A recent comment on Twitter from @DrMarcNCharlie inspired this post. They asked what the three top reasons are for entrepreneurs starting their own business. Having read posts by other entrepreneurs I have found my own reasons are very similar to those who have gone on to start their own businesses. Here are my three reasons and a little bit of background.
1. Improving my quality of life.
In my last few management positions I spent a lot of extra hours on the job trouble shooting, dealing with production issues and finding efficiencies by throwing myself into various positions. This meant a lot of time away from my wife and children. I clearly remember my youngest son in tears one day because he thought I was going to die from the lack of eating. He only saw me eat on weekends as I never ate breakfast, lunch or dinner with the family.
I decided to leave my nine to five world (which was more like a nine to nine world in reality) and start my own business where I could set my own hours and ultimately have more time with my family. Going out on my own was not a monetary decision as I earn slightly less than I did in my past positions. Money wasn’t the primary consideration for me though. I now work the hours that I want, earn what I need to support my family and spend more quality time with them.
2. Doing what you love.
I once read a quote in a business magazine by a business guru of some sort that said, “Do what you love or don’t do it.” I haven’t been able to find the original source of this quote but it’s a philosophy that was a very strong influence in starting my own business. I love pretty much anything Internet and marketing related. The last position I held was at a newspaper company as a production manager. I can’t think of larger polar opposites than what I wanted to do and what I was doing. Now I am building a company doing something that I love doing and have job satisfaction, which is something I hadn’t had in a very long time.
3. Being able to “fire” your boss.
This isn’t directed at any one boss in particular but being able to leave a position or industry that you are very unhappy with is an incredible feeling. The newspaper industry is harsh and has become infinitely more difficult over the last five to seven years. Newspapers are folding and consolidation is running rampant. Holding companies are destroying strong community dailies with cost cutting measures that have nothing to do with preserving the individual publications but rather squeezing those last few drops of blood from a stone. In this environment publishers and directors expect more for much less and you’re faced with some insurmountable hurdles. Being able to start my own venture and walking away from all of that is probably one of the most satisfying things that I have ever done in my life.
There’s my top three reasons for venturing on my own. I’d be interested to hear from fellow entrepreneurs their top three! Drop me a line on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ChrisLahay