The Benefits of Owning
Your Own Business
ByMichael T. Robinson
There are many benefits to owning your own business:
- Your years of hard work can result in wealth not unemployment
- For the self employed, just about everything is a tax write off
- You will eventually have the ability, money and time to help others
- You will eventually have more time to spend with your family
- You will eventually have more self-esteem
- You will eventually have much more freedom
Here is my personal perspective. When I look around at the friends and colleagues I have known and worked with, the happiest and most satisfied people are those that own their own businesses. They have the most freedom, and the most control over their lives, even more than most CEO's I know.
And that's because CEO's can be fired. Even if they are really good. Being in top management does not necessarily give you more control over your future.
I'm not saying that being an employee is bad, but if you have an opportunity to be self employed you should consider it carefully.
Yes, I know some CEO's who are on top of the world, and I am very happy for them, They worked hard and smart. They took very good care of their people. They made some unbelievably brilliant strategic decisions. They made a lot of small decisions that added up to something big. They truly deserve their success.
On the other hand I know many high level executives, including CEO's, who are currently unemployed because someone fired them. Whether they deserved it or not, even at a high level, they were not in control of their destiny.
As an employee you can dedicate many years of your life to a company, only to find yourself out of a job due to situations totally out of your control. Management changes, mergers, acquisitions, downsizing and outsourcing all have a tendency to force sudden and unexpected change.
On the other hand, if you own your own business, you will still face competition, change, legal battles etc. But in every case you will have time and an opportunity to fight and win. Big difference.
However, the risks in starting your own business are far greater than if you were an employee who worked for someone else.
According to Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, in the US, there are over 1,000,000 new businesses started every year. 40% of these fail in the first year. Another 40% fail before year five. So the odds are against you.
There are ways to beat the odds. The success rate for franchises is much higher. Something like 50% or more of the franchises make it past five years.
The key according to Michael Gerber is that franchises offer you a proven "Turn Key" business.
However, franchises are still very risky. We know people who lost a lot of money on franchises and are still not self employed.
If you are planning your future, and you eventually want to be able to slow down and have some money to retire on, you have three main long term career choices:
What are your choices for ensuring you can someday retire:
- Try your hand at building your own business i.e. being self employed. Build it big enough that it not only pays for your retirement but that you could sell if you wanted.
- Be an employee and make sure you earn enough and save enough for when you retire, or when you get laid off or fired. Remember, high level executives are not immune from being fired.
- Get a government job, because most government jobs have retirement plans and pensions. Military folks and city employees usually get to retire with a full retirement plan paid for by our tax dollars. I've seen some folks who have two retirement plans, one from the military and one from a city, state or federal job.