Why Be Self-Employed?


There may about as many reasons to have your own business are there are people who have taken the plunge.


Certainly there are people who have a great vision and sought to become wealthy. Their names become household names - Dell, Gates, Jobs, and long before them – Ford, Westinghouse, or Getty.


But for the vast majority of entrepreneurs, the motive is life-style. They like the idea of making their own decisions, being their own boss and setting their own hours.


In the previous century, the conventional wisdom was that if you wanted to get rich, start your own business, if you wanted security, go to work for a big company. In the twenty-first century, the reverse is more likely. If you want a big paycheck, go to work for a big company, but don’t expect security. If you want security, start your own business. You probably won’t fire yourself and if what you are doing isn’t working, try something else.


Most small businesses are started by people who have a specific skill and they need to be on their own to use that skill. Examples would be tradesmen such as painters, carpenters, mechanics, barbers, auctioneers, or bakers. Others are more artistic such as musicians, photographers, writers and so forth. Almost as a necessity, these people become self-employed even if they don’t always think of themselves as business owners.


A surprising number of people find they are unknowingly self-employed. If your employer gives you a “1099-Misc” showing only income instead of a W2 form showing withholding and FICA, you are considered to be an independent contractor and thus self-employed by definition.