All small businesses have a couple of things in common. First, they’re run by a dedicated, determined, passionate entrepreneur. Second, each one of those inspiring self-employed folks had an idea for a product (or a service) and figured how to transform it into something they could sell. We know – and you do, too -- the process of turning an epiphany into a business is never easy. Here’s how some folks in QB Community have managed to do it.
Here’s a question you’ll get asked all the time as an entrepreneur: Why did you decide to start your own business? (Thankfully, the other part of the question – what made you crazy enough to think you could start your own business? – is usually just implied!) We’ll help you home in on your answer by sharing some of the top reasons folks in this awesome community have chosen to do their own business thing. Did we omit what motivates you to work for yourself? In the comments below, tell us what inspires you to take the entrepreneurial leap!
When Erica decided to sell the “clean,” healthful granola she regularly baked for family and friends, she wasn’t planning to turn her side-hustle into a full-fledged business. But three months after attending her first farmer’s market, Erica was selected as a food vendor for Google. Suddenly, she needed to make gr8nola on a whole new scale.
JTcarpentry asked:Hello, we are still a newer company but have been in business for 4 years, running as a sole proprietorship. Does anyone have some quick and simple advice as to why maybe an S corp would be beneficial to me?
For an entrepreneur, the line between work and non-work (also known as “life”) is often quite blurry. Where does work end when you are your own boss? And where does life begin when you and your business are inextricably intertwined? When you work for yourself, finding a work/life balance that protects and preserves your financial health as well as your mental, physical and emotional health can be as tricky as staying upright on a tightrope. Yet, every day, countless people opt to work for themselves. When it comes to getting the most out of both work and life, do the benefits of entrepreneurship outweigh the drawbacks? Intuit decided to find out.
The company recently conducted a survey of 1,000 self-employed people on the topic of work/life balance. Some of those surveyed (56%) were wholly self-employed, while the rest were also working either part- or full-time jobs in addition to being self-employed. Let’s find out what they had to say!
Stop! Before you read any further, take a guess at the following question (we’ll reveal the answer shortly). Do you think:
A) entrepreneurs are happier than salaried workers even though they work long hours?
B) entrepreneurs are less happy than salaried workers because they work long hours?
You’ll find the answer in #3 below!
Key finding #1: For many, self-employment is good news for your work-life balance
One of the biggest benefits of being self-employed is the extra time you’ll have for yourself and your family. More than half (55%) of survey participants report having more time for the former, while 50% have more time for the latter. You’re also more likely than not to have more time to see friends, get some exercise and take vacations. That’s despite the fact that, as we’ll see, many entrepreneurs end up working longer hours.
Key finding #2: Despite longer hours for some, self-employment is generally good news for your health, happiness and income
What did you guess up above? A or B? If you chose A, you are correct! More than two-thirds of the respondents (70%) say they are happier being self-employed, and almost the same number (67%) say they feel more fulfilled. More than half (53%) are earning more money. The positive impact on people’s stress levels is more subtle, but 45% say they are under less stress than before. However, more than 1 in 4 (27%) say their stress levels have risen and a similar number (26%) say their income has dropped since they became self-employed.
Key finding #3: Working for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean longer hours
Although roughly a third say they work longer hours than they did before they became self-employed, a slightly higher proportion (38%) say they actually work fewer hours.
People working longer hours also reported earning more income now than when they worked for someone else. They have a greater sense of fulfilment and lower levels of stress. On the other hand, people working shorter hours reported better personal relationships and higher levels of happiness.
Key finding #4: At the end of the day, work is still, well, work
Many people choose self-employment because it gives them more control over their daily schedule. That reason and many others -- passion, drive, family business, new opportunities and so on -- makes the idea of being your own boss incredibly appealing. However, as the chart above makes clear, the reality of working for yourself doesn’t always match your dream of what it’s like to be self employed. No wonder most entrepreneurs (69%) would ditch the “work” thing altogether if they could swing it financially. Hey, we get it -- self-employed folks are only human!
