5 big benefits of being an entrepreneur
Being your own boss can be challenging -- but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Here are 5 benefits of being an entrepreneur and starting your own business.
Starting your own business and being your own boss can be a pretty tempting idea, especially if you're trying to escape the grind of your 9-to-5.
It can also be terrifying. There are a lot of unknowns, and if you're change-adverse like me, that uncertainty is nerve-wracking.
Maybe you're dealing with imposter syndrome, or just don't know where to start.
There are a thousand excuses for would-be entrepreneurs to overcome. But there's a reason so many people have chosen a path of solopreneurship, especially during such uncertain economic times. Becoming an entrepreneur has some amazing advantages.
Yes, it's scary. But it can also be incredibly worthwhile.
In this article, we'll dive into five big benefits of being an entrepreneur, including examples from creators who have been there, done that, and reaped the rewards.
5 major perks of becoming an entrepreneur
#1: Working on your own terms
First and foremost, being your own boss means setting your own rules (and your own hours). For a lot of people -- especially right now -- that means working from a home office.
As of 2018, 50% of small businesses were operated from home.
Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number is even higher. 42% of the U.S. labor force is now working from home full-time, and the number of entrepreneurs is probably much higher -- because that's the kind of flexibility that comes with being your own boss.
That flexibility is why 55% of small business owners start their own businesses:
25% of small business owners choose self-employment because they’re dissatisfied with their corporate gigs, from the commute and hours to the overall grind.
When you set your own schedule, you have more opportunities to manage your own time, whether that means spending more time with your family, practicing a hobby, or traveling.
In fact, travel is a big part of entrepreneurial life for a lot of people. 4.8 million independent workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads, or “People who choose to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the world."
Whether you choose to travel the world or work from the comfort of home, it's on your terms. You set your own destiny.
For Minessa Konecky of Direct to Success, working on her own terms means a "hustle-free" lifestyle.
“I started to explore this idea that we were actually building our own business prisons, where we basically set up a structure in our lives, where the only possible outcome was failure and exhaustion because we’re not taking care of ourselves,” Minessa told us.
This epiphany led Minessa to design her current hustle-free life -- and teach others to do the same through her six-figure business, Direct to Success.
“I put together a system that helps migrate people from this hustle culture perspective -- where you have to work 24/7 -- to designing a life where you let technology and social media do a lot of the time-consuming work for you, so you can take time off.”
Minessa knows from experience that when you avoid entrepreneurial burnout, you're more likely to succeed.
Because being your own boss also means taking care of yourself. That's why self-care for entrepreneurs is so important.
You're putting a lot of time and (potentially) a lot of money into your new business. Set yourself up for success by being a great boss -- not a tyrannical one.
That includes making yourself a well-paying boss -- which brings us to our next perk of being an entrepreneur.
#2: Making more money
Money isn't everything, but we can't deny that it's a major piece of the entrepreneurship puzzle.
A lot of entrepreneurs start out with side-hustles -- part-time gigs outside of their full-time jobs -- to earn extra money. In fact, nearly half of working Americans report having a side-hustle outside of their primary job.
The average side-hustler earns $1,122 per month from their side job -- but if your side hustle becomes your full-time gig, that income could be much higher.
The opportunity to up their income is one reason so many side-hustlers make the move to full-time entrepreneurship.
For last year's State of the Side Hustle infographic, we interviewed over 2,000 creators and found that:
40% have a day job. . .
. . .but 73% plan to quit to become a full-time creator.
Of those creators who plan to quit their jobs, 44% plan to leave in the next 12 months.
Of course, not every entrepreneurial venture is a profitable one, especially in such unpredictable times. But for creators, the opportunity to earn income as a full-time entrepreneur has never been bigger.
At Podia, we’ve seen more and more formerly offline workers taking their business online. Creators are joining the creator economy and earning their first “online dollar” by the millions.
And they're doing it by selling profitable digital products like online courses, digital downloads, and memberships -- all products that let creators earn passive income.
Take entrepreneur and startup marketing expert John D Saunders, for example.
When he launched his online course on Podia, John earned $10,000 on launch day and $100,000 overall from his Podia site.
“Passive income isn't really passive in the beginning, because you do have to create this infrastructure and this infinite pipeline to keep things consistent and going,“ John told us.
But once you create an online course, the bulk of your work on that new product is complete, and you can start earning passive income.
“While I'm sleeping, I'm making income. While I'm out at the park with my family, I'm getting sales. Podia lets you have a different type of income that’s not tied to your time.”
(Learn more about how John earned $10,000 on launch day in this case study.)
#3: Loving what you do
You've probably heard the phrase, "love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life."
That's not really true.
Being an entrepreneur isn't always easy. It's a lot of hard work. But the long hours are all the more rewarding when you're passionate about what you do.
That's why more people love their side-hustles than their full-time jobs:
Disliking your job isn't just bad for your mental health. Extreme stress about work can have serious effects on your physical health:
Of course, becoming an entrepreneur doesn't mean you'll never stress about work again. But as a creator, your work is all about your passion and expertise, not what your employer wants you to do.
In today's creator economy, even the most niche creators can find an audience to share their passions with.
Like Reuven Lerner, a software engineer who transformed his offline training business into online courses to earn more as a developer. After releasing his book, Practice Makes Python, in 2014, Reuven created a series of videos to guide students through each exercise.
From there, Reuven niched down his course topics even further. “So, what I did was I said, 'Okay. I'm going to make an online course that's not'Intro to Python'; it's not a whole four days. It's going to be focused on one topic,' Intro to Objects,'" he explains.
