Starting a small business is scary, we know. In fact, there are a ton of people out there right now who wish they could start their own company, but don't. Instead, they remain in corporate servitude, looking with jealousy at those who confidently take the leap into small business ownership.
But why is that? Why do so many people want to turn their passion into a small business but put it off indefinitely? Well, a lot of it stems from fear. Further, it comes from an inability to accurately define the reasons why they should start in the first place.
To help you take action, we've listed the top 20 reasons for starting a business today.
1. Receive Amazing Tax Benefits - We all get it. When you work for a paycheck as someone else's employee, you have little-to-no control over your tax burden. Sure, you can use retirement plans like 401(k)s and Roth IRAs, deferring money to later years, etc., but compared to someone who's self-employed, your options as an employee are limited. However, you can change this by starting a small business out of your passion. When you're a small business owner, you can claim a ton of business expenses, such as travel, food, phone bills, car payments, office space. Really anything that is directly helping your business grow. Even that little blog you want to start can be claimed as a business expense. What's more, you can even write off a high amount of your income, claiming less on your tax returns, reducing your tax burden, and increasing the amount of money in your pocket.
2. Take Advantage of Unique Job Security - Think about it this way: If you're already employed by someone, that is, if an employer is already paying you for a specific set of abilities, then you already have the necessary skills to start a small business. For example, if you are a wiz marketer, or even if you're a financial analyst for a Fortune 500 company, then you have experience that other people will pay you for. Therefore, you truly never have to worry about getting laid off or fired, because you know you have a set of employable skills. Use that knowledge to start your own business. Through a small business, you have use those skills to generate clients that give you recurring income, rather than having a single income source. This means that if you lose one of those clients, you have other income streams to rely on. This is not the case if you work for a single paycheck. So, even though it seems like job security lies with the traditional career path, in actuality, it's not true.
3. Increase Your Financial Independence - Financial independence is the goal of almost every person in the world. Who wouldn't want the independence to be self-reliant? Well, when and if you start your first small business, you give yourself the gift of financial self-reliance. You have to kill what you eat, sure, but it becomes incredibly empowering when you decide what risks to take, what investments to make, and what expenses to pay. All the money flows through you, meaning that you can keep a watchful eye on where it's going and where it's coming from. And then you'll be the one who reaps all the benefits when your hard work pays off. Those investments and expenses you made will eventually increase your earnings higher than you ever thought possible, meaning that won't have to depend on a paycheck or that bonus you may or may not get. Your income will be up to you and you alone, giving you the independence you always wanted.
4. Build Connections Within Your Industry - Ok, ok, we hear you. Usually, when someone starts their own company it's because they're passionate about a specific industry. However, many people believe that the only way to get ahead in their industry of choice is to sign on with a Fortune 500 company and network with other corporate individuals. Not true. Often times people are actively trying to meet CEOs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners within their market niche. When you start a business, your job title and your tenacity will open many industry doors previously closed to you. Owning your own company means you have a lot more to offer when it comes to collaboration and negotiations, and people within your industry know this and seek you out, rather than the other way around. Small business owners are very desirable to work with, and it becomes incredibly easy to make connections within the industry you love.
5. Take Control of Your Life's Destiny - Sure, Life can be unpredictable at times. In fact, it's usually unpredictable, leading many people to give the keys of their life to someone else, hoping that they can steer the ship for them. When we collect a paycheck, this is what we're doing. We're giving up control of our lives in return for a little stability. However, if you remember from our discussion on job security, it's not uncommon to have that stability quickly dissolve. You need to take life by the horns and steer your own ship to prosperity. Starting your own business allows you to set the direction of your life, define its goals, conceptualize its values, and then act accordingly. Small business ownership gives you the necessary tools to create a life you truly want to live.
