control of your company’s decisions.  You can move and change with the times.  Many companies fail because they fail to evolve, and as a mere employee, there’s little you can do about that when you’re employed by someone else.  As an industry leader, in charge of your own company, however, you’ll have the resources and decision-making capability necessary to stay current and competitive.

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    3. You Can Network in Your Industry

    Passionate about your industry? You might think that the only way to get ahead and network with the superstars in your market is to get in with a big company—but in fact the opposite is often the case.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many doors a business card with “CEO” can open—even if you’re CEO over a grand total of one person.  That’s because it’s not just the size of the company that impresses people; by being an owner and taking control of your destiny, you’ve proven you have what it takes to make it. And that’s a very appealing trait in a colleague. Owning your own business means you have a lot more to offer when it comes to collaboration and negotiations, and it means you will have more insider knowledge in your industry.  It goes without saying that this makes you much more tempting to network with—and the bigger your network, the more people will want to network with you.  Watch your lists of contacts, partners, colleagues, and references grow.

    4. You Can Challenge Yourself to Learn New Skills

    Admit it—you sleepwalk through your day at your current job more often than you’d like to admit.  Why? Because when you work for someone else, you have an excuse to slack off on learning new skills.  When someone comes to you to ask you to do something you’re inexperienced with, you direct them to the “right” person. But what happens when the buck stops with you? In your own business, you quickly learn how to become the “right” person for every job. You’ve heard the saying, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Now go out there and embody it! As a small business owner, you’ll be learning a lot of new ropes.  Learning new things keeps you sharp, and staying sharp makes it even easier to acquire new skills.  This isn’t about just being successful in your career; it’s about being successful in life.

    5. You Will Become an Expert

    But it’s not just about learning to use Excel properly (finally), your new motivation to learn and learn more can take you much further than that.  As head of your own business, you won’t just learn how to competently carry out new skills, you’ll become an expert at the one’s you’re passionate about. Maybe right now you dabble in graphic design, and love it, but that’s not what you get paid for at your job.  Well, in your own company, you can take on as much of that responsibility as you like—and get paid for it.  And don’t forget those tax benefits—they’ll come in handy when it comes to training and taking classes in those subjects in which you want to become an expert.  Get and keep your certifications up to date, create a portfolio, and find out just how much of an expert you’re truly able to become, given the opportunity.  And the best part? As a business owner, you’re not depending on someone else to hand that opportunity over; it’s one you can give to yourself.

    6. You Can Connect with Mentors

    Networking is one thing—it’s great to have a digital Rolodex filled with names you can drop at the next convention, if you’re into that sort of thing.  But what’s better? Finding true mentors in your field.  You’ll find that people are willing (and excited) to help a motivated small businessman learn the ropes, and you can forge lifelong relationships with talented colleagues that would never have given you a second thought if you were on someone else’s payroll. And running your own business will give you more confidence in seeking mentors out, as well, because you’ll have little choice but to ask the questions you need answered if you want to be successful.  Necessity is a wonderful motivator.

    7. You Can Put Your Determination to the Test

    You have what it takes to start your own business. You’ve always thought so.  And yet, here you are, still riding someone else’s coat tails.  Why? Because you’ve yet to take that final step that proves you really do have what it takes.  Success is not all about inspiration; determination is thought by many to be the real factor.  Everyone knew the kid in school that always said they “could” have gotten that A if they’d studied, but they were content with a B.  Don’t be that kid.  You’re better than that. Prove to yourself you have the determination to be a true success, and stand on your own two feet.

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    8. You Must Learn to Respect Yourself

    Putting your determination to the test leads to the next best reason to start your own business: learn some self-respect.  It’s not just determination that will make the path to self-respect that much sweeter.  Think about how many times, in the past, you’ve had to put your own self-respect aside to comply with the wishes of your boss, a manager, or a customer.  Sure, you’ll have to make concessions as the head of your own business—but you’ll be fully in charge of when, where, and how those concessions take place, if you do.  You’ll be the one in the driver’s seat, which means you’ll have to take responsibility for your own decisions; you’ll find that greater responsibility leads to greater self-respect, as well.

