The life of a small business owner comes with its share of struggles — and benefits.
The BMO Wealth Institute issued a report in December, “The Life of an Entrepreneur,” which examined business and personal challenges faced by entrepreneurs. According to the report, 26 percent of business owners struggle to balance the needs of their business with the needs of their family.
The report also stated 63 percent of entrepreneurs work much longer than the average 35 hours per week for the average U.S. employee.
David Cook, owner of Allied Automotive Detailing in Murphysboro, knows all about working long hours.
He has operated his car detailing service for the last eight years. He said starting out, there were a lot of early mornings and late nights.
“I would walk into the shop at 8:30 a.m. and wouldn't leave until after midnight, and still wake up and do it again the next day,” Cook said.
He said even after several years of owning his own business, he still works more than the average worker.
“I am usually working about 50 hours a week, but it varies,” Cook said. “Sometimes I get the weekend off, sometimes I don’t.”
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Travis Bliffen, owner of Stellar SEO in Marion, said even when he isn’t technically working, he is still thinking about his business.
“It is definitely a scenario where it is hard to stop thinking about it,” he said. “When you own your own business, it changes your entire way of thinking. Even when you are not at work, you interact with other people or businesses.”
He said everything he does could be related to his business.
“You almost have to change the way you carry yourself in general to avoid the negative association,” Bliffen said.
However, owning a business isn't all negative.
Early on, entrepreneurs must work hard, Cook said. But, after a few years, those business owners will be able to take a vacation on their own terms without asking permission.
“The real joy of being an entrepreneur is knowing that eventually you will be able to do what you want to do,” Cook said. “That is the big shinning light at the end of the tunnel.”
Bliffen said one of the most enjoyable factors of owning a business is the sense of satisfaction he gets from knowing he is helping others.
“It makes the downside of owning your own business worthwhile,” he said.
Bliffen said many entrepreneurs also enjoy the ability to control their own income.
“Not only through your time and work, but your breakthroughs, your ideals and your concepts that you come up with can lead to increased profitability,” he said. “So, the ability to earn and make your lifestyle better is something that is hard to find outside of working for yourself.”
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