Want to get really, really rich? Starting your own business is the best way. Want your upside to be unlimited? Starting your own business is the best way. Want to be free to chart your own course, to make your own decisions, to make your own mistakes -- to let the sky be the limit not just financially but also, and more important, personally?
Starting your own business is the best way.
Still not convinced? Here are 15 more reasons why you should start your own small business today:
1. You have the time.
Yes, even you. Everyone has the same amount of time. The only difference is what you're willing to do with yours.
If you were trapped underground and had only 24 hours' worth of oxygen, you wouldn't check your Twitter feed or chat with friends or spend a little me time in front of the TV. You'd dig and dig and dig.
Apply the same level of importance and urgency to what you want to accomplish and your schedule will instantly clear.
Finding the time is always a matter of how badly you want it.
2. You have the money.
As Growthink founder Dave Lavinsky says, being an entrepreneur is the art and science of accomplishing more with less -- less money, less staff, less time, etc.
Face it: You will never have "enough" cash or funding. Never. If you don't have enough capital to launch your business the way you plan, change your plan.
You can't always control what you have, but you can control what you do with what you have.
3. You have the courage.
Every entrepreneur is scared. (Or at least should be.)
So you have a choice: let your fears hold you back or use those same fears as fuel to do whatever it takes to succeed.
Complacency is the enemy of achievement. Fortunately, you can use your fear to drive complacency away.
4. You have the right connections.
Between all the social media platforms, you can reach almost anyone besides Oprah and my personal white whale, Dave Grohl. In fact, some people are surprisingly accessible; maybe that's one of the secrets of their success.
Of course, some people may not respond -- but if they don't, that's probably your fault.
Start small. Start feasible. Build a foundation. A great network is like a pyramid with a wide base, not a thin vertical line that goes straight to the top.
And never forget that the more influential the person, the more besieged they are with requests. Have a good reason to connect, give before you expect to receive, and you might be surprised by the people who respond.
5. You're never too late to any party.
Yeah, Jobs beat you to the graphical interface and mouse, but Xerox beat him. Zuckerberg wasn't first in social media. The list goes on. Innovation is never one-and-done; some of the most successful companies are based on refining earlier ideas and innovations.
You're only too late if you're not willing to be better, faster, stronger, or cheaper than whoever got there first.
6. You can get people to listen to your ideas.
People will listen to anything that is entertaining, interesting, heartfelt, amusing, shocking, informative, titillating, stupid, satirical, controversial, sad, silly, sexy ...
If you can't get anyone to listen, the problem isn't them. The problem is you.
What you want to say is irrelevant; change your message so it means something to the people you want to reach.
Then they'll listen.
7. You have the skills. (Or can get them.)
Go to school. Read a book. (Shoot, read my book.) Talk to friends. Get a part-time job at a small business. Get a part-time job in a different industry.
Find someone who has done what you want to do and volunteer to work for free in return for the opportunity to learn.
Does that seem too hard? Like too big of a price to pay? Or just not fair? Then accept that you will never have the skills and stop complaining.
Skills and knowledge are earned, not given.
8. You have plenty of great ideas.
Dreaming up something new is really, really hard. Reacting to something that already exists is really, really easy.
Walk around and start complaining (to yourself). You'll see tons of problems that require solutions. Those solutions are ideas. Or walk around your business and start complaining. There are tons of problems you can address.
"New" is hard to imagine. "Better" is much easier.
Most companies are built on "better," not on "new."
9. You can afford the risk.
A risk you take today is a risk you can recover from. Given time, you can overcome almost any setback, stumble, or failure -- and emerge stronger and smarter and better prepared to succeed in the future.
If you never try, all you'll be is regretful: When you're old and gray and "done," you'll look back on your life and think, "I wonder what might have happened if I had only ... "
That's one risk you should never take.
10. You don't have to wait for perfection.
Plenty of people never pull the startup trigger because they're stuck in an endless loop of "refinement." But "striving for perfection" isn't really the issue. Instead, they're insecure. Or they fear criticism or rejection. Or they're even afraid they'll succeed.
Don't be like them. Do your best, and then step back. If a little more work will result in a markedly better outcome, go for it. If a little more work will not make a difference anyone but you will notice, let it go.
Then you make improvements based on the feedback you get from the only people whose opinions really matter: your customers.
11. You can do things differently. (And enjoy it.)
Take me: My parents raised me to be humble and self-deprecating, so I despise saying I'm good at anything. But sometimes I have no choice. Taking advantage of certain opportunities requires confidently describing my skills, experience, and accomplishments.
If you're not comfortable doing something because it violates your principles or ethics, by all means don't. But if you're not comfortable doing something simply because it will take you out of your comfort zone, you're just rationalizing.
And you'll never be more than you already are.
Stretch yourself. You'll be surprised by how many comfort zones you can inhabit.
12. Your success isn't assured (and actually that's a good thing.)
Read stories of successful entrepreneurs and it's easy to think they have some intangible entrepreneurial something -- ideas, talent, drive, skills, creativity -- that you don't.
Nope. Their success was only inevitable in hindsight. Success is never assured. No successful entrepreneur knew, without a doubt, they would succeed.
Does that scare you off? It shouldn't. In fact, not knowing is liberating. It's empowering. Every entrepreneur at some point looked in the mirror and said, "Lots of other people succeed ... and so will I."
Entrepreneurs believe in themselves. You should too -- especially if you're willing to work hard and persevere.
13. It's not too hard.
Long journeys are hard.
Individual steps are easy.
Say you sit on your couch all day and suddenly you decide to run a marathon. You're right: That's too hard. But you can go out today and run a lap or two. Or you can walk a few miles. You can take one small step toward a difficult goal. And then another. And then another.
Or say you want to lose 50 pounds. (Or you want to lose 10 pounds in 30 days.) That's too hard. But you can eat one meal differently. Or you can take a walk at lunch.
Or say you want to open a business. You can look at possible locations. Or work on your business plan. Or talk to a potential supplier. Or get advice from a mentor.
You can't accomplish any difficult goal overnight, but you can accomplish one step, however small, toward that goal.
Think about the end of a journey and all that will be required along the way and you'll never start. Instead, do just one thing that will help get you there. Then build on it.
That you can do.
14. You'll be proud of yourself even if you fail (this time.)
Failing in public can be embarrassing, especially since some people love to talk about the misfortunes of others.
Those are the same people who would never dare to try something themselves.
Don't worry about them.
A whole other group of people will respect you for taking a shot. They'll recognize a kindred spirit. They'll empathize. They'll encourage. They'll pick you up. They'll know what it's like to try and fail and try again.
Why? They're people living their lives on their terms.
15. You can start a business in just a few hours.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs feel stuck by the apparent complexity involved in the administrative and legal tasks involved in starting a business.
Actually, it's not hard at all: You can set up your business in two or three hours.
That will get you off square one and on to the fun stuff.