There are Easier Jobs than Being an Independent Business Owner

Jan 31, 2011 | Competing in Today's Economy, General

As I travel the country, I am constantly reminded that there are easier jobs out there than being an independent business owner.  There are jobs with less risk, there are jobs with better hours, and there are jobs with less headaches.  There are also jobs where you basically know what to expect each day, including one big expectation that at least once a month, you as an employee will receive a paycheck.

Personally, I like helping independent business owners who are risk takers, who go off to create their own dreams, and who aren’t afraid to try to make it on their own.  I like working with owners who move ahead without the guarantee of success, and who keep moving ahead, even when there is no guarantee of a paycheck.

You know what else I like?  I like helping people who wake up in the middle of the night with big dreams, with new ideas, and with fears that they won’t make payroll this month.  If you own your own business and create your own income, you know about these 2:00 in the morning awakenings, sometimes stirring you with inspiration, sometimes snapping you awake with perspiration.

When I work with someone like this and help them grow their business, that’s when my job’s rewarding.

If you are at a desk or in a job, guaranteed that a paycheck is coming, you can understand this type of risk that I’m talking about intellectually, but if you haven’t felt that feeling in your gut in the middle of the night worrying about your sales and your company’s next move, you don’t really have a clue.

Of course, most of us who have started our own businesses wouldn’t do real well with a traditional job anyway.  When I was with Hallmark Cards, the guarantee of a paycheck wasn’t what was important.  I was bored.  I wanted to do something more.  I didn’t fear leaving Hallmark and starting my own consulting firm and having to go find clients that would pay for my advice; I feared waking up in 30 years after doing the same thing and feeling like I missed my chance to do something that I knew deep down would be both fun and meaningful.

Small business owners are a different breed.  Those less risky jobs feel boring, rigid, and make you feel like you’re stuck-in-a-rut.  Admittedly, one has to be a little “off” to own their own business, but you can’t be so “out-there” that you are inefficient, unfocused, and unproductive.

You’ll have to excuse me because most of this post are just my ramblings.  Thanks for taking time to read it.

With that in mind, I recently read a poem by Robert W. Service, and I adapted it to apply to small business owners everywhere.  Read it, and let me know your thoughts:

This is the Law of Small Business,

And she ever makes it plain.

Send not your foolish and feeble,

Send me your strong and slightly-insane.