06 Jan Quit Worrying: 6 Awesome Reasons To Start Your Business
You’ve thought of starting your business many times.
It’s been your dream. But it’s also something you’ve never done.
You worry about how to kick-start.
You wonder how you’ll figure things on your own.
Truth is that running a business has not been easy for anyone.
There are challenges, setbacks and a share of highs and lows.
Yet, there’s enough that makes the journey exhilarating.
And that’s why so many entrepreneurs choose to continue.
Entrepreneurship is a thrilling ride, packed with learning and experience.
“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Quit sitting on the fence.
These six reasons will inspire you to finally start that dream business.
Let’s get going.
1. You enjoy incredible flexibility (big thanks to the Internet)
The Internet has changed the way we live. It’s also changed business.
You don’t need a ton of money to start a business.
You don’t even need an ‘office’.
You can start working out of cafes or home offices.
Or choose co-working spaces with flexible prices and timings. Take a daily plan or do a meeting or two.
Choose a place that goes with your style of working.
As a creative business owner, you can pick a co-working space with an arty young vibe.
If your work is more formal, go for a business-like set-up.
Work the way you like.
You can still set up a brick and mortar office or go virtual.
Free (or affordable) digital platforms can help set up your virtual office. Think Trello, Basecamp and Asana.
You can even design your business to schedule your meetings on Skype or Zoom.
The Internet has made it easy for your office to be wherever you go.
2. Get creative freedom (something you’ve been craving for)
You’d want to start your business around something you’re passionate about.
That alone gives you a sense of freedom.
You can now design your ideas and put them out.
Learn new techniques to shape your work.
Design your offering, choose your business logo and look.
Get hands-on with your website, email marketing, blog and marketing strategy.
No need to limit yourself to the mandated values of an organisation.
Your work values come from your beliefs. You can build your organisation based on them.
Say if your own freedom and that of people who work with you is a key value to you, then you may choose a virtual set up. Your team can be free to live and work from wherever they want.
For example, Copylove is a boutique copywriting studio. All its team members work out of their homes and co-working spaces in Mumbai and Goa, India. It is a 100% virtual business that allows each person the flexibility to work from wherever they want. Working with Skype and WhatsApp keeps them close-knit.
As a business owner, you can choose the team and even clients you want to work with.
It is an age-neutral work world. You can choose a 65-year-old retiree for their experience. Or take in a 20-year-old trainee on board for their enthusiasm. The choice is yours.
If you’re a vegan and an animal lover, you can choose not to work for a meat-based food brand or a brand of leather bags as it does not align with your values.
Your freedom and flexibility quotients are higher as a solopreneur.
If you have a larger setup, the flexibility could be lesser. So do ensure you bring in a co-founder who’s in line with your values.
Whichever way you look at it, working for yourself sets you free.
3. Grow exponentially (you can’t escape the steep, yet exciting learning curve)
Entrepreneurship throws you right in the middle of things.
You’re responsible for running the show.
You’ve got to learn fast and learn well.
Legalese, finances, sales, social media – you need to know your business inside out.
Sure, you could hire a lawyer or a creative expert. But you need a good enough understanding to work well with them.
Good news is that in a digital world, you don’t need to enrol at a full-time business school to learn these.
Many online courses can help.
Below are some online resources that will help you get your basic business set up and marketing in line. Most of them are free or affordable.
Many more online DIY kits for marketing and content creation can help build your business.
You can access a whole bunch of such tools in my recent blog post – “Got 20 Mins? Enough to Create Sparkling Social Media Content For Your Business Everyday”. They will help you create marketing and social media content in little time and less money.
If you’re looking for offline guidance, you can find business schools in your local area. Many run entrepreneurship courses to help you get started.
I benefited a lot from SPJIMR’s Start Your Business Course. This offline weekend course helped me figure the ropes of launching a business in India – legal, finance and strategy included.
If you’re looking for more resources on other aspects of business, let me know and I’ll be happy to help.
Learning also includes life lessons and can come to you in different ways.
Sometimes that means going out of your comfort zone.
Entrepreneurship needs you to roll up your sleeves.
You’ll make wrong decisions and mistakes.
Brace for falls. And when you do, brush yourself and move on.
There’s no rulebook.
But it’s worth it.
It toughens you up and makes you wiser.
It’s a learning that no other career can give you.
4. Community support is available, accessible and affordable
With more people choosing entrepreneurship, it is not a lonely ride anymore.
Many entrepreneur groups or online communities can back you in several ways. Some are free or affordable, or have restricted entry.