6. Learn New and Innovative Skills - There's a reason we refer to corporate employees as “drones." This is because the corporate environment rewards people who are very good at a single skill, often something niche-specific. Think about it: Almost everyone you work with has a specialization. And when there's a problem that's outside the scope of their job description, they point a finger at someone else, not wanting to figure it out themselves. You see, when you work for someone else, you have the excuse to slack off and remain stagnant, perfecting your job role and nothing more. What a boring way to live life. When you start a small business, however, you're forced to learn many new skills and wear multiple hats. This keeps you sharp and gives you the necessary background and experience to be successful in multiple situations.
7. Create and Build a Legacy - We touched on it briefly when we discussed your destiny, but your life legacy is so important it needs to be reiterated as its own point. When you start a small business, you get to tell your story and build an organization in the mold of your personality and vision. It quickly becomes your legacy in that it reflects who you are as a person. It's a record of the good things you've done in life and the people you've positively affected. Further, it gives you the chance to start a multigenerational legacy through a successful business that's passed down from parent to child. If you have the tenacity to make your small business work, you can provide your children with the gift of a strong asset that can help them financially as well as emotionally.
8. Cultivate a Network of Mentors - Ok, so you can start a small business to create a network of connections, sure, but networking through business ownership provides much more. More than anything, it allows you to find a select group of mentors that can help you in the business world as well as in life. When you start a business, you'll quickly find that people who hold high positions are willing and able to help a motivated small business person like yourself. These connections can morph into lifelong relationships that increase your mental health, personal engagement, and financial well-being. Trust us, there are mentors out there who would love to pay it forward and help the next generation of business owners. And guess what? That business owner could very well be you.
9. Earn Social Recognition - Recognition at your current company probably means getting a picture of yourself on the wall as an employee of the month. If you're lucky, perhaps it means that there's a dinner in your name. However, unless you're ranked high in your company or industry, you won't be getting the kind of recognition you can receive as a small business owner. When you make your mark on your industry and in your community as a business owner, and find out what true recognition means. You're not just a cog in the corporate machine, you're an active member of society that is contributing something truly meaningful and lasting. Being recognized for accomplishments like that are second to none.
10. Become Determined and Gritty - True Grit isn't just a movie. No, it can also be used to describe the mindset of a successful businessman or woman. You see, success through business ownership isn't all about intelligence and business acumen. No, a large part of starting and running a successful business is having a high level of determination and grit. In fact, these qualities are important for almost everything in life, and if you're able to cultivate them through business mastery, it will help you for the rest of your days. Remember: The people who succeed in life aren't always the smartest, but they are almost always the hardest workers. This means that they have a gritty personality and a determined mindset. Owning a business will give you these qualities, too.
11. Learn to Respect Yourself - We aren't saying you don't respect yourself already, only that you could respect yourself even more if you started a small business. Wait and hear us out, and ask yourself this question: How many times, in either your current role or your past job, have you had to prioritize your own self-respect to meet with the wishes of your boss, manager, client, or a customer? A lot, we bet. With small business ownership, you are in full control of your own self-respect. You get to fire clients when you wish. You don't have an overbearing boss breathing down your neck. If you don't want to service a customer because they're disrespecting you, you don't have to. And as your business begins to grow, the respect you have for yourself grows with it, because you prove to yourself that you have what it takes.
12. Build Your Own Brand - You may have an eye for design, and you may know what people want, but often times you are relegated to listening to the desires of your boss. You want nothing more than to service your customer, but you're hemmed in by the constraints of the people you work with. You sigh at the decisions of your company, and yet you can't do anything about it. But, if you've been reading along, you know you can! When you start a small business, you inherently create your own brand and give yourself the gift of conducting business in your own way. Everything your business does, from the way it looks to the work it delivers to the way it treats its customers, becomes part of your company's brand. You're then able to construct an image that resonates with the person you are and the person you want to become.
