Extra Mile Writing

Extra Mile Writing

5 Personal Benefits of Running a Small Business

paint brushes in pots

I’ve been in small business for over seven years, and I love the fact that I’ve received a number of personal benefits over that time.

Sure, the financial benefits you receive from running a small business are super important.

But personal benefits are also absolute gold, because you can’t spend them or lose them and you don’t have to worry about investing them.  They’re yours for life. 

And, if you’re someone like me who was absolutely desperate for some change in my life, to have come out of anything a changed person is the most beautiful result of all.

So, I decided to list the top 5 personal benefits I’ve gained from running my business, in the hope that it encourages you to pursue creating your own small business, if this is something you’d like to do at any point in your life. 

I know my clients and my community, and I care about both

woman serving beer behind bar

I used to work for a federal government agency and I was one of 20,000 staff members across the country. 

I was basically just a walking swipe card. 

The organisation was clumsy, slow, inefficient and bureaucratic.  The work was repetitive, frustrating and completely unsatisfying.  I was glad when I finally left two and half years later and I wasn’t even the tiniest bit proud that I’d ended up working there in the first place.

The organisation didn’t give a rat’s bottom about its “customers,” apart from a general wish to avoid an increase in complaints.  It was uninterested in the community in which it existed, because it would continue to exist whether the community was there or not.  It was expected that there’d be an office in the capital city of each Australian state, so it would continue bumbling along, regardless of the service it gave.

In contrast, I love the fact that I care about my clients, because they are the reason my small business exists.  I’m also very interested in serving the community I live in, because if I don’t serve my community I don’t earn an income. 

And, at the end of the day, I actually think that people are awesome, and I’m privileged to receive money from them.   

I’m stronger than I used to be

strong male hand holding rope

Businesses are only born when someone decides to be brave or decides to take a chance.

When you start a small business you are giving something a red hot crack, or taking a leap of faith.

By this I don’t mean resigning from your job and desperately trying to start a small business without savings.  You can do it any way you like, but you can always ease into small business, building it up as a side gig too.   

To be honest, I started my business the wrong way and I’ve travelled a very long and slow journey.   I’ve made too many mistakes along the way to mention. 

And I wasn’t even that brave, I simply decided that I needed to finally have a go at something. 

So I started on my meandering trek, and I’m so glad that I did. 

I’ve failed and made mistakes so many times, but I’ve picked myself up and kept going, because there was simply no other option.    

As a result, I’ve just become more seasoned to dealing with setbacks and continual mistakes, and I love the fact that this has made me even a smidgeon stronger than I used to be.   

I’ve taken responsibility

man moulding pottery on a wheel

You can’t run a small business without having taken responsibility for how you live your life and earn your income, because your business is the manifestation of that choice.

You are taking responsibility for earning your own income, even if your business is a side gig for a while as you develop it.   

While a job may represent a choice on how you live your life and earn your income, you aren’t fully responsible for your income, because someone else pays your wage.

This has its benefits too, of course.

However, I just love the fact that small business makes me responsible for my work time and the income I earn. 

Now that doesn’t mean I always use my work time well, or that I’ve always done well on the income earning side of things.

I haven’t, but the fact that I’m responsible for both forces me to continually do better. 

I love this!

I’ve learnt a few things

person sitting on stack of books

Small business is great for human capability.

It forces you to use your grey matter to adapt and to innovate so that you can reach your goals.  It helps you find ways to be resourceful, it boosts your problem solving skills, and it even grows your patience.

I love anything that gives me the opportunity to learn and to become a bigger person than I was.

Small business has also made me more compassionate, both towards myself and towards other people.

Because to be honest, there is always something I need to improve upon.  I physically can’t improve everything I need to at the same time, so I’m more compassionate toward myself now.  I work away at my list of improvements, but I forgive myself for what I haven’t got to yet.  And I’m more compassionate to others, because I know we all have a long list in all areas of our life and we are just doing our best. 

I’ve acted on that voice within my soul

wooden love hearts on strings

This is really the most important point of all.

Small business is about making your dream a reality.

You may start very small, and if you’re anything like me, it might take you years, but your business is about earning a living your own way.

I’m glad I listened to that small voice inside of me that told me to get up off my rear and to have a go at something. 

Because life flies by so quickly for all of us, and when I look back now the only thing I’d change is listening to that small voice earlier than I did. 

© Annemaree Jensen