The groups I’ve joined make me feel secure as a business owner. And are the biggest contributors to shaping and growing my business.
I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B-School programme a few years ago. Now I am a part of her B-Schoolers’ community on Facebook, with 19,000+ business owners from across the world.
It’s a joy to see many passionate and like-minded people in one place.
You can hang out with them in common social media groups and chats.
Got a question? They’re happy to answer.
Got a tip? They’ll lap it up.
They’re people I’ve never met, but are vital parts of my journey.
Though they’re a business community, they’ve become my support group.
There are many other exclusive Facebook communities that help you build your knowledge. They could be communities for entrepreneurs, start-ups, designers, coaches, writers, and many others.
One such community that I really find useful is MailChimp Answers. Every time I’m stuck with a query, they’ve got a solution.
There are some other Facebook communities like Networking Now India which are designed to generate leads or help you find resources, or even start a client conversation that could lead to a business or project over time.
For example, if you are a web developer, you can get connected to a business owner who is seeking to build a website. Or you could use the platform to scout for resources such as content writers, designers and so on.
In a way, these groups do the job of a business developer for you – for free.
There are several such closed user communities for specific functions.
Make it a point to join some of these. You can experiment as you may not always align well with all. You’re always free to leave a community and stick to what works for you.
Of course, your own social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are also helping you build your business.
Online resource aggregation platforms like freelancer.com, upwork.com, Instataskers.com also help. You can pitch for a project, basis your skill and schedule, for fixed prices and terms.
On ground, you can join networks and entrepreneur communities in your local area. Get on to meetup.com to find a few.
For instance, I attend ‘Start-Up Saturday’ sessions hosted by Headstart. It is a volunteer-run organisation that supports early-stage start-ups.
The sessions cover business-related aspects: from finance, legal, hiring, technology, branding, customer acquisition, growth hacking, fundraising, validating your idea and more.
As an early stage start-up, you can ask your niggling business question, and get it answered by an industry expert.
I’m also part of a community of a co-working space that I work from. It’s comforting to have like-minded people who’re on the entrepreneurial journey like you.
Look for communities that match your interest, and choose what you feel right.
5. Funnel your passion into a business that makes bucks
Earlier those who came from a business family perhaps had a head-start as against the others. They knew ropes of the game, had established relationships or connections, had the funds to invest, or knew how to raise it.
That’s the thing about entrepreneurship in the modern world.
You don’t need to chat up a relative or colleague for funds, or be born with a silver spoon.
There are a ton of investors out there, looking for a good idea.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-generation entrepreneur.
Zoho, a web-based online office suite, in its current avatar, for instance, started from scratch when Sridhar Vembu was out of Class 12 in 2005. He got together 6 students from low-income households and trained them to build software products in India. Today Zoho is a multi-million dollar Corporation. They compete with giants like Microsoft, Google and Oracle.
Indian companies like LensKart and First Cry and several others have got funding from Ratan Tata on the power of ideas. The TV show Shark Tank features entrepreneurs who present their business to “shark” investors, who choose whether to invest.
Being self-employed is being rewarded for your guts.
It’s also about spending your rewards well.
You learn to stretch every penny.
You stumble, you learn, you grow.
In other words, you get paid for who you are and who you’re willing to become.
6. You can make space for life (while doing great work, of course)
The perks of running your own business spill over to your life.
You can flex your schedule and choose working hours. There’s no compulsion to ‘stay in office till 6 pm’.
If you need a break, you can even take a nap. Wake up fresh and perhaps knock off a 3 hr job in 1.
That’s what doing your own thing gives you.
For example, if you have to put together a presentation, you can knock off your work in wee hours. Spend the rest of the day with the kids or attend to your aging parents.
You can choose to work when you’re productive (most of the times) or choose not to. You can take leave without having to apply for it.
Of course, you have work deadlines and commitments which you got to honour.
Yet as a business owner, you can plan your work around them, the way you want to. Well, at least most of the times.
Sure, entrepreneurship is a tough call. But it lets you follow your heart.
An idea and some willpower is all you need to kick-start.
The Internet gives you incredible flexibility to build your business.
You have creative freedom to shape the world with your work.
A steep learning curve makes you a stronger and more resilient person.
You grow along with a thriving community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
You set your own limits and maximise your potential – and you get paid for it all.
The joy of building your own company or personal brand is incomparable.
Start the journey and enjoy how it unfolds.
It’s a life experience like no other.
Still have questions about taking the plunge? Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s figure.