It’s SMALL BUSINESS WEEK! (Did you even know that?)

Well, it is.

Small business week is an official week sanctioned by our very own U.S.  government. And if you go to the Federal Government’s public service announcement about it, you’ll probably fall asleep right along about paragraph two. (At least I did.)

And this is exactly the problem… large institutions don’t know the HALF of how great it is to be “small,” to CREATE a business, to generate your own income and build a new economy by the mere fact that you exist!

Sound too lofty?  Good!  I’ll keep going then.

My 7 big truths about small business (the very ones that the government can’t articulate) are the reasons why the biggest rewards come from taking the risk of starting and building your own business and why we should all be head-butting each other during this small business week…

1. Having your own business is less risky than having a job.

When you have a job, someone can take away your income in two words: “You’re fired.”  This is happening more and more as companies crumble in the face of global changes.

If you ask me, there’s nothing secure about that.

In your own business, when a client or customer moves on – then guess what?  You get to say, “Next!”

2. Having your own business rewards you when you fail.

When you mess up at your job, you get punished, maybe even a pay-cut. Then you have to run around “making nice” to the people who might lay you off or promote someone else who’s younger and “hungry.” (Hungry for what? More time at the office?)

When one of my clients faces challenges in her business, I remind her to be excited. She’s getting paid to learn!  Every mistake teaches her more about how to succeed.

Dan Kennedy calls it a TBF.  Which means that – instead of getting an MBA – she’s getting a TBF. (Trial by Fire!)  TBF’s yield a high ROI!

3. Having your own business means your income ceiling is unlimited.

Often, I show clients multiple places they can generate income in their business within the next few months.  Their eyes light up as they realize that the possibilities are endless.  They stop thinking in terms of “hours for dollars,” and start thinking of passive income.  (Hey, why not get paid while you sleep?)

In a job, you can’t adjust your income based on the value you provide. Instead you have to ask for a raise.  Not fun.

4. Having your own business means you never have to wear pantyhose again!

I’m working as I write this.

I’m wearing a Lululemon tank and my hair is pinned up in a ponytail. I’ve got my bare feet propped up on the deck railing as birds sing at the feeder.

When I had a job, there was a dress code. And rules about what you could have on your desk. There was limited time for lunch, and no time for creativity.  And don’t even get me started on pantyhose!

5. Having your own business means your money works harder for you.

Did you know that employee income is the most heavily taxed income in the U.S.?   As an employee, almost half your salary will go to taxes.  You get to spend what’s left on living expenses.

One of my first self-employed discoveries was that my money went MUCH further – because I could invest in myself with pre-tax income.  Any good accountant will help you make your dollars expand in your own business.

6. Having your own business means you get to strengthen your strengths.

Have you ever heard of a “360?”

That’s when your co-workers and supervisors (and anyone else who wants to chip in) analyze your job performance. You learn all about your weaknesses – and you get a review outlining the ways you need to work on them. People leave these “360” reviews in tears.

In the world of the solo-preneur, we don’t mess with our weaknesses. The motto is Strengthen your Strengths. Hire your Weaknesses. In other words, as you become aware of your weaknesses, you don’t waste your precious energy fixing them.

7. Having your own business means you get to CREATE your work environment.

Many office environments don’t encourage creative thinking or positive focus. Instead, there’s lots of negativity among employees who feel powerless.

In your own business, you set the tone, and you choose who enters your environment. You become personally responsible for every aspect of your life.

Sometimes this is more uncomfortable than sitting back and blaming “The Man,” but it will absolutely free you.

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There has NEVER been a better time to have a business.  The world is now at your fingertips.  If you are self-employed and still find yourself struggling – don’t blame yourself. The “job” paradigm can be a tough one to break. (I’ve been there!)