I’ve talked a lot about developing your superpowers over these past few months. It’s because I believe we all have powers that we don’t use that could make a significant impact on other people.
It’s why I’m a big fan of starting a small business. Too often we get caught in a position within our careers that doesn’t allow us to optimize our superpowers. By starting your own business you can use the superpowers that you have been neglecting.
Small Business isn’t for Everyone
My wife would rather chop off a finger than start her own business. She doesn’t want the volatile nature of cash flow that every business has. Some months are great while others just suck. I can understand why she would be worried, but if the business owner is a good saver then this is a small barrier to overcome. There will be slow months without any business, but that just gives a person time to ramp up for the busy season.
I also know that my wife would hate to do sales. I’m actually working with a client whose kryptonite is sales. He is a great people person, but he doesn’t want to push people into buying his service.
He believes in the myth that all salespeople are pushy. He doesn’t want to be perceived as pushy, so he stays away from trying to sell himself. He thinks he needs a little more time to develop his sales tactics, but he is really just stalling because he doesn’t want to do sales.
There are myths to every endeavor, and starting your own business has plenty of them. You must educate yourself before you give up on the idea. It just might be the career move that fits your needs.
It comes down to the concept of getting your creative needs met. Are you creating solutions that makes yourself and other people happy? If so then you are probably in a great career. If not then you should think about starting your own small business. You may want big bucks so you can do this thing you love full time, or maybe you’d just like some nice side money to supplement your income. Starting your own business is as flexible as you can make it.
Every small business owner defines success differently. Some feel successful because they are allowed to live a nomadic life and others just like the challenge that their market provides. If you have the urge to start your own business, you’ll have to figure out what you want from the small biz.
Reasons to Start a Small Business
There are a lot of reasons not to start a business, but I believe that there are more reasons to start a business. Click here to read a PDF of researchers who tested individuals who worked for themselves and people who worked for a company to see who was happier. Researche’s at Dartmouth College believe that most Americans want to start their own business.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons I believe having a small business is an awesome idea for you:
1. You can control where your income is coming from
When you work for another company you have one source of income and if you piss off your boss then that one source of income could drop to none.
When you have your own business, even if it’s just a small online business, you have multiple streams of revenue. If your company ever cuts back hours or lays you off then you have income to support you.
2. Freedom to use your superpowers
Many companies care about keeping up with the status quo. If you are stuck in such a company then you probably can’t fully unleash your superpowers. You might have to suppress them so you fit in with the company culture. This is a dangerous scenario because superpowers can go dormant if they aren’t used on a regular basis.
By starting your own business you are creating the freedom to use your passions, focus and strengths on work that you want to do. I know that you can’t always use your superpowers 100% of the time, but believe me, if you start the right small business you’ll be using them often.
3. Expansion is up to you
You can take a business to any level you want. If you want to keep it a one person show, so be it. If you want to grow it into an international company then it’s there for the taking.
A career is far more limited. This can be a good thing if you have one superpower and that’s all you enjoy doing. You can focus on this superpower and not have to worry about all the other jobs that inevitably come along with running a business. I loved working for other companies because each one helped me build my superpowers. As I learned about myself, I grew more confident. This confidence allowed me to develop the business that I have now.
4. Personal knowledge will make you stronger
The flexibility of owning a business can multiply your personal knowledge. You’ll discover things that you never thought were possible.
The human body is an amazing vessel. I knew that I could start a business while I was working full-time, but I didn’t realize how much energy I would need. After working all day I would hang out with my family, eat dinner, then do an interview with another blogger, post a new article, interact on social media and set my itinerary for the next day to do it all over again.
Starting a business is a great way to see what you really care about. You’ll have to make sacrifices, but every career has sacrifices. When you have to be at work from 8am to 5pm that’s a huge sacrifice.
5. You can fire a client
One of the best parts about starting your own business is the multiple income streams. You can make money in many ways. I have a friend who is a designer and is currently juggling 10 clients. If one client drops off she has 9 other clients who pay her for her talents.
If she doesn’t like one of those clients she can also fire them. Because she has a thriving business it means she can be more picky about who she works with.
6. A small biz can be started on the side
Like I talked about earlier – a small business can be built on the side. If you enjoy making jewelry or teaching guitar there are dozens of ways to start a business on the side.
A friend of mine recently hired a piano teacher to help him improve his playing. My friend lives in Texas and his teacher lives in New York. They use Skype video. The teacher watches and listens then gives tips.
The teacher has a full time job as an English teacher. It’s possible to create almost any kind of small business on the internet. We are lucky to be living in this time period.
7. Creativity on your terms
Many people quit their jobs because they can’t use their superpowers at their work. Maybe the boss has different plans. This happens all the time.
Creativity is stifled within a corporation because they don’t listen to the employee’s needs. This doesn’t apply to Zappos, Google, and many other companies, but there are exceptions in every circumstance.
As a small business owner you can develop projects that use your superpowers. I only work on projects that excite me. This creativity allows me to focus on high energy projects, which allows me to create great results.
Sometimes your passion isn’t strong enough. This happens. I find the opposite if true for most people though. The passion is there, but the fear is screaming for them to sit down, shut up and keep doing their boring job. They listen.
If you want to push outside your comfort zone, you have to believe that doing the action is more important than avoiding failure. Once you believe that creating this small business is more important than your fear, you’ll find the time.
What about you?
Do you want to start your own business?
Are you afraid of starting your own business?
What are you doing to overcome this fear?
* Join the Work Happy Now Facebook Page and interact with other people who are trying to improve their superpowers. It’s very basic right now, but it’s a fun place to visit. We ask good questions, support each other, and laugh. I’m going to improve the design some time soon, but until then stop by and hang out.
* Stacey over at Mom Renewal Project has a wonderful guest post about a volunteering at a charitable organization to boost happiness.
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