The mythologist Joseph Campbell once said, “Follow your bliss and doors will open.” That’s an empowering thought, but how many people forgo the self-made path in favor of a well-trod one.
No doubt, a conventional career offers many benefits in terms of financial stability, the perks associated with being a part of an established organization and less tangible rewards (like being trained and mentored). However, the invigoration and excitement of starting and managing your own business is something that’s hard to match. Here are 10 great reasons for becoming your own boss.
#1 — Do what you are passionate about
Passion is arguably the most important reason to launch your own business. Entomologically speaking, the word enthusiasm derives from the Greek, enthousiasmos, which means “to be possessed by a divine inspiration.” When you are exhilarated about your livelihood, it ceases to be work and instead becomes a form of play.
#2 — Keep your own hours
Setting your own schedule is another reason people are drawn to starting their own company. Sure, the structure and familiarity of set hours is a good fit for some. But many people thrive best when they can work according to their biological clock.
Nowadays, freelance writers, consultants and personal coaches can interact with clients via iPhones and tablets virtually whenever and from wherever they want. Instead of marking time, the solo-entrepreneur endeavors to make the most of every minute.
# 3 — It’s never been a better time to work from home
According to Forbes, 50% of the workforce will be freelancers by 2020. There are many reasons to consider embracing this trend. First, video conferencing, document sharing and other digital collaborative platforms are redefining the workplace.
Further, commuting to a physical location is no longer an economic or vocational necessity. With telecommuting on the rise, it is now more possible than ever to have a traditional career and have your own business on the side.
# 4 — Freelancing can enhance your financial security
Building your own brand or company is not only a great way of expressing yourself, it’s also a way of bolstering your income and maintaining your economic security.
Everyone understands that the economy is in flux and that the workplace is constantly changing. The rise of robots and automation across entire industries is casting a cloud over many traditional types of employment.
However, the same technology threatening jobs also is opening up incredible opportunities. Indeed, an individual with nothing more than a smartphone can be a brand, a broadcast channel and the founder of a startup.
# 5 — If you can’t find a job, then create one
In many instances, starting a new venture (from conception to launch) can happen in less than 24 hours. All it takes is some gumption, imagination and an Internet connection. No wonder numerous graduation speakers counsel that “if you can’t find the job you are looking for, then create one.” That advice can apply equally to long-term job seekers, mature people returning to the workforce, as well as recent college students.
# 6 — Take advantage of tax breaks
America has always been a nation of entrepreneurs, and the government offers encouragement for budding business owners by allowing you to write off legitimate expenses. These include the cost of transportation, equipment, supplies, rent, retirement plans, training, education and other disbursements you make in running your company. Putting the tax code to work for you in building your business can be a great way of creating value in your community and the country as a whole.
# 7 — Turn your hobby into cash
Today, many people build a business around a hobby because the Internet allows you to find and connect with like-minded individuals the world over.
For some, the economic activity generated will be a modest byproduct of sharing interests and building community online, but the financial rewards of pursuing personal hobbies and leisure activities can be significant too. After all, the online auction giant, eBay, began as an outgrowth of its founder’s infatuation with trading Pez candy dispensers.
# 8 — Better work/life balance
Work/life balance is an important consideration for those who choose self-employment. In particular, young women are opting to start their own companies at an unprecedented rate.
For instance, the percentage of female-owned ventures has soared 68 percent in the last 20 years. The figures are even more impressive for minority women, where the rate of business ownership has risen 268 percent. Undoubtedly, many women cite quality time with family as a key factor in deciding to work for themselves.
# 9 — Be your own boss
Of course, another reason people go into business for themselves is because they have a fierce desire to be their own boss. On occasion, managers can be unsupportive, psychologically immature, even ineffective. In such instances, the decision to chart your own course can be incredibly liberating and emotionally satisfying.
If you feel consistently uncomfortable at work — and believe you would make a better leader than your boss — then it might be time to consider going out on your own.
# 10 — Set a great example for your children
Kids learns best from the example you set. With a home-based businesses, children will have a front-row seat into the values and habits that fuel success. Put simply, seeing your hard-work, persistence and dedication up-front will be one of the best educations they’ll ever receive.
For those with a product idea, a passion for selling their expertise or the unquenchable desire to work for themselves, building a business or brand can be one of the most exhilarating challenges imaginable. It’s not an undertaking for the faint of heart, however, as entrepreneurial ventures have a way of testing your mettle.
In sum, owning and operating a business can be like the mythic journey — a quest filled with great trials and tribulations, peak experiences and self-discovery. For the entrepreneurial heroes and heroines who succeed, the rewards can be immeasurably satisfying. They include self-realization, the creation of an inspiring legacy and the glory of triumphing over the odds and adversity.