As of 2017, there are over 1 million entrepreneurs in Canada, predominantly based in Ontario. Many people embrace the entrepreneur way of life on a daily basis, growing their business one client or job at a time. So, why do so many people become entrepreneurs? What’s all the fuss about?
From small business owners to self-employed people, there are many different ways you can enter into entrepreneurship. If you’re on the fence about making the switch, you may find guidance through a better understanding of the reasons why people embrace this exciting, challenging career.
In this article we explore reasons to be an entrepreneur, the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur, as well as what you need to know before starting your own business.
8 reasons why people become entrepreneurs
Though people may have different personal and professional motivations for going into entrepreneurship, there are a few common reasons why people go for entrepreneurship, including:
1. Their creativity doesn’t fit the corporate environment
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons people become self-employed is because they find it difficult and frankly unnatural to fit the corporate mould, work for someone else, or on someone else’s timetable. As someone with great ideas, it can be challenging to convince others to invest in your plans or see the value of your career goals.
This is often a big reason why people become entrepreneurs, taking a great idea and all their creativity and putting it towards their own businesses. As an entrepreneur, you can marry your creativity with opportunity, fuelling a great business idea with passion and determination to make it a reality.
2. They want a lifestyle that isn’t nine-to-five
Another perk of entrepreneurship is that you are your own boss, and you can set your own work hours. The days of clocking in at 9 a.m. and clocking out at 5 p.m. every day are over. As an entrepreneur, you get to embrace odd work hours and report to only yourself. This means you may find yourself working 10 hour days one week and six-hour days another, with the freedom to do your job as needed.
You can also set your work schedule to complement your best working hours, such as starting late in the evening if you find you do your best thinking at night. Or you may decide to get an early start and work in the mornings.
3. They’re passionate about learning
Entrepreneurship is probably a great match for you if you love to discover new information or study up on the latest innovation. Successful entrepreneurs are often consummate learners, researching the biggest trends in their field and staying on top of great ideas that are already in the marketplace. Curiosity is a crucial skill for an entrepreneur, as it can lead to the next great idea or innovation.
Entrepreneurs are often drawn to work for themselves because they are curious about what is beyond their nine-to-five job. They desire to be challenged and always be learning, even when they achieve success in their field. From reading business books to staying up to date on the latest innovations, entrepreneurs are hungry for knowledge so they can make their mark in their field.
4. They have unconventional ideas
Many entrepreneurs struggle with thinking like everyone else. In fact, they might feel a bit abnormal or strange in their approach to the world. This unconventional approach is one of the key skills for an entrepreneur to possess, as it allows them to think outside the box and do things differently. This could be as small as how they approach marketing a product or how they run their social media accounts. Or it can be as large as how they build community with other businesses or how they create jobs for employees at their company.
Most entrepreneurs embrace the unconventional way of doing things, which means they are not thinking like other businesses already operating in the marketplace or falling into the same old way of running a business. They may stick out in society or buck the trend, but this is also what makes them such great entrepreneurs.
5. They want to take action
The entrepreneurship mindset is often a good fit for those who struggle with having a job with a boss they have to report to or get permission from to take action. As an entrepreneur, the only person you have to obtain permission to do something is yourself, which allows you to create your own opportunities.
Many entrepreneurs thrive in a can-do environment, where they have the freedom to make their own decisions and carve their own path in life. This may sound risky, and it is, but it’s also an essential part of entrepreneurship. Though you will face many challenges and experience failure, being an entrepreneur allows you to blaze your own trail and learn from your mistakes on your terms.
6. They want to change the world
Changing the world may sound like a tall order, but many entrepreneurs are motivated by a desire to make a change in their community. They often get into entrepreneurship because they question the status quo and wonder if there might be a better way to do things. They may also identify a gap in services, knowledge, or support in their community and decide to address it with a great business idea or an unconventional solution.
Entrepreneurs know that making a change in the world doesn’t come from simply doing what’s expected or what everyone else is doing. Instead, it comes from embracing one challenge after another and coming up with the idea to make the world a better place, even in small ways.
