So You Want to Be Your Own Boss? The Pros & Cons of Business Ownership

By Allie Hartzog Sep 12, 2018

If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, most ruddy-cheeked, starry-eyed future taxpayers name things that sound fun: firefighter, rockstar, NFL player. But as inevitably happens as we age out of childhood, we realize “fun” is more elusive than we once thought, and we start to care about different, “adult” things our job can offer: salary, work/life balance, time off… and the list goes on. But, *sigh,* all those things are determined by our boss. And suddenly, another desire rises up in a lot of us: the desire for autonomy. After all, there’s just something so freeing about not having to answer to anyone but yourself.

Every time you have to clock in and out of a job, when you feel guilty your child is sick and you can’t come into the office, or when you try to ask off for well-deserved time off with the family – in these times, it becomes super apparent your schedule and financial well-being are at the mercy of someone else. You think, If only I could decide for myself when I work and when I don’t without repercussions or guilt. Ah, freedom.

Of course, owning our own business is not the answer to all our problems. Life does not suddenly become easy simply because you don’t have to answer to someone. In fact, being your own boss is a very weighty task. And if you add employees to the mix, that’s a great responsibility that affects many different lives in much more than a financial way – it’s exciting to help others achieve their greatest potential, but it’s a greater obligation than if your title didn’t include the letters “C-E-O” or “B-O-S-S.”

We could go on and on about the case for or against owning your own business, but we’ll make it succinct and talk about the main reasons why you may want to begin this journey… or not. In the end, the choice is up to you!


PROS:

  1. CONTROL

Control. It’s a word that, even just saying it, makes you feel a little more exciting and powerful. It describes a whole-being sense of liberation from the shackles of employee woes. There are a few ways you’ll experience this through business ownership. For one, your schedule is now judgment-free (except, of course, from your own scrutinous eye). You decide when you need to work, when you can go see your kid’s recital, and how many vacation days you’re going to take this year. This type of schedule works really well for someone who is disciplined. Some of the most common advice from business owners about sticking to a schedule is to be completely present wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – read: no multitasking. When you’re working, that’s all you should focus on for that certain amount of time. And when you’re with the family, the same rule applies. Creating boundaries and habits like this frees you up to enjoy all areas of life to the fullest and will multiply the joy of taking time off when you’ve earned it.

  1. EARNING POTENTIAL

When you are the boss, you’re only at the mercy of your own imagination and work ethic. One main area this will affect is your financial situation. If you wanted to play it safe, you would still be working for someone else, right? But with this risk comes something really awesome: the literally uncapped earning potential you have. You’re only limited by yourself (and the law!) when it comes to the ways your business can earn money.

As the boss, you also have the ability to decide what product you’re providing to consumers. A lot of people spend their days working for “the man,” dreaming of what industry they’ll one day go into on their own. Others are driven by a concept. N2 Publishing’s co-founders, Earl Seals and Duane Hixon, were first motivated by a vision of putting people at the center of their business model, and then they decided on a product. However you come about the product or service, find that great motivator and continue to dream how to make it better. You have unlimited potential for a business model, can determine how much you make, and choose how impactful you want to be in your community and beyond. The possibilities are endless.


3. INDEPENDENCE

So you’ve made the leap and you’re finally out of the rat race! This is what you’ve been waiting for. There’s no sense of independence like it. In fact, when was the last time you didn’t have to answer to anyone? Since... before you can remember? The decision to go out on your own is exhilarating and there’s such an edge to creativity when you feel boundless. The independence aspect of business ownership is particularly appealing to those who do their best work as a party of one. Maybe you’ve experienced a negative or toxic work culture and understand the potential benefit of removing team member relations from the picture. Tired of the watercooler gang at work? Running your own business means YOU decide who you work with – and who you don’t!



CONS:

  1. CONTROL

Having control is great when you’re one of the most self-motivated people in the world. And while a lot of people cite self-discipline as a strength in job interviews, we all know it takes a special type of person to truly list this as a defining quality. If you don’t have time management under your belt and it’s hard for you to get out of your PJs on Monday mornings, you might want to reconsider being the person in charge. Sure, it’s easy to think, If I’m the boss and I’m finally doing what I want, I’ll never push the snooze button again! But this is simply not always the case. You can definitely exercise these motivational muscles on occasion, but whether you are able to do so regularly is something to really consider when deciding to pass up a steady paycheck provided by someone else.


  1. EARNING (or losses) POTENTIAL

With all the great financial barriers you can break while working for yourself, there’s no sugarcoating it – inevitably most go on a rollercoaster ride with their income, especially in the beginning. Hey, we never said this is the route for the meek. Income potential is a direct reflection of your work ethic and that can be a brutal pill to swallow. It can also be a really cool representation of your hard work, but it’s all dependent on you – no more blaming “the man” or copping out when you reap less than you want or need.



  1. INDEPENDENCE

Independence, while usually talked about in a positive light, can also be lonely. It’s common for first-time business owners to feel the weight of being alone in their work. Because of this, it’s great to find a mentor or someone in the same industry (even in another state) with whom you can commiserate, celebrate wins, and gain inspiration. N2 Area Directors, who are franchise business owners, find relationships with each other to be “work-saving” when they’re in a slump and need a kick in their professional pants.
If you find yourself feeling alone in your work, take the time to reach out sooner rather than later. There’s nothing more debilitating than days of feeling off, which can lead to weeks and months of productivity loss. And if not addressed, your business can really suffer.



By now you’ve surely noticed the cases for and against business ownership are essentially the same. Being totally in control, with the promise / pressure of uncapped earning potential and independence can be either a “pro” or a “con.” Where they fall for you will take serious self-reflection.

At N2 Publishing, our Area Directors had to consider these factors before committing to owning a franchise publication business. Ready to go on the same journey? Read more about the AD opportunity here.

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