    9. You Can Create Jobs

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.  The job market is not looking good these days, and starting your own business can create job security for more than just yourself.  Have an innovative idea, or a new strategy that’s going to take off?  Instead of feeding it to your boss and letting them take credit, be your own boss—and find the right talent out there to join you on your path to success. Small businesses create jobs and forge strong bonds in revitalized communities.  Be a catalyst for change in your own community.

    10. You Can Gain Financial Independence

    Financial independence sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? When you start your own company, it doesn’t have to be a dream.  You’ll be calling the shots when it comes to taking risks, deciding on investments and expenditures, and you’ll also be the one reaping the benefits when your hard work pays off.  You won’t have to depend on bonuses that are based on your boss’s whims or your company’s yearly success.  You’ll be the determining factor, and you won’t have your financial success snatched away because someone else on your team dropped the ball.

    11. You Can Shape the Market

    We’ve all sat around and talked about how our respective fields could be improved upon.  “If only someone would go out there and make some changes,” we’ve thought.  Well, stop thinking about it and do it already! If you’ve got ideas that can transform the marketplace, it’s time to put them to the test.  Maybe all of them won’t pan out, maybe some of them will, but either way, you can be part of the action instead of just an armchair analyst.  The point is, you’ll have your chance—you’ll have all of the chances you want—to make your mark in your own industry.

    12. You Can Share Your Story

    When you start your own company, it becomes an extension of yourself.  Your story—the story of your life, of your dreams, of your goals—becomes the story of your company.  Starting your own business gives you a chance to put your story on center stage.  It’s time to stop being a footnote to someone else’s story, and to take responsibility for writing your own. You’ll look back over the years at your successes and failures alike and feel a special fondness for them, because you chose them—you didn’t sit idly by and let someone else write your story for you.

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      13. You Will Have Pride

      Everyone should have a sense of pride in their job, and no one has more pride in what they do than those who are head of their own company.  When your company succeeds, that reflects directly on you. When you risk failure to capture a big reward, that’s your risk, and your pay off—and a source of your own pride. When you work for a big company, you might be proud of your position, or your weekly presentation, or your raise, but none of that compares to the feeling of pride you’ll feel in the successes, large and small, of your own business. You’ll be proud of your accomplishments, of course.  You’ll be most proud, however, that you had the courage to set out on your own.

      14. You Will Create a Legacy

      Starting your own business gives you a chance to tell your story, to employ yourself, and to prepare for your own future.  But it does something else, as well.  It gives you the chance to create a legacy for your children, and their children.  You’re starting from scratch, but they won’t have to.  Your small, hard won successes today can lay a foundation for the future of your entire family line.  You might make a great salary now, but your inheritance can be so much more than just money; it can be a way for children to make their own way in the world.  An established business isn’t all you can leave behind, either.  You’ll be setting an example, on that tells your children that that their success is up to them.  Luck and chance can go in any direction, but determination, resolve, and responsibility are the real recipe for a fulfilling life.

      15. You Will Earn Recognition

      Recognition at your current company probably means getting a picture of yourself as employee of the month.  Maybe it’s more—maybe you’ll be recognized at a company dinner, or get a big promotion.  But unless you’re quite high ranking in the industry, you won’t be getting the kind of recognition you can as a business owner.  Make your mark on your industry and in your community as a business owner, and find out just what true recognition means.  You’re not just a cog in the machine that performed well, you’re a member of society that is able to contribute something meaningful and lasting, and be recognized for your accomplishments in an equally meaningful and lasting manner.

      16. You Can Inspire Others

      Right now, you’re digging deep to find the inspiration to strike out on your own.  And it’s quite likely that you’ve turned to others and their inspiring stories of success to provide you with motivation.  Won’t it feel great, one day, to know that your story inspired another go-getter, just like yourself?  Recognition, as described above, is about being recognized by many for making a big impact. But sometimes the most important impact we can make is much more personal.  Inspire the next you, the next genius, the next tycoon—and start today, by putting your business plan into action. You’ll move from looking for mentors to becoming one, and that’s an incredibly rewarding feeling.