Key finding #5: You have to make personal sacrifices when you are self-employed
Almost two-thirds of respondents (62%) admit they have made personal sacrifices for their work, but most are happy to do so. In fact, despite making sacrifices, more than 61% do it because their work is fundamentally fulfilling.
Key finding #6: Self-employment is rewarding but may not last a lifetime
When asked what they love most about being self-employed, it’s not surprising that the most popular answer was, “I love being my own boss.” The next-best reason? The ability to make your own hours. Being in charge of your own destiny ranked pretty high, too -- obviously, there’s a lot to love about being self-employed!
It’s worth acknowledging, however, that 70% of those surveyed said they would trade in all the perks of self-employment if it came down to making more money, getting a better job or making a change for family reasons.
With that in mind, as well as all the other fascinating, obvious, surprising and occasionally contradictory findings in this new report, we feel compelled to say kudos, once again, to anyone who dares to work for themselves. No one ever said self-employment is easy, but, for countless dedicated, driven, passionate entrepreneurs, at the end of each and every long hard day, it’s worth it.
QB Community members: Do these survey results resonate with you? How would you answer these questions?
Want to weigh in but not yet a QB Community member? Click HERE to sign up in a flash!
"As a two-time cancer survivor, I knew all-too-well going through chemo can be grueling and scary and lead to all sorts of unpleasant side-effects like nausea and mouth sores. I wanted to help others as they go through chemo by sharing carefully curated gift boxes lovingly packed with helpful, purposeful products."
Meta Mesdag is a mom of three in Juneau, Alaska. Wanting to be available to her kids, Meta has opened two successful small businesses out of her home. Although both ventures have kept super busy, Meta decided earlier this year to start a family “mariculture” business -- an ocean farm where she, her husband and kids will grow (and then sell) oysters, clams, mussels and kelp.
Each and every day, the inspiring self-employed folks in our QuickBooks Community remind us that entrepreneurs find their calling in their own unique way. Some can’t imagine ditching the security of a day job, while others give it up in a flash. We’ve met moms who tailor their career to fit their family life, friends who join forces to bring a business idea to life and sons and daughters who are carrying on family business traditions.
If you recognize your own entrepreneurial personality among these eight, let us know. Are you a different type altogether? Tell us more!
Seven years ago, professional voice actor Sharon Coleman was diagnosed with colon cancer. Two years later, the cancer returned, and Sharon once again endured surgery, radiation and chemo. Thankfully, today Sharon is five years cancer-free. She’s also celebrating another significant milestone: This month, she launched an online business that’s directly inspired by her own harrowing experience with cancer. Sharon has founded Lemon and Honey Gifts which offers a carefully curated selection of gift boxes for men, women and kids going through chemo.
Sandra Zhao was running a bakery in Kenya when she met her future business partner Ashleigh Miller, a Persian rug dealer in New York City, at a wedding in Nairobi. Sandra was wearing a stunning dress she’d made from colorful handmade fabric. Her sartorial decision was fortuitous, to say the least: The dress became the inspiration behind Sandra and Ashleigh’s joint business venture, Zuri. Inspired by the bold and beautiful textile prints in western Africa, they set out to sell a single style of dress in an array of ever-changing patterns. The dresses are made at a sustainable, carbon-neutralfactoryin Kenya that supports wildlife conservation and provides jobs to the community. The dresses are exported to and sold in the U.S.
You have questions about running a small business, and our QB Community members have answers! Everyone here knows the importance of building meaningful member-to-member relationships, and there’s no better way to learn, discover and get inspired as an entrepreneur. Best of all? When members share what they know, everyone benefits. Check out this recent QB Community conversation, and you’ll see what we mean! Which online store do you prefer?
There are plenty of listicles floating around highlighting the traits successful entrepreneurs all seem to share. Based on what we’ve seen and heard from the intrepid small business owners and freelancers in our community, we’re sharing your spin on those all-important qualities – and we’re asking a burning question: Which of these qualities do you think help you the most when it comes to starting, running and growing a business?
