1. You have control. There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing that you could do a better job than your boss – at his job. For me, having a job was a torturous experience. I hated doing activities which I considered to be worthless, and I hated knowing that the company was making money off of my good ideas. Now that I’m completely on my own, I have the control I need to create more for myself.
2. Financial compensation. When you work for someone else, you can bet that the odds of income are stacked against you. If the company you work for has any business sense at all, they make more from your work than you do. There isn’t anything wrong with that – businesses exist to make money for their owners and people who aren’t willing to take on the risk of starting a business will have a much harder time building wealth.
3. You get to be the boss. When I worked for the man, I always believed that I could do things better than my superiors. Now that I’m on my own, I have the chance to prove it. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do and I answer to one person – myself. Honestly, I’m a lot happier this way. I’m not wired to make money for other people and I’m definitely not wired to be told what to do.
4. You can write off more expenses. I have some friends who are very interested in business. We used to get together all the time to bat around ideas, even before we actually started our businesses. Now that we all have our own companies, those lunches are usually a business expense. That means that the business pays for the lunches and I don’t pay income tax on the money used. I get to hear some good ideas, talk my friends into doing more business with me, and pay less taxes than I did before. There are tons of ways to legitimately write off expenses and as a business owner, this is a lot easier.
5. You can benefit from the talents of others. I have some people working for me right now who are incredibly smart – in ways that I’m not. I’m not a dumb person but I definitely know my limits. Just yesterday we had a brainstorming session about some issues that I needed to solve and honestly, I was blown away at some of the ideas that came out. I can tell you that I NEVER would have come up with them on my own and there’s an enormous value in that.
6. In-office political immunity. One of the hardest things about working for the man is when you don’t get paid for your performance. I have always been an high producer. I work hard and always put in a lot of effort to improve my abilities. That makes it really frustrating when people who spend all day on ESPN.com and G-Chat get paid as much as or more than I do. This usually happens because they’ve been at the company for a longer amount of time, or because of political reasons.
7. Recognition. I’m the shy type and I don’t like to tell the people I know how well I do at my job. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like it when they find out. When you have a successful business, people will know it. As soon as you start hiring people and leasing office space, people will pick up on the fact that you’re making money. Since most people would love to have their own business, there’s a lot of respect given to people who are able to pull it off.
8. Equity. If you can make $1,000,000 per year for the company you work for, you can expect to be paid between $333,333 and $500,000 per year. If you can produce the same amount for your own company, you can expect to make all of it and have an option to sell the business for between five and ten times that amount.
9. It’s easy, if you have the expertise. The best businesses to start are the ones you come up with because of your current skill set. I learned how to market online at a job that I had and now run a successful web development firm. If you know what you’re doing, it’s honestly pretty hard to mess things up. I had to learn a lot about running a business but looking back, it wasn’t that hard.
10. You can work from home. I pay for office space for my employees, but I work from home. I’m in the office once or twice per week but I honestly LOVE being clear from distraction. If I feel like working around other people, I’ll go to the office. If not, I’ll stay home. This leaves my schedule open for afternoon tennis, movies, or anything else I feel like doing. I work really hard but do it on my time.