13. Create Jobs for Deserving People - One of the most empowering things a business owner does is create jobs for the economy. Remember that overbearing boss? Well, what if you became so successful that you were able to employ people who deserved it and mentor them in a way your boss never did? It would change their lives, for one, and it would certainly change your life, too. The job market is always up and down, and starting your own small business can create job security for more than just yourself. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our global economy. They increase the number of jobs in the market, forge strong bonds among grateful employees, and even revitalize communities. Starting your own company means that you can effect change outside of your own life.
14. Become an Expert - We've already discussed the positive benefit of learning new skills, but starting a small business can make you an expert in a field of your choice. And that doesn't mean learning how to use Excel properly, it means that you can become an authoritative voice in your specific industry. As the leader of your own business, you won't just learn new skills and become proficient in each of them, you'll become an expert at the skills you're passionate about. For example, perhaps you enjoy graphic design but you don't use it for your current job. Well, if you start your own business, chances are you'll need to learn some design skills quick. If that's the case, and if you love it enough, you'll continue to learn until you've achieved mastery. In fact, you could even allocate some of your business budget to take classes in design and drill down deeper than you ever thought possible. As a business owner, it's up to you how you allocate your time. It becomes easier than ever to spend time doing the things you love and become an expert in that area.
15. Shape and Grow Your Market - How many of us have sat around the kitchen table with friends and discussed how the world could be improved? How many of us have shared a beer or two and lamented on the current state of the industry we're a part of? Well, when you start a small business, you actively stop talking about making change and actually do it. If, for example, you see a deficiency in the manufacturing industry, rather than complaining about the things your company is doing wrong, you can build a company that finally does the things right. You enact change that can permeate throughout the entire industry. It can change the way people do business, and it can very well transform the marketplace.
16. Motivate People With Your Story - Stated previously, when you start your own company, it becomes an extension of yourself. Therefore, the story of your life—the dreams, goals, and overarching vision you have—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. The positive benefits on your life will be immediate. However, your story won't only change your life, but it will change the lives of those around you. It gives you a level of social impact you've never before had.
17. Express Your Creativity - The worst part about working for someone else is that it stifles your creativity. 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. Or even worse, think about all the times when you tried to express your creativity only to be shot down by a boss or coworker. When you own your own business, you'll not only have access to resources, but you won't have anybody telling you that it shouldn't be done. You have the direct ability to put your ideas into action and be as creative as you want. You can allow yourself to take creative risks and you can confidently take full credit for your creative insights. This has two benefits: The first is that creativity is like a muscle. The more you work it the more creative you become. The second is that your creativity will differentiate you from other people, giving yourself a unique voice.
18. Increase Your Level of Pride - Everyone should have a sense of pride in their job, but unfortunately, not everyone actually does. However, when you start your own business, you immediately become prideful of your work and your self-expression. And then when your company succeeds, it reflects directly on you and the work you did. When you risk failure to capture a big reward, that's your risk, and your payoff—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.
19. Help Inspire Others - Right now, you're digging deep to find the inspiration to strike out on your own. In fact, it's probably likely that you've already looked to others and their inspiring stories to provide you with motivation of your own. Won't it feel awesome if one day you could pay it forward? Throughout your entire time as a small business owner, people have helped you out along the way. When the time comes, inspire the next you, the next genius, or the next Internet tycoon. The reach of your small business could be infinite, and you never know who you're inspiring. You owe it to yourself and those around you to launch your company and see what happens.
20. Ultimately, Change the World - Sounds a little dramatic, but if you've read the previous 19 reasons, you know it's true. Business owners change the world all the time. And you can change the world when you start your own business, however small it may be in the beginning. That's because running a small business doesn't mean you have a small footprint or impact. In fact, some of the most influential companies today started out small. Facebook, for example, started in a college dorm. The founders of Google tried to sell their company for $1 million in the late 1990s and were turned down. Even if your venture doesn't eventually become a mega-company like these, it doesn't mean that you're not in a position to make an impact and change the world. If you focus on creating something lasting and something that positively affects people's lives, you can change the world itself.
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