If you’ve been tuning in to Shark Tank, you’ll know that one of the great attractions of the show is the opportunity to go it alone and explore your own ideas and creativity in whatever business you choose. Here, we look at several other ‘upsides’ of being the boss of your own venture…
Anyone running their own business can tell you it’s not without its pitfalls – no paid holiday, no overtime and high stress levels, to name just three. But there are some pretty amazing benefits to balance out the risks…
The buck stops with you
Running your own business has far greater monetary potential than most jobs. The sky really is the limit if you do it right. You also get to keep what you make, rather than hand it over to a bunch of shareholders. It’s not a good idea to just focus on the monetary benefits alone, though.
Take Virgin boss and billionaire, Richard Branson. For him it was idea first, money second: “I became an entrepreneur by mistake. Ever since then I’ve gone into business, not to make money, but because I think I can do it better than it’s been done elsewhere. And, quite often, just out of personal frustration about the way it’s been done by other people,” he said in a 1997 interview with Martyn Lewis.
Bring it on
It’s a rare person who feels truly challenged in their work, but a rare business owner who doesn’t. Owning a business demands a level of creativity, risk taking and commitment that can yield a truly head-spinning level of excitement – and when you get a big win, there’s nothing quite like the feeling. To quote Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who is truly passionate about innovation and creativity: “If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness.”
The meaning of life
Business can give you the opportunity to move from a career to a vocation; to do that one thing that really makes your heart sing. When Steve Jobs was trying to convince former Pepsi-Cola President, John Sculley, to move across to Apple, he asked him this one question: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” Needless to say, Sculley made the move.
It’s never been easier
The barriers to getting into business and staying in have never been smaller. The internet has opened up whole new worlds of opportunity, you can get just about anything manufactured affordably through third parties, business software is abundant, and marketing is more affordable than it’s ever been. The best bit about the internet? You can run your business in your pyjamas from your spare room at home. What’s not to love about that?
Never a dull moment
Are you sitting mesmerised in front of a computer in a grey cubicle? Start a business – the one thing you’re never likely to be is bored. To quote Richard Branson again: “My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, ‘Oh God, I’ve got to do this today’.”
No office politics
Gossip got you down? Tired of watching your back and navigating the office ego landscape? In your own business, it’s only your ego you have to worry about at first, and as you grow you can choose who you work with.
This is the real clincher. Not having to go to the office nine to five, actually taking holidays at the same time as your children, and having some level of choice about how your week looks.
King or queen of your own castle
In almost every person there is a secret urge to rule over their own life, to answer only to themselves. Even the business owners who have failed, or are struggling to make ends meet, will tell you this one thing – “at least I’m not working for someone else”. Not having to answer to the man is a win in every business owners’ eyes.
The risks are high, but the potential rewards are higher, particularly if you do it well and make a success of it. For a small moment, forget the stress and celebrate the benefits. As Google founder Larry Page said in his 2009 University of Michigan Commencement Address: “Sometimes it’s important to wake up and stop dreaming. But when a really great dream shows up, grab it.”