In the face of increased competition for jobs, and a decrease in the number of jobs available, many North Americans are fleeing the office or factory for a home based business. While everyone has a different set of circumstances giving them the push for self employment, there are a few common threads weaving them together.
1. Desire for more flexibility
For many reasons, a lot of “jobbers” are taking the plunge towards self-employment because it will offer them more flexibility. In this Forbes article, it is listed as the number one characteristic of self-employed individuals.
Flexibility is not to be confused with complacency or a “less demanding” lifestyle. Anyone who works for themselves knows that being self-employed certainly comes with increased responsibility, and at times, longer hours. The key is that these individuals are in full control of those decisions, and embrace them.
2. More control over the “bottom line”
Sell, sell, sell, and then sell some more. Follow that up with carefully controlling and minimizing expenses, and you are on the road to financial bliss. There are also many great advantages to self-employment, particularly home-based businesses, in that you can reduce your overall costs through tax write-offs, etc.
For Canadian businesses, here is a link which describes how home-based businesses can take advantage of income tax write-offs.
For U.S. businesses, use this link:
3. Few barriers to implementing new ideas
One of the most prolific complaints from those in the corporate world has to do with the invisible hand-cuffs that make it nearly impossible to get their ideas considered for implementation. Most people, by their very nature, have a desire to be heard, and a fundamental need to feel that they have contributed to the businesses success. That is often extremely difficult when working for someone else, particularly if one is feeling like they simply “take orders.”
4. Opportunity knocks
Self-motivated, entrepreneurial people often have opportunities present themselves. This could be in the form of a new business venture, a joint venture, an investment opportunity, or simply the opportunity to acquire talent that can help in achieving the vision. While it is possible to be inundated with opportunities presented as “the next best thing”, sifting through them often results in a golden nugget. Self-employed people have the option, the capability, and the flexibility to act on those opportunities without worry about how it will impact their “job”. In fact, being self-employed is a catalyst for seeking out and exercising new opportunities, because after all, who is there to tell you that you can’t?
5. I can’t get no… Satisfaction
For decades, money has been the most significant driver to perceived “job satisfaction”. The Gen-Y’ers are changing that, and are indicating quite clearly to the world, that work-life balance, and job satisfaction are more important than the big pay-day. It is becoming more and more apparent, that people in all stages of life are shifting their focus from money to satisfaction. While the term “satisfaction” is one that has been synonymous with happiness in this context, it also describes a sense of complacency, or “settling”. Perhaps a more apt description is “job happiness”. Whatever it is called, self-employed people, particularly successful ones, achieve the greatest levels of it.
Luke Bazely is Co-Founder of Driverseat Inc., a personal transportation company.