Are you toying with an idea for a business? A lot of people think about starting a business, but for whatever reason the idea never becomes a reality. If you’re an entrepreneur who is on the fence about starting a business, we have the encouragement you need to take the first step.
We asked 30 business owners to offer persuasive reasons for entrepreneurs to launch a business.
Reason #1: Work on things that matter to you
When you own your own business, you get the freedom to work on projects that have meaning in your life, says Sarah O’Toole, owner of The Seasonal Diet, a business that helps people eat healthy.
“Being an entrepreneur means that I get to work on things that really light me up inside,” she explains. “I’m not stuck doing busy work or tasks that no one else wants to do.”
Reason #2: Get a personal education
Starting a business comes with a lot of on-the-go lessons, but Jeremiah Boehner, a serial entrepreneur and senior director of sales at MyLikes, an advertising platform, says the most important lessons are those that teach you about yourself.
“As an entrepreneur, you’ll learn what kind of work you enjoy and start to understand how you can make a difference in your community,” he says.
Reason #3: Make more money
As an employee, there are limits to how much money you’ll make. You are defined by a line item in an accounting ledger, says Matthew Reischer, CEO of the website Lawyer Reviews, a site that welcomes feedback on lawyers across the country.
“An entrepreneur who starts his own business can break free from this actuarial perspective and redefine the value he brings to the market,” he says.
Connect on Twitter: @LegalAdvice
Reason #4: Job security
While some people would argue that working an office job in the 9-5 world has more security than starting your own business, Nick Loper, owner of Side Hustle Nation, a company that helps people earn money outside of their day jobs, says diversifying your income with various clients is a smart play.
“Is starting your own business really any riskier than relying on one source of income for your livelihood?” he asks.
Connect on Twitter: @nloper
Reason #5: Flexible schedule
Want to go to a baseball game in the afternoon? Does your child have a doctor’s appointment in the morning? If you start your own business, you’ll have the flexibility to do all of these things. For Will von Bernuth, co-founder of Block Island Organics, a family-run sun care startup, the flexible schedule allows him to help his parents.
“With our parents getting older, living far away, and one of them having health difficulties, the ability to work from wherever we want on our own schedule is a huge benefit,” he says.
Connect on Twitter: @BIOSuncare
Reason #6: Cash in on tax benefits
There are some monetary incentives to starting a business as well, says Fernando Campos, co-founder of Topwick, a members-only journal site that offers insider pricing on certain brands.
“There are tax incentives that you couldn’t take advantage of without a business,” he says. “As an owner, you can write off things like travel, food, and cell phone bills.”
Reason #7: Fill a void in the community
Offering a product or service that is lacking in your area is a great reason to start a business, Drew Phillips, owner of The Angry Beaver, a gay/straight hybrid bar in West Virginia, says.
“Me, my wife, and two best lesbian friends decided to open a new gay/straight hybrid pub to fill the void when our favorite lesbian bar closed down,” he says. “The community and the public response have been phenomenal.”
Reason #8: Everyday brings new challenges
If you’re tired of the routine that often comes with a cubicle job, starting a business offers a way to break free, Sean Dudayev, founder of InsureChance, an independent online life insurance agency, says.
“By starting your own business, you escape the stagnation of life. It never really feels old, there are always new challenges to face, and you never stop learning,” he says.
Reason #9: Surround yourself with good people
Starting a business means you get to select the people you work with, which Jeremy Durant, co-founder of Bop Design, a marketing agency, says is one of the biggest reasons to start a business.
“You have complete control over not only employees and vendors, but most importantly, clients. You can hire or fire people based on your own guidelines and work only with people who are a good personality fit,” he says.
Connect on Twitter: @bopdesignsd
Reason #10: Acquire the quality of life you want
One of the biggest reasons that Andrew Bliss, founder of The Adventurous Mailbox, wanted to start his own business was the geographical freedom that came with it. The business, which introduces cultures to kids through books and other products, is run from Tainan, Taiwan.
“If you want to live abroad or in a new region of your own country, that is entirely possible when you have your own company,” he says. “Starting your own company does not need to be only about realizing profits, but rather realizing the life you envision for yourself, wherever that may be.”
Reason #11: Take on a career in a completely different field
If you’re ready for a 180-degree career change, you can make it a reality by starting your own business. Shelley Hunter went from a systems analyst to the spokesperson for GiftCards.com, a website she started under a different name and was able to sell. She remains its spokesperson.
“It’s a radical departure from what I was doing, but taking that leap gave me a great new career and the flexibility to work from home and be near my three kids,” she says.
Connect on Twitter: @GiftCards_com
Reason #12: Never work a day in your life
Running a business that you’re passionate about won’t require a 20-minute pep talk to convince yourself to go to work, says Michael Lazar, owner of TrueShip, a shipping software company.
“Love what you do and do what you love,” he says. “If you do that, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Reason #13: Tap into hidden creativity
When clinical social worker Karen Koenig started her own practice, she realized she had a ton of untapped creativity. That quality encouraged her to branch out of the traditional psychotherapist role and into coaching those with eating disorders.
“Working for other people squashed my creativity; working for myself puts no limits on me,” she says.
Connect on Twitter: @KarenRKoenig
Reason #14: Startup resources are plentiful
Kyle Ems, founder of SeniorCareBox, a web-based company that helps customers send care packages to seniors, says there is no shortage of help available to new entrepreneurs.
“The amount of free or affordable resources available online or at startup incubators has never been greater,” he says.
Reason #15: Turn your vision into reality
Have a great idea for a business? Turning that idea into an actual thriving business is quite rewarding, says Nabeel Mushtaq, co-founder of AskforTask, a Canadian startup that connects users with one another to create jobs.