The closer your products are to your audience’s specific needs, the better those products will sell. And if those products are something you're passionate about, that's a win-win for you and your customers.
“Teach less and make it better and more specific. Something that if people see it, they'll think, ‘Oh, that fits my needs. That's what I need right now. I'm going to buy that.’"
By focusing on his Python know-how and passion, Reuven went from only offering offline training to building a successful online business. That growth is another major benefit of becoming an entrepreneur, which brings us to benefit number four.
#4: Giving yourself room to grow
Being a successful business owner means wearing many hats.
In a typical 9-to-5, you might have a very specific role and job description. But the average small business owner is responsible for 4.2 roles, from IT specialist to content marketer and everything in between.
That's probably why the top characteristic for running a successful small business is self-discipline.
Taking on the new challenges of starting your own company can help you grow your skills across so many different areas, which can help you grow your career and open doors that a corporate gig can't.
Plus, sharing those skills with others can help you weather economic uncertainty.
Here's why: During economic downturns -- when the job market gets rough -- demand for learning new skills goes up.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw deeper and deeper engagement from creators’ audiences on Podia, with an unprecedented surge in digital product sales:
(Want a piece of the creator economy pie? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Podia and start selling your digital products online.)
One creator who has seen incredible growth from starting his own business is Justin Jackson.
Justin started blogging in 2008:
Ten years later, Justin told us how his side-hustle became a full-time, profit-turning machine.
Justin grew his skills as a blogger, podcaster, and creator before leaving his position as a product manager and making entrepreneurship his full-time job in 2016.
The switch from side-hustle to full-hustle paid off big:
$190,000 in revenue in 2017
$53,200 of that revenue from his membership program
$500 earned monthly, per customer, for coaching calls and membership access
$2,000 in monthly recurring revenue from founding a new side business
Striking out on his own as a solopreneur gave Justin the opportunity to grow beyond a siloed corporate role, and he reaps the benefits of that growth year after year.
His membership community, Marketing for Developers ebook, and online courses have helped other developers and founders grow, too:
Justin uses his experience to help other aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them overcome the same obstacles he encountered as a first-time business owner.
And that's exactly what our fifth and final benefit is about -- how changing your career can help others change their lives.
#5: Changing lives
I know, I know, it sounds dramatic. But it's true: Becoming an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to change people's lives. When you start a business with passion and a purpose, you give yourself the chance to make a real difference for others.
And people want to purchase from purpose-driven companies:
Consultants and coaches are uniquely qualified to help their clients transform their lives.
The personal coaching industry is predicted to reach $1.34 billion by 2022 -- a 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022.
Online coaching means you can reach more clients than ever before, sharing your story and expertise to help them overcome obstacles and find success.
Tiffany started out selling physical products but soon decided to diversify her product offerings. So she reached out to the most important influences on her business: her audience.
“I'm super big on asking your audience what they want,” Tiffany told us. “They will tell you.”
She kept receiving questions about her success and found that people really wanted to learn how she grew her business.
Tiffany then gathered additional feedback and further validated her product idea. She asked her audience, "If I created a guide to help you with this, giving you the exact same steps, would that be something that you’d be interested in?
The answer was a resounding "yes," so Tiffany launched her first guide. She found that creating digital products let her sell to -- and help -- a broader audience.
For there, Tiffany launched a collection of trainings and a membership: Rich Girl Academy.
Academy members are part of a smaller group setting and receive a monthly Q&A and training from Tiffany. There’s also additional training from her “team of Oprahs” on a variety of Rich Girl Collective topics:
R: Relationships and family
I: Investments and entrepreneurship
C: Community and awareness
H: Health and wellness
As for the results of launching Rich Girl Academy? This testimonial from one of Tiffany's students says it all:
"I have purchased many trainings throughout my business journey, but this is by far the best business investment that I have made. Tiffany is such a selfless person.
She could be charging thousands of dollars for all the information and time she dedicates to her members. Do yourself and your business a favor, and join Rich Girl Academy today."
Pivoting from selling physical products to digital products within a single niche lets Tiffany scale her impact, so she can help more women around the world achieve their entrepreneurship goals.
If there's a worthier cause than that, we haven't found it.
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Alright, now that we've covered five of the biggest benefits of being an entrepreneur, let's wrap this thing up -- so you can start thinking about your own business plan.
The many benefits of entrepreneurship
Becoming an entrepreneur isn't easy, but it can be one of the most rewarding career choices you can make.
Whether you're ready to start your own business and become your own boss, or you're thinking about a side-hustle beyond your 9-to-5, entrepreneurship can change your life for the better.
To recap, here are five of the biggest benefits of being an entrepreneur:
Being your own boss means working on your own terms, setting your own hours, and working from wherever you want (when we're not in a pandemic, of course).
For creators, the opportunity to earn income as a full-time entrepreneur has never been bigger, especially when it comes to passive income.
Loving your job isn't just a perk -- it can actually make you physically healthier. Focusing on your niche lets you share your passions with an audience who truly appreciates it.
Entrepreneurship offers career and skill development far beyond a traditional corporate gig. Bonus: You can pass that knowledge on to aspiring entrepreneurs and keep that growth going.
As a coach, consultant, or creator, you can have a real, positive impact on other people's lives by sharing your experience.
Like I said, choosing an entrepreneurial life won't be easy all of the time. But it sure does come with some incredible rewards.
If you agree -- and you're ready to start creating -- we’re ready to help. And we can't wait to watch you succeed.