Start Your Own Business and Own Your LifeWorking a traditional job has many benefits. In many cases, you'll get a steady paycheck that you can rely on, financial benefits like health insurance or retirement savings accounts, and paid vacation and sick leave. These are enough to provide the average person a comfortable life.
However, few people ever break through to the level of wealth that they dream of. In some ways, that sense of security that the job offers is the thing that's most holding you back from achieving your wildest dreams. Many jobs are also just a paycheck, and you may even find that the job is not offering you the emotional satisfaction you thought you would have.
Building your own business can take a lot of time, money, and hard work, but it can be worth it in the end. In fact, many people find that it offers the ultimate freedom.
Why Start a Business?
Think about your own personal reasons for wanting to start a business. Perhaps your lack of a college degree means that you're getting passed over for promotions. Perhaps you believe that your kids will have a better life if there's someone home for them. Perhaps you've been out of a job for so long that you worry no one will ever want to hire you again. These are all legitimate reasons for wanting to be self-employed, but you'll have the most success if you find you own motivation. Knowing what drives you can help you stay in the game when things start to get hard.
Types of Businesses
When a lot of people think of starting a business, they might think about traditional brick and mortar businesses - restaurants, retail stores and other such places. These types of businesses can work well, but they also tend to require a lot of start-up capital to pay for things like rent and insurance long before the money starts rolling in. Fortunately, there are far more opportunities when it comes to starting your own business these days. Many can be done from the comfort of your own home.
For example, you can think of services you are able to offer people and go from there. Writing blog posts, programming apps, walking dogs, mowing lawns and babysitting children are all business ideas that are relatively easy to start up. If you have a talent for crafts, you could make things that you sell on a craft site like Etsy.com or through local craft fairs. Some people find that it's easy to sell a product they enjoy and look into network marketing opportunities. Through this, a person is able to create a business selling books, fitness and nutrition products, beauty supplies, or even wine. Network marketing opportunities often have the added bonus of offering training to those getting started.
Any of these ideas could be the start of a solid business for you if you have the drive. Success is going to come from taking continuous action toward meeting your goals.
Funding the Business
Many people worry about where they're going to get the money they need to start their business. Fortunately, you no longer need several thousands of dollars to get started with many types of businesses. For example, if you're going to start a dog walking business, you may be able to get started by placing an ad on Craigslist, then start advertising more extensively with fliers and business cards once you've earned a bit of money.
Using credit cards or business loans could also be an appropriate way to fund a small business. Remember, though, that when you go in for traditional lending, you're going to need a solid business plan if you want the bank to approve you.
Freedom or Hard Work?
While many people look forward to the freedom that will come from having your own business, few realize just how much work it takes to really get things off the ground. If you want to be earning a full-time income, you should expect to be working full-time hours. Sometimes, you'll need to work even more than full-time hours. It's not uncommon for a new business owner to spend 60 hours or more when starting up the business.
Of course, it's also possible to work far less, though you have to set realistic expectations. Few people are able to earn thousands of dollars just by working a few hours of week. If you can't work as much as you'd like due to your other obligations, try to remember to do as much as you can. Even working on your business a little bit every day can help. Too many people give up before their business really got off the ground. They're seeing failure because they weren't putting enough hours into the business.
Building Business While Working
It's a simple truth that many businesses fail. It's incredibly hard to put all of your money and energy into growing a business knowing that you might not make it. This is the reason that many people choose to work on growing their business while still working a job that keeps a roof over their heads and food on the table. This is far from the easiest method of building a business, but it tends to be a safe option, and that could be appealing.
If this is the method that you're going to take, it's important to set realistic goals for yourself. Take your business idea and break it down into actionable steps and give each of those steps a deadline. One of the hardest parts about building a business while working a full-time job is that there are only so many hours in the day. You have to stay committed. This might mean waking up a few hours early to complete some of the tasks you need to complete. You might have to make phone calls during your lunch break, or put in some hours after you've finished your regular job and would rather just veg out on the coach and watch TV. If you want your business to be successful, you need to commit to the work.
Getting to the Next Level
You may be doing well, but if you want to take things even further, you need to look for the ways that you can expand. This might mean getting your own storefront or expanding the business outside of your current location. It might be hiring someone to help you with some of the basics. Each of these little things brings you closer to having a successful business.
Eventually, you'll get to a place where your business starts to become your real job. You'll perhaps have enough clients to replace your full-time income. You may be selling enough products to cover all of your costs and know that if you could just work a little harder, you could do a lot better. This is a scary time, but making that leap is going to be worth it. It's when you get to this place that you truly are able to start living the life you wanted to live.
However, you still want to be smart about it. Try to keep some money in the bank in case you experience some bumps along the way. Plan for taxes, which can seem higher when they're not coming out of a regular paycheck. Make sure to purchase health and life insurance in addition to any other types of insurance you can afford. Life is unpredictable, but sometimes it can be beautifully so.