• Susanne Birgersdotter

Although I’ve always known I would be following the entrepreneurial path, actually starting a business has been lifechanging for me. Going through the process has changed a lot of presumptions, set to right my expectations, and exposed me to the realities of running a business. Sure, the in-depth studies, business research, and my first-hand experience of watching my father do business helped a lot, but I was still too far removed from the realities. There are just things that can be learned through experience, and running a business is one of them.

Next to experience, the next best thing one can learn from is through a mentor. Getting tips, advice, guidance, and hindsight from someone who has gone through the process will ease your own initiation to a lifelong endeavor. This is why I’m proactive in sharing my experiences, failures, triumphs, and journeys in the business world, in the hopes that one or a few women who are just starting up will read it and find wisdom from it.

There aren’t wrong or right reasons to start a business. Different people in different societies and industries, with different skills and resources, will face different sets of challenges and obstacles. A great reason for you to get started might be a bad one for another person living on the other side of the world. Here is a list of the good reasons to be in business;

Follow your passion – Most successful entrepreneurs started their business out of their love for their craft. Being a businesswoman, I can get to pursue my passion on building solutions, creating beautiful items, and bringing together people from different industries, cultures, and skills into a team with one goal and purpose.

Freedom from the rat race – You are free from the endless cycle of working as an employee. The tedious daily grind with minimal rewards other than a regular paycheck. Dead end careers dampen creativity, enthusiasm, and passion. You get the same set of tasks to work on every day, you will meet the same set of people, go to the same diner for lunch, and take the same commute daily. Running a business means getting surprised daily with new challenges, meeting new people, acquiring new skills, and becoming an expert in your industry.

Unlimited earnings – While going into business is a risk, as you will always have to deal with failures, it is also rewarding in the form of an unlimited income. The amount of income to expect is directly proportional to the amount of hard work you are willing to put in, the risks you’re willing to take, and the innovativeness of the ideas you put out. Compared to the slow uphill climb of an employer’s salary, an entrepreneur’s income is something one can have direct control of.

Power over your hours – Not a morning person? Hate the nine-to-six drill? Hate your nightshift job? Employees don’t have much of a choice but to comply with the requirements of their jobs, and that includes rearranging their schedules to fit the job. The first thing entrepreneurs get to enjoy is the power over their work hours. There will be certain days and times of the day when they are tied-up to company tasks, but they also have the rest of the day, week, or of the month free.

Realize a bright idea – When you have a bright business idea lurking in the back of your head for a long time, it is a highly recommended you bring it to reality, soon. The first step to business success is taking that heap of courage to take the leap. It could turn out to be a dud, but it will lead you to better ones. The only way you can lose is by not taking the chance while you have it.

Call the shots! – With your own business, you get to make the decisions, set the rules, and run the business your way. No frustration over disapproving bosses, impossible deadlines, or non-cooperating co-workers. You have the freedom to determine your work culture, choose the people you want to work with, and make decisions without dreading of getting fired. With your own business, you get to grow the business, earn your keep, learn a lot, set your own deadlines, manage your schedule, and take all the credit for your hard work.

Create jobs – Perhaps an afterthought but starting up a business will give you an

opportunity to impact your community, not only by providing your products and services but also by improving the economy of the community and more job opportunities.

While there are many good reasons to start your own business now, there are also bad reasons that, unfortunately, are common enough for people to base their decisions on. These assumptions or reasons are also the reasons most startup businesses fail.

You hate working – You hate your job, your boss, your pay, and the idea of going to work every day for the rest of your life. You hate working. Starting up a business will need you to work, a lot more than you’re working right now. Getting a business to take off will need all your hours and attention. You will start struggling – sales are low, customers few, income non-existent. You will work as the boss, the salesperson, the creative director, the delivery guy, the accountant, and more. The easy days, assistants, and endless vacations will come to a lot later.

You want to be rich – if you’re only in it for the money, you better not go into business. There is no easy money in business. A good income is a fortunate reward for long gritty days of working hard, never-ending persistence, and dedication to your calling. The money will come pouring in after you’ve proven your worth with love for the industry, and by that, it’s really not the money that matters.

You want to be famous – You want a trophy business to claim your own and use to proclaim your name to the world. Yes, the most successful businesspeople are also famous, but if your end goal is to be renowned, running a business might not be your best option. As it is, starting a business is hard. Sustaining to grow and stay relevant is doubly hard. As a seasoned businesswoman, I’ve never met one successful entrepreneur who has fame in his or her set of goals.

Learn more of my business and life journeys from my book, Pivotal Moments, here. It is also available in Kindle from this link.