The 4 Reasons Behind My Decision to Become an Entrepreneur
1.) Financial Independence - I don't come from money. Neither does my husband. Everything we learned about debt, saving, and investing came from Dave Ramsey, independent research, and our financial advisor (who we didn't snag until after we had pretty much learned what we wanted to know). Hubs and I love to serve and we love to give. This past summer, we threw our third annual backyard barbecue/cocktail party and it cost us roughly $3,000. But we thoroughly enjoy hosting and allowing people to have not just a great time, but an amazing time, at our expense. We also love to give. To whomever, whenever. We want the flexibility to be able to meet needs right there in the moment. We like being stable for our kids, who depend on us for consistency. And last, but not least - we value experiences and a certain quality of life. So going to the Caribbean is fun when we get the chance.
A few more things about reason #1: I read a book called The Millionaire Next Door. The book changed everything, do y'all hear me? I read it after we finished paying off debt and I pretty much made a decision right then and there that we would do everything the book said. And we do. The book talks about the ways of life for the wealthy - how they live below their means, how they bargain shop, how they invest in things that matter like education and good accountants, and how they buy used cars outright - cash money. At the end of the book, the author explains that one of the best ways to become wealthy is to own a small business. He even gives ideas of which businesses will always be needed. One of the ones he mentions is education, specifically, tutoring. And the lightbulb went off.
2.) Supportive Friends: I pitched this idea to 3 friends who I spoke to every morning on the way to work. I knew these friends would be honest. They wouldn't just lie and say my idea was good if it wasn't. I gave them the backstory (the book and what I was thinking) and I asked them: What if I started tutoring on the side to make some extra money? What if it actually turned into something big? All 3 of them thought it was an idea worth pursuing, which gave me the confidence boost I was looking for.
3.) The "Unintelligent" Entrepreneur: One of my college roommates had gone to prison (while we were in college). When he got out, he never went back to graduate and he started a business venture. This next sentence is not going to sound very nice, but I have to say it in order for you to fully understand this third reason behind my becoming an entrepreneur. He was not a smart guy. I'm not just talking book-smart. I'm saying, he was unintelligent on many levels. And he told me he was making $60k working for himself. I knew he was telling the truth. If this guy could do it, then surely....
4.) Reflection: I thought back to my experiences working for other people. I had some terrible ones, but I really did have some great ones! But the one thing I couldn't get out of my mind was my personality and work style. At every job I'd had, I did things very efficiently. Not only were they done quickly, they were done effectively. And I hated - I mean absolutely hated - the 9-5 (or in my case, 7-3) aspect of working. It felt so unfair. If I'm done with my work in 2 hours, why do I have to stay? I feel like I'm being penalized for working better and faster than everyone else. If my students are making progress at 3x the rate of the other teachers, why do I have to waste my time attending a seminar from someone who knows nothing about adequate progress? I'm not saying I can't learn from people, I'm saying, let me do my own research (which I was already doing) and learn from the people whose information is actually good and valuable - on my own terms and on my own time. Please and thanks. I've never liked this kind of conformity. Well, you have to go - because everyone is required to attend. Ugh - kill me now.
So! There you have it folks! The 4 reasons I went into business for myself. It's been unequivocally challenging and painful, but also exhilarating and rewarding. I am so glad I took the leap!