SCORE Small Business Blog

Declare Your Independence – Start a Business

I have two friends who quit their jobs to start their own business on July 3 four years ago. They always refer to it as their own, personal “Independence Day.”

Starting your own business is in many ways a declaration of independence. So in honor of July Fourth, I thought I’d take a look at some myths and realities about just how independent you’ll be as a small business owner.

Myth: When you’re a small business owner, you’ll be your own boss.
Reality: As an entrepreneur, you have many bosses. They’re called your customers, and sometimes each of them will be so demanding, you’ll wish for the days when you only had one boss telling you what to do.

Myth: When you’re a small business owner, you can do things however you want to do them.
Reality: No one acts in a vacuum. If you want your business to be successful, you’ll need to test your own ideas against what the market wants. Market research before you start, and customer surveys after you start, will tell you if the way you want to do things is in tune with what the market wants.

Myth: When you’re a small business owner, you’ll have a lot more free time.
Reality: Every small business owner I know is laughing maniacally as they read that. If you expect to have more free time than you did as an employee, you’re going to be disappointed. Prepare to work twice as hard and twice as long.

If these are the realities of owning a business, why does anyone do it? Well, these aren’t the only realities. Being an entrepreneur does offer plenty of opportunities to be creative, set your own course and do what you want to do (just not all the time). Being an entrepreneur is kind of like what they say about having kids or joining the Marines: It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love. And if it’s right for you, you’ll know it—and you’ll love it.

Ready to declare your independence? A SCORE mentor can help you get your new business off on the right foot. Visit the SCORE website to get matched with a mentor and get free business advice 24/7.

Rieva LesonskyCEO, GrowBiz Media
Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. | @rieva | More from Rieva

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Discussion (2) Comment

  1. Emma TamesideVisitor

    I love that so many people hold misconceptions about starting a business. I myself held the myth that I would have no boss, it was only a few months before I realized that the customer and market are my boss. A really great read though, and anyone considering going into business should definitely read this.

    One thing I would advice any new business owner to note, is that when you start to grow, make sure you update your computer system and get online. I recently invested in a ERP Solution and a social networking manager, and I haven’t looked back.

  2. Great post! I think that as entreprenuers, we need to look at our new ventures with eyes wide open and understand some of the surprises we may encounter along the way.
    When I was employed, I didn’t have much free time because I was always working…for someone else! I get much more satisfaction putting in all those hours into my own venture than someone else’s.
    Thanks for the article!


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