The rewards of entrepreneurship can be enough to make many jump in with both feet. Typically, you see the beginning of an entrepreneur’s journey — which is full of excitement — and then you see the success that the journey brought. Very rarely do you see what happens in between. It’s truly in the process and the steps that are taken each and every day that really yield any success.
So what exactly does the entrepreneurship landscape look like? Here are some key stats:
- Entrepreneurship rates have been trending upwards in the United States for the past 19 years.
- 78% of entrepreneurs say working for themselves has improved their money management skills.
- Over 79% of small businesses in the U.S. are self-employed and have no other employees besides the founder.
- 78% of small business owners say their businesses are profitable.
- 70% of small businesses offer products and services online.
- 82% of small business owners say attracting new customers is a bigger challenge than retaining current customers.
- 86.3% of small business owners have a salary lower than $100,000, with 30% not paying themselves a salary at all.
- 37% of small business owners rely on cash to fund their businesses.
- 92% of entrepreneurs don’t regret launching their businesses.
The answer to this might be apparent for many who start their own businesses. It’s quite simple: to be your own boss. The need to control your own destiny and focus on building your own dreams instead of someone else’s is an itch you can’t get rid of.
Let’s face it — the benefits are big, especially if you’re willing to put in the work. LifeHack listed 10 reasons why people would want to become entrepreneurs, and here are the ones that resonated hugely with me:
1. They Embrace Having a Path of Their Own
Entrepreneurs are leaders; they embrace having a path of their own to fulfill their dreams. However, creating their own path is not always by choice. The lack of challenge and opportunity in the job market may push an entrepreneur to their pursuits. They create their own opportunity and use their skills that were neglected by those they worked for and capitalize on them.
2. They Crave Flexibility
Entrepreneurs crave flexibility — they don’t prefer your typical 8-5 work schedule. They may work more or longer hours when working for themselves, but the flexibility will make all the difference. They will appreciate having a schedule over which they have better control.
3. They Want More Stability
Whether it’s for their family or themselves, entrepreneurs like the idea of more stability. The facts are that you can work at a company today and be laid off tomorrow. Entrepreneurs like the idea of being the determiner of their outcomes and financial security. You can work hard at a company, increase your skills, and still not get a promotion, bonus, or any other forms of advancement. Even if you do receive a bonus, they may only give you a few cents or so, which doesn’t go very far for really high achievers. Entrepreneurs know that when putting in the time, effort, and hard work for their own business, it will pay off better rewards.
4. They Know They Can Make a Difference
Entrepreneurs know the power they possess to make a difference. They have high confidence in their skills. Although others sometimes can’t see the power in their abilities, entrepreneurs can see their vision so vividly as if it was right in front of them. This is sometimes the motivation that keeps them determined — they can see the end result as if it already were in existence.
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With all of this in mind, here are 3 questions to ask yourself before jumping into entrepreneurship:
Are You Doing What You Love?
I will have to admit that earlier on in my career (before jumping into entrepreneurship), I chased the money while also doing what I loved. Even by doing both, I found that as I continued earning more money, my happiness began to disintegrate. Rather than being excited about jumping out of bed every morning to go to work, I was dreading it. I was living for the weekends and didn’t feel fulfilled.
It took some soul searching for me to realize that the reason why I wasn’t happy was because of the following reasons:
- I still wasn’t the person in charge — meaning I had the ability to influence decisions, but the larger strategic decisions were left to the CEO.
- While I was building out someone else’s passion and dream, I wanted to build out my own.
- I felt stifled by growth and oftentimes when working for someone else, they want you to be more invested in their vision than aligning that with your professional/personal goals.
- No flexibility. Working from home (when I was in the workforce) was frowned upon, and it was difficult to do what I loved wherever I wanted.
- No salary cap. I knew that my earning potential was beyond what anyone would be able to offer me and if I wasn’t getting the growth support, the decision-making power, and the flexibility, the money I was being paid wasn’t worth it long-term.
That being said, it’s important that when you decide to jump into entrepreneurship, you are doing something you really love. You won’t need to be told to stay disciplined and motivated. You’ll naturally do that yourself because you’re working on a craft that you enjoy.
Are You Okay Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone?
It’s absolutely okay if you’re not 100% ready to run your business full-time, and that’s why running it as a side hustle may be the wisest thing you ever do. By doing that, you will continue working your 9-5, build out your side-hustle into a full-time gig, and reduce the risks at hand should the business fail.
On the other hand, once you do decide to take the leap into entrepreneurship, you’ll still feel the jitters and financial stress of not having a guaranteed paycheck every month. Now, it’s entirely up to you. Yes, the hustle is about holding yourself accountable.
Here are some ways to get comfortable with change and stepping outside of your comfort zone:
- Change up your daily routines and try doing one thing a week that scares you or is new to you. This will help change your perspective and build resilience.
- Push yourself to learn something new every single day. This means reading for at least 30 minutes a day to stay on top of industry news, and anything that can help you navigate the world of entrepreneurship relevant to your niche.
- Take action and make progress over trying to perfect everything. Nothing hinders growth more than trying to chase perfection. Instead, make execution a daily practice.
It can be hard to add all of this on top of your long to-do list, so get organized. I like to use Monday to organize all of my work tasks: it is fully customizable, color-coded, and helps me coordinate with my team members. This way, I don’t drop the ball in any one area and I make sure I get everything done.
What Is Your Purpose?
Knowing exactly what you’re doing is going to be harder to do than knowing “why” you’re wanting to jump into entrepreneurship. Here’s the kicker as well: it has to be more than just “make a shit ton of money.” Your purpose has to serve something greater such as:
- Creating more jobs.
- Be a solution to a problem that exists in the marketplace.
- Be a solution that will provide tangible results and incredible value.
- You want to create change.
- You want a better life for yourself and for your family. This isn’t just about financials, but being able to have quality time for self-care and for your family. These things can’t be bought.
Having a clear purpose will help because not only will it paint the bigger picture (aka your vision), you can then attach specific goals to align everything. Additionally, entrepreneurship will come with major challenges, but by having your “why” (aka purpose) in place, it’ll continue to give you clarity around your overall goals to keep pushing forward.
Not sure if there is a spot in the market for your idea? SEMRush has a great Complete Market Analysis tool that you can use for free. This tool can help you see other companies’ growth metrics, traffic generation strategies, and audience demographics.
Wrapping It Up
When you work for yourself, there’s no one telling you what time to start working or how much you need to accomplish. EVERYTHING is on you to figure out, and while you may have mentors along the way, every decision ultimately rests on you.
You need to stay disciplined and develop action plans that align with your goals and then execute them. Again, that’s what matters most — that you execute and continue doing so every single day. Entrepreneurship is a long-term move, so don’t expect to go from rags to riches overnight.
Everyone deserves to do what they love. And when you can focus on work that is meaningful to you and beneficial to those who buy from you, it will be hard not to feel successful at the end of the day.
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