Let’s face it: owning a company is a pain. You’ve no doubt experienced sleepless nights, staring at the ceiling and wondering how you’re going to pay your team members, your rent, your taxes, and yourself.
Never mind the money. What about the stress? At one point or another, your team members, partners, and suppliers—even your customers—will let you down, and you will work so hard you forget to eat right and exercise.
On top of all that, hardly anyone understands what you’re doing. Your parents, life partner, kids, family, friends, and anyone else you hold in high regard might rightfully decide you’ve gone mad. It’s not a happy reality, but the truth is business owners often suffer considerable frustration in their personal lives—losing friends, alienating family members, and even damaging or losing their marriages.
With all these factors coming at you, it’s only fair to ask: Why do you want to own your own company?
Why Do Entrepreneurs Go Into Business?
I’ve worked with business owners across America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. When I ask why they’re in business for themselves, they all say the same thing: they enjoy the freedom it affords them.
But is this true? Are business owners more free? By the number of hours worked, not really. According to research from Wells Fargo, business owners work an average of fifty-two hours a week with over half working at least six days a week.
These numbers reflect the business owners I coach, who usually work between forty and fifty hours a week. When asked how many hours they would like to work, half would prefer to work about twenty hours a week, while the other half wants to double their efforts.
Clearly, freedom can’t be defined by hours worked alone. Perhaps it’s more a matter of better work/life balance—or what I like to call work/life integration. After all, with today’s personal communication devices, such as phones and tablets, business owners can take care of business anywhere. And I love a sandy beach or foreign café for my office.
Perhaps freedom is better defined by one’s ability to call the shots. I know I can relate. When a mentor asked me, “Why do you want to do this?” I realized there was only one right answer: because I want to.
Why are you in business?
This is an extract from my best selling book - Exactly Where YOU Want to Be: A Business Owner’s Guide to Passion, Profit and Happiness. Available right now on Amazon.