Whether you're buckling down, ramping up, building out, or leaning in, September is often the month we begin to think about how we want to finish the year. Are you nearing your business goals for 2018 or do you still have a ways to go? What's the single word or phrase that's inspiring you this September?
Mind over matter, positive thinking, growth mindset, mental attitude -- these are all phrases we hear about as students, athletes and as business owners looking for a leg-up on the competition. What does having the right “mindset”trulymean for entrepreneurs and what does itactuallylook like in the real world? These 12 entrepreneurs tell us about the mindset that keeps them motivated and helps them muscle through the ups and downs of being self-employed.
You have questions about running a small business, and our QB Community members have answers! Everyone here knows the importance of building meaningful member-to-member relationships, and there’s no better way to learn, discover and get inspired as an entrepreneur. Best of all? When members share what they know, everyone benefits. Check out this recent QB Community conversation, and you’ll see what we mean!
In 2000, Roger was hired as a guide for Silver Lining Tours, one of only two storm chasing companies in existence at the time. He loved the work and decided he wanted to do it full-time. When he gave notice at the engineering firm, his boss said, “If you can make a living doing something you enjoy, by all means, do it!”
We spoke with QB Community member@CaronsBeach about how she attracts high-end customers at her coastal decor shop, competes with big box stores and why there’s no going back for her after going online with her business.
A schoolteacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and award-winning poetic voice, any given day may findSekou Andrewskeynoting at a leadership conference, helping a Fortune 500 company with brand messaging, or even performing pieces for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard. Sekou is the creator of Poetic Voice, a new, cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable.
Here's Sekou inspiring the attendees at 2014 QB Connect to take their business to the Next Level!
Andrew Evans officially became an entrepreneur when he was 12 years old. That’s when he performed a magic show at his sister’s best friend’s birthday party. Afterward, the friend’s dad slipped Andrew $20. “I thought, whoa,” recalls Andrew, who went on to perform throughout middle school and high school at parties, picnics and festivals. “Getting paid to do what I love was a really big moment.”
Grace Kraaijvanger spent years juggling her passion – performing and choreographing ballet and modern dance – with her work as an independent marketing consultant. After having two kids and “accidentally retiring” as a professional dancer, Grace planned to build up her marketing business. Problem was, she says, “I’d already been part of a passionate, creative arts community. Now I was working at home and feeling very lonely. I missed being part of a supportive, like-minded community.”
More than 30 years ago, Veronica Champion left a career teaching competitive ice skating and set out to become a professional balloon artist. She tells us she loves most about her unusual business and what she finds most challenging – besides learning how to tie a balloon.
Did you know that the number of African-American businesses is growing by leaps and bounds? Women are seriously leading the charge, with awhopping 605%increase over the last two decades in businesses owned by black women. Wow! That amazing effort is of the reasons we are celebrating Black Business Month this August. Let’s meet some of the African-American entrepreneurs who are rocking it in our community -- and in the small business world!
When you hear the name “Maxie McCoy,” words like “courageous,” “bold,” “motivating” and “inspiring” may come to mind. If they do, then Maxie is succeeding in her goal of turning her namesake business into a widely recognized brand. Three years ago, this award-winning author, speaker and coach set a lofty goal for herself: to help billions (with a b!) of women boost their productivity, turn their dreams into a reality and believe more deeply in themselves.
Co-founders Marty McDonald and Rich DeMatteo of Bad Rhino, a social media marketing agency, saw the power of peer-to-peer connection long before Facebook and Instagram were household staples. In 2008, Rich leveraged social media to launch and grow an online career blog, Corn on the Job. Marty began dabbling in online marketing in 2002 as a side gig while working in staffing and talent acquisition.
The two brought their skills and passion for online marketing together in 2011 to form Bad Rhino, a small business helping other small businesses put their best marketing foot forward with savvy social media strategies. We spoke with Marty about the link between a killer social media presence and increased sales.