The Benefits of Starting a Business While You Are Young
If you were to walk out of your front door or around your office right now and ask all of the people you see whether they would like to be their own boss, I think the majority of people would say that they would love to be. For most people though, becoming their own boss never becomes a reality. Why?
Mostly it is because there is so much risk involved with starting a business, especially when you already have a steady job with a regular income, financial commitments to maintain and possibly even a family to support.
This subject is on my mind today because I was chatting with a friend over the weekend about his dreams of one day working for himself and starting up his own business. He currently works in a school as a teaching assistant and although he does enjoy his job, he just doesn’t feel that the salary he receives is really enough to adequately provide for his family and he also wants to spend more time with his kids. He’s done a few different things in his life and I know for a fact that he is a really good painter and decorator, so he feels that starting a painting and decorating business could offer him the job satisfaction, extra cash and time flexibility he so desperately craves.
The problem is that he knows that if he is ever going to start his own painting and decorating business, he will need to have the time available to do any jobs that he may pick up, which will likely mean saying goodbye to his current steady job. This is obviously a big risk as it will also mean saying goodbye to his regular stable income, not an easy decision when you have a family with young children to support. There is the option of trying to build up his business on the side while maintaining his current job, of course, but he’s a bit worried that this would take him away from his family even more, which is something he doesn’t really want to happen.
The benefits of starting a business while you’re young
My friend’s situation is typical for so many people and it is one of the main reasons why most people never start their own business, even when they have a great idea or they clearly have the skills to be able to do it. Personally, this is not a situation which I’ve had to face in my own life, at least not with children to financially support.
I’ve spent most of my working life as a self-employed person and I started my first business while I was young and was still living at home, which meant that I really didn’t have too many outgoings and could easily afford to take a few chances without risking becoming destitute. Later in my life – for a fairly short period of time – I returned to employment but found that I’d become a little bit spoilt by the freedom, flexibility and financial rewards of self-employment, so I decided to start my own business again. This time I was a married man with bills to pay and a mortgage to fund. Fortunately though, my wife was working full-time at that point, so we were able to survive on her wage for a few months while I rebuilt a client base for my own business. Plus I already had the experience and contacts necessary to build up the business at a faster pace, which was a big help. Oh, and we also didn’t have young mouths to feed like we do now!
This is one of the main reasons why I am so passionate about the idea of people starting their own businesses while they are still young. When you are young you have more freedom, less financial commitments, boundless energy and most young people are also more comfortable with the idea of taking a few risks, simply because they can afford to do so.
You don’t have to be young to start a business, but it helps
This doesn’t mean that it is unreasonable or even too risky to start a business when you are older, though. Lots of people have done just that and have achieved the kind of lifestyle and financial success they were hoping for by doing so. As the example of my friend shows though, taking the risk of starting your own business gets that much more difficult as you get older because you usually have many more responsibilities and as a result, a lot more to lose.
Are you facing the same predicament as my friend? Wanting to start your own business but feeling scared to make the leap?