Most of us have been there. Running a couple minutes later than you like, towards a job that you stopped enjoying a long time ago, wondering if this is as good as it gets? Ever think to yourself “If I had my own company, I would “___________” (insert whatever here). Shows like Shark Tank and other portrayals of business in the movies and media make owning your company glamorous. And it is… SOMETIMES. The reality of it is that success takes hard work, no matter what path you endeavor upon. For every truth of a business owner on a golf course smiling and having the time of their life, there is another equally true image of a business owner working well into the midnight hours on something trivial that he or she alone is responsible to fix.
As the owner of HH Staffing, I am truly blessed with a great team and I look forward to continue leading my team as we help others through our work and the lives that we have positively changed for the better. With decades of multi-national experience under my belt, I am often asked which is better? Working for a big company or owning and running a small-to-mid sized business? For me, both positions gave me opportunities to grow and give back and they are both experiences to be grateful for and treasure, yet owning my own business is better. I could discuss these in depth, however, here are my 5 best reasons to own your own business.
5 Best Reasons to Own Your Own Business
1) You Control Your Journey.
I have a close friend who made a million dollars in profit for a company several years ago. At the end of that year, he received a call to the HR office. Thinking he is going to get a promotion or some other accolade, he instead finds out he is being laid off with a 2-week severance package and “Thanks, however we are taking the company in a different direction.” (Glad to say, he started his own company after that and has had tremendous success over the last decade and a half). I have been caught up in downsizing activities before through a plant closing and an acquisition whereby the new owner closed our location. Happens to many people, especially if you have been in the workforce for decades like I was prior to owning my own company. Something’s are just out of your control. As a business owner, there are plenty of obstacles and roadblocks and as is often quoted, “Even the best plans of mice and men go awry”- (That’s from the poem “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns”) Anyway, good or bad, you get to make the decisions and be in control of your own fate.
Not necessarily more time (actually, you will have less time, but the time you do have is far more flexible.) Creating flexibility, or “space” to get things done, has helped me to be more productive and effective because I can work the super important items in a concentrated way without the constant interruptions of the unexpected. Maybe I just wasn’t very good at juggling many things at the same time, many people are great at that, but I really wasn’t that great when I was working in the corporate world so I would have to jam many things into place after hours, at night or on weekends. Almost every successful business owner I know tried to make the important things in their life, like family time/events and then works early mornings or late at night when everybody else is in bed. Although, it is a little outdated, here is an incredibly interesting article about business owners and lack of sleep. Starting a business can be very time consuming, especially in the beginning, but once it’s established you can hire on more team members to take over some of the additional responsibilities. Make the time for family vacations, your daughters’ recital, or your sons’ soccer practice because when you look back in 20 years you don’t want to think about the times you missed but the memories that have been made. No one is on their deathbed wishing they worked more.
3) Create your own environment.
By setting the tone, formality and culture of your organization you can determine everything from the office environment to the employees that you hire. Many successful companies cite positive workplace cultures as a basis for finding and retaining dedicated, hard-working employees. Companies such as Zappos, Google and Facebook know that by offering amazing perks and work environments they can hire and retain top notch employees which allows them to outperform competitors. Maybe you want to start off working from home and then get an office space as your company grows. You get to choose, because the bottom line is that owning your own business means that you have the ability to decide when you work, how you work, where you work and what you work on. It also means that in most cases as you grow, you get to decide who is on your team with you so choose selectively and carefully because at the end of the day, you will be the responsible person for creating the work environment that you ultimately end up with.
Invest in yourself and gain emotional, relational and financial independence. Look at financial rewards for a moment. Owning your own business can be costly in the beginning. You need to have enough cash on hand for startup costs as well as the money to sustain the business until you can reach a positive cash flow. However, by being the one to take those financial risks, you will be the one to reap the rewards (or not if your business fails) when all is said and done. Look at relational independence as another example of rewards. You can choose who to work with or not. I have had to fire some very large clients who represented a large portion of my revenue simply because they were not good to our employees that we had working on their site nor did they pay in a timely manner. You choose who to work with as a business owner and you DO NOT have to work with those clients that don’t have the same moral, ethical or operating standards as you have in your own company. Look at emotional rewards now. HUM, this is the real icing on the cake. When you own and run a staffing company that has as its sole mission To Help People (that’s our mission here at HH Staffing) and then you see all of these lives changed because somebody that you helped to find a better job is now far better off financially and is providing a better way of life for their family, well, that is the uplifting emotional reward that I am talking about here. I rarely got that kind of emotional reward working the corporate grind mostly because so many companies today are beholden to Wall Street, Investment Bankers, Hedge Funds, Private Equity etc which are all driven by the bottom line but working for yourself allows you to experience a more emotionally meaningful life.
5) Experiencing and living a more meaningful life
Make a difference in your community. No matter what type of business you own, there is always an opportunity to give back to your community through either volunteerism, pro bono work or charitable donations. I have always seen money, not as a tool where I can get more stuff, but rather a means where I can do more good. I put money into programs I believe in and help others financially as needed. Ultimately, work-life happiness comes from doing meaningful things. We all want to work for a worthy purpose or cause and know that our work is actually making a difference. Working for yourself will allow you to define what’s meaningful to you. When you do this, you gain confidence and a feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing something you care about.
Bringing it all together,
Being a business owner is not easy. It is stressful, time consuming and even on good days it is not ever simple. There will be times where the safety net of working for someone else is appealing and I promise you that you will have to learn and do new things you never thought you would have to as a business owner. So, if you want more control over your work, time flexibility, reward opportunities, maybe a better and different workplace culture, or possibly you just want to live a more meaningful life, then being a business owner may be for you, or not, but the choice is yours and the choice has always been yours. Chose right for a successful and meaningful work life whatever your decision may be.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.