7. They embrace opportunity
As an entrepreneur, you are good at spotting opportunities and running towards them wholeheartedly. Though there are usually risks involved in any opportunity, entrepreneurs are willing to take them on if they feel it will be worth their time and grow their business.
Opportunities such as a new contact or a new client, or access to a better supplier or vendor, are the lifeblood of an entrepreneur. Where some people may run away from an opportunity out of fear, entrepreneurs are motivated enough to know when it feels right to say yes and dive in headfirst.
8. They seek freedom and control
As an entrepreneur, you seek the freedom to be your own boss while also exercising complete control over every facet of your business. This preference is often why conventional jobs aren’t a great fit for entrepreneurs, as they offer neither and may not feel like much of a challenge.
Like anything in life, being a successful entrepreneur requires a healthy balance between freedom and control, especially as the business grows and the work becomes more challenging. Entrepreneurs often have to weigh the freedom and control of being their own boss with their responsibility.
Advantages of being an entrepreneur
Now that you have a better understanding of the skills required to become an entrepreneur, let’s look at the advantages of this role:
Having a flexible schedule
One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is that you aren’t tied down to a specific location, or even time zone, especially if you can work remotely from anywhere. Some entrepreneurs embrace this lifestyle by working from different locations around the world, or simply from the comfort of their home office.
You also have flexibility when it comes to how many hours you put into your business, though you will likely be working overtime in the early days of entrepreneurship to achieve your goals. As one entrepreneur notes about the benefits of being his own boss: “I reap what I sow. The ability to choose your own hours is great.”
Taking control of your income
When it comes to earning money, as an entrepreneur, you are in charge of paying yourself. Unlike a typical nine-to-five job, you don’t have to wait for your paycheque to come in or worry about whether you might get your hours reduced or get laid off. You have complete control of how much money you earn or pay yourself as the owner of your company.
This can be a great plus for those who like to have control over their finances and determine how well they do based on the amount of work they put into their business.
Becoming a leader
As an entrepreneur, you are a one-person show, especially as you get your business off the ground. This means you will need to adopt a leadership mentality and take charge of every facet of your company. When you hire employees or share your work with others, you will also be able to make your own decisions about how you’d like to run your business and how you’d like to treat your staff.
Entrepreneurship is often about taking on the leadership role so you can execute your vision and achieve the result you hoped for.
Disadvantages of being an entrepreneur
Like any job, there are some challenges to becoming an entrepreneur, including:
Wearing a lot of hats
Being your own boss means you are also responsible for every aspect of your business, from administrative tasks to managing your company site to finding new clients to work itself. Entrepreneurs need to be adaptable and willing to take on different roles as they arise, especially in the early days.
As one entrepreneur notes, “As a business owner, you have to wear many hats. I knew how to use a trowel, but when issues arose with my website, I was less knowledgeable in overcoming those.” Taking on the many different needs of your business means you will likely end up working long hours and learning new skills so you can deal with any problems or issues on your own.
Maintaining a work-life balance
Another challenge of being an entrepreneur is having a healthy balance between your work life and your personal life. Starting your own company can be all-consuming and take up all of your time. You may find yourself sacrificing sleep and relationships in favour of work.
Maintaining a good balance between work and life will help you manage stress and anxiety, which can help you do your job better as an entrepreneur. Often, entrepreneurs find themselves turning to family, friends, and their community for support as they grow their business, if only so they don’t burnout and can relieve some of the stress of the job.
Managing tax and financial concerns
As an entrepreneur, you will need to study up on filing your taxes properly, including tax deductions, with the help of a licensed accountant. Managing your taxes as an entrepreneur is important, as you want to ensure you can stay in business long term and turn a profit.
Finding sources of funding, especially if you feel you need to expand your company, can be a challenge for entrepreneurs. Doing your taxes correctly and maintaining good financial standing can also make your business more appealing to investors and help you land much-needed funding from others.
Read more about annual returns vs tax returns for businesses
Should you become an entrepreneur?
Now that you have a better sense of why people become entrepreneurs and take on this role, you should be able to determine if this path is right for you. Though there are advantages and disadvantages to being an entrepreneur, you may decide the risk will be worth the reward, especially if you have a great idea you’re ready to make a reality.
This article offers general information only, is current as of the date of publication, and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.