62% of Americans want to start their own company, but only 14% of Americans thought this was a realistic goal for them to achieve within the year. Last year, I decided I wanted to become an entrepreneur and launch a freelance writing business. It took a lot of time and hard work to plan and launch my company, but I’m so glad that I made the decision to do so.
What motivated me to start my business?
I saw that there was a gap between business and writing and knew that I was uniquely qualified to fill this gap. I’ve also thought about being self-employed in various forms before: I liked the idea of being my own boss, I liked the thought of building something myself, and I didn’t see why I shouldn’t go for it.
I Saw a Market Gap where I Could Help Businesses
I interacted with company after company that had a hard-to-read, poorly edited, and confusing website, blog, or other written materials. But because of my business background and all the interactions and conversations I’ve had with businessmen and women, I knew that it wasn’t intentional—businesspeople simply aren’t taught the writing skills needed to write a website or blog.
Meanwhile, the people who had been taught those writing skills (copywriters, content writers, editors, and other varying writers) hadn’t been taught the business knowledge that would bring their business writing to the next level. They knew how to write well, but they didn’t understand the language of entrepreneurs or know how to shape their writing to fit within a business owner’s cohesive marketing strategy.
Plus, these writers and businesspeople often operated in different spheres, which meant there was already minimal interaction between the two groups.
So, as somebody who had a background in writing and business and was comfortable in both worlds, I began thinking that I was in a unique spot to fill this market gap. After sitting with this idea, I got really excited about the possibility to work with and help businesses: I really love being around business owners. They are the most interesting individuals and exude motivation. If I started a company writing for other businesses, not only would I get to interact with businesspeople all the time, I would also get to be a business owner.
I Wanted to Build Something of My Own
I love trying things for myself. In my spare time, I like doing anything creative: drawing, creative writing, cooking, sewing, crocheting…the list goes on. I like anything that I can do and say, “I made that.”
Building a business only seemed like a natural extension of my hands-on approach to life and my “from scratch” mentality. It’s something that I can work hard on and step back and be proud of.
Apparently, I’m not the only one with this mentality: In a survey of business owners, nearly two thirds of respondents operate or own their own business because they wanted to build something for themselves or because they wanted to be their own boss.
I Wanted to Be My Own Boss
As I just said, this is a common reason people decide to take the entrepreneurial route: There are actually three reasons that I wanted to be my own boss.
Reason 1: I Like Having the Freedom to Problem-Solve and Increase Efficiency
Inefficiency drives me crazy. It’s the worst. But by being my own boss, I have unlimited leeway to problem solve. I can streamline any process that is slow. I can try new strategies. I can research and implement solutions without any bureaucracy.
Reason 2: I Wanted a Flexible Job
The second reason I wanted to be my own boss is that it offered me some flexibility. I can largely set my own hours. I like that I can work ahead. And I am an internally motivated person, so this flexibility works for me.
And during these times of state lockdowns, being able to work from home has become a huge asset. But more than that, if I can use my laptop and focus, I can work, which means I can bring my work on the road or almost anywhere I want.
Reason 3: I Like Seeing the Big Picture
Finally, I wanted to be my own boss so that I could see the whole picture of a company. Instead of just working on one aspect for my job, I love being able to write for companies, make business decisions, and manage my business’s operations. I like seeing how each aspect fits together, and understanding each piece helps me make decisions within individual pieces.
And as I said earlier, I also like being able to make decisions. I am not beholden to a superior when I want to try something new, stop an ineffective practice, or work towards a more maintainable business model.
I Didn’t See Any Good Reason to Not Start a Business
With all of those compounding factors, I couldn’t find a reason to not start a business, with two exceptions, neither of which turned out to be valid reasons.
Like any new venture, starting a business had the potential to fail. Reasons for businesses’ failing are numerous, but many of them would be beyond my control—like the state of the economy or the at-the-time unseen coronavirus lockdowns. Even when working for another business, I could still fail for any number of reasons, many of which would also be outside my control.
Because failure is not a unique risk to starting a business, it didn’t seem like a reason to not be an entrepreneur. I listened to an episode of the How I Build This Podcast where James Dyson talks about how he started Dyson. James Dyson said he knew that he had a set of skills that he could otherwise rely on if his business failed. This made me realize that even if my business didn’t work out, I still had at least two marketable skillsets (writing and business) to draw on in other ways: I had a backup plan.
Reason 2: Starting a Small Business is Lots of Hard Work
The only other reason I could think of against starting a business was the amount of hard work that launching a company takes. However, I believe that hard work isn’t a reason to not do something.
Of course, I still believe in being efficient and finding better ways of doing things. But most tasks still require putting in the hours and effort: Starting a business meant I had to create a plan, fund my business, build my business, market my business, and much, much more.
But I actually enjoy work. More than that, as I said, I don’t think hard work is a reason to avoid doing something. One of my favorite expressions is “if something is easy, chances are you aren’t taking the right path in life”—similar to the idea that nothing easy is worth having.
This idea is also reflected in human psychology. People need to have some level of challenge, stimulation, or stress to perform optimally in life.
If anything, hard work was another reason to go forward with my idea to start a company.
In the end, it has turned out as I hoped: I enjoy working on most projects related to my business. And any tasks that I do not enjoy, I have the power to find better solutions to.
For a long time, I thought about how my life would look if I was self-employed in one form or another. There are a lot of wantrepreneurs, and I don’t blame them: Starting a business looks daunting. But I’m so glad that I made the choice to start my own company. I truly enjoy adding value to the economy with unique services and all the opportunities such a venture affords me.
If you are also a business owner and want to work with me on your website, blog, or other writing project, I offer a free consultation where we can talk about how writing fits into your business and marketing strategies.