You Should Own Your Own Business

Which way you go is important

Which way you go is important

If you’re a client of Sareen and Associates, then you know how heavily invested we are in the concept of entrepreneurship. We keep the lights on here by catering to the needs of entrepreneurs, and, by always striving to help them succeed and prosper.

Whether it’s a new restaurant, a software developer, a new law firm, a carpet installer, a hair salon, a Jiffy Lube franchisee, a government contracting firm, or a used car dealer, we’re all about you owning your own business, and being the master of your own future.

The owner of Sareen and Associates, Arun Sareen, embodies this premise. He’s always had a few businesses at once, and he’s always, always looking for another business opportunity. Some of those new business ventures have failed; most of them have been successful. He is a serial entrepreneur. This personal experience of his, by the way, has proven to be invaluable to the entrepreneurs that make up our client base – Arun is very good at sizing up a situation regarding a small business, and giving that business owner practical advice on how to resolve the issue at hand. It’s a meaningful competitive advantage we have over other accounting firms in the small business segment.

But, what if you don’t have that type of serial entrepreneur personality? Is owning your own business out of the question? Furthermore, is it even wise to strike out on your own? There are risks, right?

Of course. There is nothing worth going after that doesn’t have risks associated with it. In terms of having your own business, you could invest a lot of time and money into something, and it could fail, leaving you with nothing except the experience of running an unsuccessful business. Which, even if it’s a hard concept to digest, is worth quite a bit, but it sure won’t seem like that the day you shutter your business.

But it’s also worth pointing out that there are risks in working at a regular job for a company. The company could go out of business, and then you’re unemployed. The company could be acquired by a competitor, and all they want is the customers of their new acquisition, not the employees. They already have employees that do the same thing you do. Then you’re unemployed. Or, the corporation you work at could just decide to exit the business that your business unit operates in – it’s a strategic decision. Or, the corporation could just decide to stop manufacturing the product you make in your plant because they don’t see a future in it. Either way, you’re unemployed. Not to mention, the possibility that has always been there from the beginning of time; you could work for a boss who is a sociopath or a jerk or not very bright, and he/she could arbitrarily decide to fire you. Then you’re unemployed.

If this was 20 years ago, no problem; you can just go and get another similar job with equal pay and full benefits and pension, etc. No big deal. It doesn’t work like that, anymore, unfortunately. And if you’re over 50 years old, it really doesn’t work like that. Despite that fact that you might have two full decades of good productivity in you, most potential employers will look at you as “used up”, and take a pass on you. You might be unemployed for a long time, and when you do finally get a job, there’s a great chance you will be “underemployed”, that is, working at a job that’s way below your previous earnings, job title, and abilities. And there may be no benefits of any kind, not even paid sick days (I know that seems difficult for many of you to believe, but trust me, it happens), because many of the employers that will be willing to hire you are only willing to hire on their terms, which are very poor terms, indeed.

So, there are risks to working a regular job, too. It’s just that people usually don’t think about all the different negative scenarios I just laid out, they tend to be stuck thinking about a job the way jobs were a long time ago – if you worked hard, and got along with everyone, then you had a job for as long as you wanted one at the company you were at. You retired, and had a nice pension, and then you moved to Arizona or Florida.

Now that we’ve talked about risk, let’s talk about reward.

If you want to be rich, you will never get rich working at a “regular job”. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Sam Walton, Jack Ma, Steve Jobs, and thousands more all started their own companies. Those companies were successful, grew into powerhouses, and now these people are quite wealthy. Some of them are ridiculously wealthy.

So, they got that going for them. Which is nice.

“Wait a minute”, you might say. “What about those secretaries that worked at Microsoft when it first started? They’re millionaires. And what about the CEO of Exxon? He’s a multi-millionaire”. True, true. But I want to gently point out that, in addition to their corporate jobs, they are also owners. They got large stock grants as part of their compensation. And, they’re the exception, not the rule. The chances of being able to pick the next startup that’s going to be Facebook, and then getting a job there at the formation of the company, are no better than winning the lottery. And the chances of anyone becoming the CEO of Exxon or Citibank are no better than starting in the NBA.

You should start your own business if you want to be rich.

Open sign 541x408Here’s the other thing, though. Most entrepreneurs, on most days, love going to work. It’s exciting, it’s emotionally rewarding, and, finally, it’s kind of fun a lot of times. Even if they don’t make it to billionaire status, they’re still having a pretty good time. Even if they don’t make it to millionaire status, they’re still having a pretty good time. They’re doing what they like, they’re in charge, no one is looking over their shoulder, badgering them about what they want them to do, and they’re making things happen.

You should start your own business if you want to love going to work.

Either wealth or loving going to work meet the definition of rewarding. If you have both, you’re on top of the world. If you have only one, you’re still way ahead of most people.

Think about it. Even if it’s just a “side hustle”, think about doing something for yourself.

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