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Starting your own business: why do it?

Picture of an open road leading into the sunset

Why Become an Entrepreneur?

People come to our site because they want to develop their skills, and they usually want to do so for one of two reasons: either to progress in their current role/company or to change career. Though we support and encourage both endeavours, we really admire the people who take the plunge and decide to do something completely new, often taking time out of their personal schedules to chase that dream career that they know is out there for them.

But in truth changing career is not the only option for those who are a bit jaded in their current positions and willing to make a change for the better. Though it may not be for everyone, the idea of starting a business is one that many people discard before really taking the time to think about its many advantages. If you are ambitious, creative, hungry for a sense of purpose and not averse to a bit of hard work, setting up your own business can be a great way to break free from an unsatisfying career path and do something that really makes you want to jump out of bed every day.

So what are the best things about trying your hand at entrepreneurship?

You are your own boss.

Hands down, this has to be the single most appealing aspect of building your own business. Since you will have to be the boss (and probably the sole employee) for a good portion of your journey as an entrepreneur, you can more or less do whatever you want. Want to have a 3-day weekend and a 4-day week? No problem. Want to work at home in your pyjamas? No one will stop you.

But beware: no matter how much we may all complain about them, bosses don’t have the easiest job in the world. Being the boss doesn’t just translate into greater liberty to do as you please – it also means that you will need to take on more responsibility, not just for the overall success of your venture but for your own future and the future of those you may end up employing. It's also the case that, at least in the beginning stages, you will be working long hours without a regular paycheck coming in, so it will be a while before you can really take advantage of not having a particular schedule to stick to.

If, however, you are comfortable with making your own decisions, then starting a business can definitely be a good fit for you.

You get to learn a bit of everything.

Most people like to have a specialism and know that they have one or two things they are really, REALLY good at. It makes sense: being an expert at something gives you the confidence to take responsibility for projects and decisions being made in your area of expertise, as well as helping you gain the respect of your colleagues and clients. But this sometimes translates into missing out on activities and projects in different fields that may actually be really interesting, getting into a situation where you end up doing the same things over and over again.

When you start your own business, you don’t really have a choice: if you want to succeed, you will need to become a jack of all trades. Or rather, you will need to learn to be all the crucial departments of a business, even though you are just one person. The key is embracing the opportunity to gain new skills and learn more about a range of key areas that you may never have had to work with before. Marketing, SEO, PR, accounting, budgeting, networking – no matter how your new venture performs and where you end up in life, these are skills that will serve you well in the future and give you a personal sense of achievement that can be hard to beat.

Meeting people is part of your job description.

You could argue that networking is a necessary part of most professions, and you’d be right. But when you start your own business, you need to take this a step further and be constantly looking for ways to spread the word and make yourself known. This means taking advantage of every chance you get to tell your story, but also taking the initiative and seeking out or creating new opportunities to network with other professionals. Some would probably even go as far as to say that networking and relationship-building are the most important elements of creating a successful business.

If you are a people person, this should definitely make you think twice about your desk job.

You create the vision, and you stick to it.

A lot of companies have visions and mission statements, but it is often the case that employees don’t necessarily integrate these into their day-to-day work. One problem could be that the vision itself is one that some people don’t buy into, another could be that management is not good at creating a corporate culture in which values and ethics are shared and engrained in everything the company does.

When you start your own business, you are the one who creates the company vision according to what you think is important, as well as being the one who makes sure that new recruits are passionate about that vision too. You’ll be surprised at what a big difference it can make – it's not (just) about making your company look good, it's about believing in what you do. Having a real philosophy and knowing that you have the power to make your company be what you want it to be is a powerful thing. It gives you a sense of purpose, motivates you and helps you take pride in everything that you to do. Above all, it makes you want to do it better every day.

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Last updated: 30 Mar 2016

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