What do you want for yourself and your business?

02/11/2016
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Sometimes you need to think of yourself. Of the many motivators for setting up your own business, there are practical reasons and there are personal ones.

Pragmatic individuals starting up on their own need to remember that the world, the economy and the market may all change and your business may get tossed around in uncertainty. However, if you’re setting up on your own because it’s the idea of working for yourself and the lifestyle that goes with it that makes you happy – that happiness is likely to endure.

Last year the Office for National Statistics published a report showing that self-employment in the UK was higher than it has been in the last 40 years. The survey showed a dramatic rise in self-employment since 2009, a clear response to the financial crash of 2008.

This rise has not been overly due to more people making the leap, but to more people sticking at it. I mentioned more than once how tough life can be as a sole trader or start-up (especially in the early days) but with fewer employment opportunities out there, more people have been willing to stick it out.

With the situation changing and more jobs becoming available, this trend in rising self-employment may not necessarily continue. There aren’t many guarantees when it comes to setting up on your own. You might strike it rich, change the game or disrupt the market but you might not. If your motivations are money, power and influence you might be disappointed and, if the economic climate improves, we may see more such people drift back to employed work.

Things are different however if you’re looking for more of a life change. A survey was conducted by Microsoft on the benefits of working from home and Forbes published a list of the top ten:

  1. Work/home balance (60%)
  2. Save gas (55%)
  3. Avoid traffic (47%)
  4. More productive (45%)
  5. Less distractions (44%)
  6. Eliminate long commute (44%)
  7. Quieter atmosphere (43%)
  8. Less stressful environment (38%)
  9. More time with family (29%)
  10. Environmentally friendly (23%)

Many of the benefits listed here are more personal and have less to do with external factors. If you can see things that motivate you listed here then you have every reason to stay the course. Self-employed people are generally happier and the main reason for this comes in at number one in the list. Though we often work longer hours we have the control to choose when those hours are.

If a key motivator of yours is to increase your happiness and the results on this list are the sort of things that might just do that then these benefits are likely to hold true regardless of the turning wheel of fortune around you. The tough days can be endured because the real rewards are there for the taking.

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