1When I was still in the most productive years of my life, a friend who owned a small, service-oriented business asked me what I imagined myself to be ten years from then. I quickly replied that I wanted to be sitting in one of the managers’ offices in our multi-national pharmaceutical company. With the
salary and fringe benefits I was receiving then, I could not have wished for more.

Now that I am running a small business myself, I regret for not having started much sooner as an entrepreneur. I should have not given in to the lure of corporate life which I now realize could not compare with my life now as my own boss. For those who are still hanging on to their 8 to 5 jobs and
afraid to venture out of their comfort zones, seriously consider the following facts:

• Every time and energy you spend in running your business goes back to you plus interest. Never would anyone exploit you for their own advantage, never again. This is what many seemingly contented employees fail to realize. If they think they are getting one ahead of their employer because he compensates them well, it is time for them to re-think—and hard. No businessman in his right mind would spend a single dime for someone without getting back much more in return.

• Having your own business will free you forever of job hunting and be at the whims and mercy of HR people. This happens because security of tenure in most jobs is a myth. Even impressive corporate titles are not guarantees against the effects of inflations, changes in company policies, labour issues and strikes, etc. that make losing one’s job an ever-looming possibility in a corporate environment — well, not when you running your own company.

2• The pittance you get from your employer is not worth the anxiety and stress you get. As your own boss, you would never be at the mercy of anyone else’s whims and moods. You are forever free of office intrigues and politics which, not only hamper your work, but harm your health as well. You can enjoy the luxury to stay focused in what you are doing without distractions from your boss or other co-workers.

• Working for yourself is stronger motivation than working for others. There mere thought that you own the business you are working for gives you pride in whatever you accomplish for it. However, regardless of how you labour for other’s business success, all you get is a token of gratitude while the glory is heaped upon its owner.

• When you own a business, you earn your place in the community. You are automatically aligned among the achievers and win the respect of other business owners. You are no longer a mere faceless member of the workforce but somebody whose name is printed on the invitations to business gatherings. You may even be invited to speak and share your business expertise among the giants in the market. You may never reach this height as an 8-to-5 employee. Suddenly, you find that the playing field in business just got even!

3• When you own your business, you begin to realize your real worth based on who you are rather than on the job you do. There is no limit in how much value you can put on yourself as compared to a worker whose opportunity for advancement is restricted by company policies and other people’s opinions.

• When you have your own business, you call the shots. No one dictates on you. You are free from stress because no one is always astride on your back telling you where to go, what to do, or when to do it. This freedom may be intimidating sometimes but it trains you on how to manage and control yourself effectively. What better incentives can you get to know your very future depends on how well you develop these skills in running your business?

• When you own your business, you will learn to appreciate the value of money. You will develop the virtue of frugality and curb your craving for luxury. You maximize the value of every cent and dime you earn and this is vital if your business is to prosper and last.Owning your own business provides you with all these advantages and much more. It also gives you the freedom and power to control and to live your own life, helps you become more resourceful for your success and survival, and learn to appreciate more yourself in more ways than one.