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      17. You Can Create Your Own Brand

      You have an eye for design, or for functionality, or for gadgets, or for fashion—you know what people want, and you can’t help but critique the mistakes you see made in your industry of choice.  You sigh at the decisions your boss makes, when you’re positive your plan would be better received.  That’s all well and good—but it’s time to realize that you could be correcting all of these mistakes, and making your own vision a reality.  Think that’s impossible because your boss would never approve your ideas? It’s more than possible—when you’re your own boss.  Create your own brand, and do it your way—find out if your muse has been right all along.  And when something doesn’t work, it’s only an opportunity to fine tune, improve, and create something even more exceptional.  Don’t be a slave to the whims of a company that doesn’t care about you; take responsibility for your own success and create a product, service, or experience that people will love.

      18. You Can Express Your Creativity

      And creating your own brand is only the beginning.  Think about every time you’ve had a flash of brilliance in the past, and had to discard it, because you simply didn’t have the resources to bring it to life.  As owner of your own business, you will have those resources, and you’ll have the ability to put your ideas into action.  You won’t be tied down to the company formula, because you’ll be writing your own formula as you go along.  You’ll be allowed to take creative risks, to do what no one else will, or what no one else has thought of.  And the best part is that you’ll be able to take full credit for your creative insights.  You’ll find that as you put your creativity into practice, even more creative ideas will assert themselves.  Creativity is like a muscle: use it or lose it.  There’s no better way to exercise your creativity than being your own boss.

      19. You Will Be the Captain of Your Own Ship

      Life can be a stormy sea, and too many people trust someone else to be the captain of the vessel that carries them along.  Don’t relegate yourself to being just another hand on deck.  You know that you have what it takes to navigate the storm, to be the captain of your own life, so why would you pass on that responsibility?  If you want to venture into uncharted territory, you can start your own business.  If you want to play it safe, you can do that too.  The important thing is, that you’ll be able to decide on your own, do your own research, and carry out your decisions with full confidence.  You can’t do that when you’re depending on a boss or a manager to see you safely through life. But you can, when you have your own business.

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        20. You Can Change the World

        Sounds a little on the dramatic side, doesn’t it? But it really isn’t.  You absolutely can change the world when you start your own business.  Being a small business doesn’t mean having a small footprint.  And some of the most influential companies today started out small—look at Facebook, started in a college dorm.  It’s gone on to reshape the way people think about socializing, to change the very manner in which people live their lives.  Google started small as well, and no one can deny that it’s changing the world.  Even if your venture doesn’t become a mega-company, however, that doesn’t mean you’re not in a position to change the world.  Creating something lasting, something that shapes your future, the future of your family, and the future of your community is very much an opportunity to change the world itself.  Who knows how much of an effect your ideas and goals can have?  Only you—and you can only find out by taking the leap.

        It’s time to take action. Take a small step today.  Whether it’s drawing up a business plan, making a few notes, or making a phone call, your journey will begin with just one step.  Set some small goals.  Congratulate yourself for meeting them.  You’ll find that small goals soon become larger ones, and those will set you on your path to greatness.  The reasons above are motivation enough—but surely you have your own, personal reasons as well.  Ponder those, and you’ll come to the inevitable conclusion that the only sensible thing to do is follow your dream.

        Featured photo credit: thwolfofwallstreet.com via thewolfofwallstreet.com

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        Published on October 8, 2019

        How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

        How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

        The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

        The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

        By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

        1. Define What Success Is for You

        There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

        Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

        2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

        Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

        Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

        3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

        It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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        By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

        4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

        A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

        One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

        5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

        You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

        Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

        6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

        If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

        Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

        7. Pick Up Some New Skills

        Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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        By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

        8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

        Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

        If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

        9. Make Yourself Indispensable

        Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

        It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

        10. Get Off the Fence

        People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

        If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

        11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

        If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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        Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

        12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

        If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

        Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

        13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

        Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

        Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

        14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

        Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

        A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

        15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

        The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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        Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

        16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

        Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

        Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

        17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

        It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

        Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

        18. Join a Professional Organization

        The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

        Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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        Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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