Why become a small business owner?

There are so many reasons why I decided to start my own freelance business a decade ago. For instance, I’m not a traditional worker — I usually get most of my work done after the sun goes down. My most productive hours are 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. When you live in sunny Los Angeles, it can be a little tough to concentrate during the day.

I also don’t do well in big companies or settings where I don’t get a lot of attention. I thrive when I’m meeting with people one-on-one, at small parties and in small companies. It’s really important to me that I have my voice heard and people notice my efforts.

But I won’t sugarcoat owning a business. It is much,¬†much¬†harder than working a 9-5 job. Why?

  • All the pressure is on you. You decide whether you fail or succeed.
  • You are responsible for supporting your family.
  • You don’t get to dictate when you work necessarily. If a client needs you at night or on the weekend, you work.
  • Speaking of weekends, I usually only take off for Shabbat, Friday evening through Saturday evening, and sometimes work Saturday nights. I work all day Sunday sometimes, or at least put in a few hours.
  • I don’t get to fully disconnect on vacation.
  • In fact, aside from religious holidays or Shabbat, I never get to shut off in general.
  • I pay for my benefits including healthcare and 401(k).

People go into freelancing because of the word “free,” but it’s never going to live up to your expectations if you frame it that way. Freelance means you are in control of your destiny and free to do as you wish. However, if you don’t get on the right track or make enough money, you are free to fail as well.

I know I am going the harder route but it’s just not in my personality to be chained to a full-time office job. I need my space to think freely and do my work on my own terms. What kind of working style do you have? Would you rather own a business or work a traditional job? Let me know in the comments below.


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