Every day, we hear more and more about people starting their own businesses, and opting to take more control of their lives and income through self employment. However, a greater number of people who dream of owning their own business don’t believe it will ever happen for them. Majority of these folks see the benefits of working for themselves, but alas, lacks the drive and determination to hurdle the transition from employee to employer.
The world of self employment is one of the most challenging, demanding and even harrowing things that you can do. But for the right individual, it can also be personally and financially rewarding. Self employment is the ticket to higher earnings without limit and the right to control and work your own schedule. But it’s not easy work. A lot of self-employed people are working longer hours and weeks than ever. The difference is that they are doing work they truly enjoy, and are getting paid for it!
People who go into self employment set varying goals for themselves as a result of different expectations and desires. Some people take the entrepreneurial path to achieve their economic, personal and retirement goals.
Your goal for starting your own business will factor significantly in just about every decision that you will make along the way. Every decision will be measured against one thing: Will this course of action help me reach my goal? The kind of business that you start, its structure and legal form, marketing strategy for your products and services, aggressiveness in securing financing, and just about every step will be dependent on your overarching goals.
Your Economic Goals
Many people go into self employment for one thing: to increase their income and earn more money. They regard entrepreneurship as the only path for them to earn the kind of salaries and income they can only dream of as a corporate player. One economist traded her $35,000 per annum job working for a public policy organization in Washington D.C. to become a freelance technical writer earning $75,000 annually. “If I hadn’t taken the chance to become a freelancer, I would have needed a PhD degree just to earn the kind of income that I am enjoying now,” said Jennifer van Helmond.
Basically, people take the self employment route in order to:
- Increase income. Like Jennifer, a number of people feel that working in an organization as an employee limits their earning potential. While they may be enjoying a regular and steady paycheck, they feel that they can do more and earn more if they devote the same eight hours that they work for their bosses to their own businesses. There may be more risk, but they know that the pay-out is worth all the pain.
- Replace earnings. Some people jump into self-employment when they lose their jobs or are downsized, and they need to replace their lost income. Barbara Cash, a winner of the Small Business Person of the Year Award for Alaska, started her own interior-decorating firm when she found herself jobless after the company that she was working with moved out of Alaska.
- Augment family income. Other people decide to start their own business to supplement family income as a result of changed circumstances in their households. A housewife, for example, may opt to start a home based business after the birth of a baby to help her husband provide for their growing family.
Your Retirement Goals
Corollary to your economic goals, some people start entrepreneurial ventures specifically to provide a comfortable nest egg for their retirement. They believe that they can do a better job of ensuring their future and making sure that they have money for retirement if they are in charge of their own income.
Retirees nowadays are also prolonging their career by opting to start their own businesses. More people in their 50s, or even in their 70s, are trading sedentary lifestyle of the retirees to the active entrepreneurial world. Barbara Miller of Texas started her paper distribution business, Miller Paper Company, at 62 years old – proving to all that it is never too late to start a business!
Your Personal Goals
For some people, money is not the sole attraction of self-employment. These people are driven by their own personal agenda that only the process of starting a business can provide.
While grateful for any income that a business can provide, there are people who put more value in being able to do things by themselves and for themselves. They need to have the freedom to make their own decisions, and being a subordinate to a bureaucracy simply isn’t the deal for them. These people are the type who makes poor employees, as their heart is not set out in elbowing their way up the corporate ladder. They simply want to be at the top of the ladder!
There are also some people who feel that their employers do not properly value their ideas, and starting a business is their chance to do things “the right way.” Barry Edwards of Louisiana started his firm Creative Presentations when his boss did not agree to his suggestion to add a line of visual presentation equipment to their computer dealership business. After ten years selling presentation equipment, Barry’s own company now earns $11 million.
Others on the other hand, opt to start their own business to find the kind of work that they really want. Some of these people have been trapped for years in fields that they are not really interested in. Lisa Hudson, a former teacher in Maryland, left her teaching post to become a full-time caterer. Certainly a 360-degrees change from teaching Shakespeare and Elizabethan drama, but for Lisa, “the move was extremely liberating as I love to cook more than anything else.”
Flexibility is also a primary factor for some people in choosing to work for themselves. They want the kind of work that will allow them to pursue their interests and time schedules. A home business, for example, is perfect for a mother as it allows her to work while overseeing her household and taking care of her children. There are also some people who find the 9-to-5 schedules too rigid and wants more freedom to decide when to work.
Recommended Books on Self Employment:
- Secrets of Self-Employment: Surviving and Thriving on the Ups and Downs of Being Your Own Boss
- How to Start Over 101 Self-Employment Businesses
- Go It Alone: The Streetwise Secrets of Self Employment
- Self Made Me: Why Being Self-Employed beats Everyday Employment
- Self Made Me: Why Being Self-Employed beats Everyday Employment
- Avoiding the Financial Pitfalls of Self Employment
- Why Be Self-Employed? 10 Benefits of Entrepreneurship
- Advantages of Hiring Your Kids in a Small Business
- How to Survive Self Employment
- From Employee to Self-Employed: How to Manage the Transition