“If you believe in your business model and it is something the world needs, starting a business is an effective way to ensure your vision is achieved,” he says.
Connect on Twitter: @askfortask
Reason #16: Be the boss you’d want
We’ve all had a terrible boss or two, but launching your own business allows you to be the kind of boss you’d like to work for. Nima Noori, CEO of Toronto Vaporizer, an online outlet for vaporizers and accessories, makes sure his employees are happy.
“I can confidently say that after five years of being in business with a tight knit team of 15 and an extremely low turn-over rate, we are working at being not only happier in the environment I created, but doing so profitably,” he says.
Connect on Twitter: @TorontoVaporize
Reason #17: Overcome a layoff
Many people start a business after losing a job. That was the case for Felena Hanson, who founded Hera Hub, a co-working space designed around female entrepreneurs, after she was laid off.
“I ventured into entrepreneurship in 2003, when I fell victim to my third layoff within a six year time span,” she says. “I started my own business and haven’t looked back since.”
Reason #18: Create a sellable asset
“Just like buying a house, a business that is built correctly and grown becomes an asset that has value,” she says. “And just like any other asset (like your house or a piece of art) it can be sold.”
Connect on Twitter: @Tash_Courtenay
Reason #19: Join the wave of the future
Neil Jacobs, a former business psychologist and current curator of online art gallery The Road Gallery, believes startups are the future of business.
“Ask a college graduate today about their career aspirations and they are more likely to talk about working for themselves, setting up a business, and being an entrepreneur than they are to say they want to be chained to a desk, working 14 hour days for a faceless corporation,” he says.
Reason #20: Spend more time with your children
Working a normal job takes up a lot of time. Add overtime and commute time to a normal eight-hour workday and the time left for your family is fairly limited. That’s why Marc Anderson started offering English lessons online through the website TalktoCanada.
“My wife and wanted to be home with our two boys as they grow up so we started our business,” he says. “We definitely didn’t want to be tied to a 9-5 job and maybe be able to see our kids for a few hours a day.”
Reason #21: Create a legacy
Launching your own business means you’ll have something to pass on to your kids, says Billy Bauer, owner of Royce Leather, a company that sells handmade leather accessories.
“If you’re a doctor, plumber, or bus driver, it’s hard to imagine you passing your career on to your loved ones,” he says. “But if you own your own business, that’s something you can pass on to the next generation. And be proud of it, because you created it.”
Reason #22: Share your talents with others
Lisa Hennessy started Your Pet Chef because she wanted to share her love for dogs with others.
“I love to see our dogs so excited at meal time and I just love to hear stories from my customers when the same thing happens at their house,” she says. “It makes me feel so good and motivates me to continue on this journey.”
Reason #23: Delegate responsibilities that you don’t like
Being a business owner means you have the power to focus on aspects of the business that you want. You can delegate the other duties to others, says Diane Villavieja, a serial entrepreneur and current consultant for Nomad Financial.
“Bookkeeping and financial planning are probably the most common uninspiring tasks for a business owner and therefore ignored, but can have a profound effect to the success of a business,” she says. “Delegate these dreary tasks to experts who can help create a plan for growth while you focus on your strengths.”
Connect on Twitter: @NomadFinancial
Reason #24: The internet offers more sales possibilities
To run a business, you need customers. Anne Marie Blackman, owner of My Ugly Christmas Sweater, an ecommerce site that sells fun and tacky holiday clothing, says finding customers has never been easier with the internet by your side.
“The internet provides a universal business platform for which the traditional old fashioned requirements for brick and mortar, location, employees, and advertising do not apply,” she says.
Reason #25: Personal fulfillment
Nothing offers the kind of personal fulfillment that can be found in owning a business, says Christopher Rither, founder of One Mean Dream, a site that helps people achieve their goals in life.
“When people decide to use their talents to start a business, they often find personal fulfillment because their abilities now serve a purpose,” he says.
Reason #26: Build a variety of skills
From accounting to marketing and everything in between, the variety of skills you’ll learn as an entrepreneur is endless, Brandon Kelly, founder of design firm NYCVanity, says.
“It allows you to exercise and refine all of your muscles. When you work for other people your contributions are usually confined and limited to one or a few different skills,” she says.
Reason #27: Keep someone else from taking your idea
If you sit on a business idea, someone else could come along and capitalize on it before you do. That’s why Karen Tsoi, founder of fashion startup Pastel Dress Party started her business.
“I didn’t want to look back and regret not taking advantage of the opportunity at the right time,” she says.
Reason #28: Create the atmosphere you want
Not everyone thrives in a bustling, cliquey office setting. Everyone’s different and by starting a business you can create the atmosphere that you thrive in, says Thea Orozco, owner of Introvertology, a business that offers coaching lessons for introverts.
“Introverts can escape the horror of open-office plans and create a working environment that works with their temperament rather than against,” she says. “While extroverts can work with their strengths in the way they acquire and interact with clients, rather than a way dictated by an employer.”
Connect on Twitter: @introvertology
Reason #29: Be a rock star
Most of us won’t become an NFL hotshot or a famous singer, but creating a business can give you a sense of fame, author Lee Silber says.
“Starting a business is like being famous, if only in our own field or for our family and friends,” he says. “It makes you special to others.”
Connect on Twitter: @leesilber
Reason #30: Own your decisions
How many times has your boss made a decision that you disagree with? Running your own business means you make the decisions. Whether they are good or bad, you’ll stand by your choices, Ben Guez, founder of Ophis, a leather electronic cigarette seller, says.
“Being an entrepreneur means making your own choices, if you fail it’s on you, but if you succeed it’s because of you,” he says.
Connect on Twitter: @OphisVape
What other reasons are there to start a business? Add to our list in the comment section below.