If there is one big takeaway from the pandemic, it is this: life is too short. As people around the globe are returning to some semblance of normalcy and enjoying their freedom again, many are not excited about returning to the same daily grind. With our post-pandemic perspective, many are realizing that life is what you make it.

Millions of workers are considering the prospect of making their employment more lucrative and finding a more fulfilling work/life balance. According to the Labor Department, a record four million-plus workers left their current position in April of this year to pursue another path. 

Typically, throughout history, a large number of people ditching their 9-to-5 occupations signals a robust economy. But thanks to the pandemic, that is not the case. The pandemic has resulted in the worst recession in US history and millions of people out of jobs - but employers around the nation are complaining about labor shortage and how they can't fill many positions.

Motivations for Opening a Business

Although the outlook on the survival of small businesses might not be exceptional, that isn't deterring people who dream of being their own boss. Many things are motivating people to take a leap and go it alone. While everyone’s choice to start their own business is based on different factors and motivations, there are some common trends.

Ready to Be Your Own Boss

No one likes to be told what to do or when they have to do it. When you consider the amount of time we spend working, it makes sense that being your own boss is incredibly alluring. Freedom to call the shots opens up professional and personal growth opportunities and a better quality of life. Who wants to have to be at a job from 9 to 5 when you can get your work done when you choose and at a time when you are most motivated? 

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“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” -Jeff Bezos

Dissatisfaction with Corporate America

“Life is a flash of lighting in the dark of night. It is a brief time of tremendous potential.” -B. Alan Wallace

Although America is based on free enterprise, the American Dream can sometimes feel like it is only available to wealthy people. It is hard to become a "have" when you are stuck in a “have-not” role dictated by more powerful people than you. It becomes increasingly hard to play the corporate game when you think that the odds are stacked against you. Many people in the corporate world are frustrated by the lack of advancement despite the time and energy they put into work.

You Want to Pursue Your Passion

In a post-pandemic world, people get the sense that things can change and end at a moment’s notice. Many people are looking for more passion at work and making a difference. The saying “If you love what you do, you never spend a day working in your life” resonates with those unsatisfied with what they do. If you can find a small business that ignites your passion, it becomes challenging to work daily doing something that does not fulfill you or make a meaningful impact.

Opportunity Presented Itself

We all get excited when we see an opportunity almost land in our lap. One of the biggest motivators to opening up a business is seeing a need and finding a way to fill it or figuring out that you can do something better. When opportunity knocks, an increasing number of people decide to open the door and see where it leads post-pandemic.

Not Ready to Retire

For many, the idea of retirement seems like a dream. And then others want to “retire” from their current employment, but aren't excited about the aspects of “doing nothing.” For people who are done with their current path and looking for the next phase, a small business is more attractive than taking up golf or traveling. Also, it is an excellent way to do something you love, while still in retirement and continuing to make money.

Laid Off - Job Outsourced

When workers are laid off, they have two choices: they can try to find employment in their current industry, or they can switch gears and find something else to do. Sometimes it takes a major life change to give us the courage to realize our dreams of doing something other than what we know. 

Change Your Mindset

It is scary to do things outside our comfort zone or that aren't predictable. Being an employee comes with the advantage of expecting a steady paycheck and knowing that you can take care of your financial obligations even if you don't have the freedom of being self-employed. The key to having the courage to become an entrepreneur and quit your job is to think like an entrepreneur. 

Align All Actions to the Purpose of Business

Entrepreneurs are successful because they don't do what they do purely for money. The key to success is starting with a purpose for your new business. Every business has to have a mission at its core, whether altruistically driven or customer-centric, which is essential to sustainability. 

Spend Time Working  in the Business and on the Business

As an entrepreneur, you will have to spend time working in the business. But to be truly successful, you also have to focus on spending time on the business by understanding where your focus needs to be and continually strategizing for growth and sustainability. You have to keep the daily operations going, but you also have to be the "big-picture” person.

Understand the Need for Investment. 

Small business owners have to recognize that it might take a while to realize any real gains in your standard of living. When starting out, investment and reinvestment are the keys to growth. Having the forethought to understand and evaluate both the size and cycle of necessary investment is the key to getting ahead.

Quantify the ROI Before Acting.

As a successful entrepreneur, you need to start by knowing what the rate of return is, not just start building something simply because you have the time, energy, and resources. If a small business is not sustainable, then you can't be successful - period.

Before You Quit Your Job...

Unless you are independently wealthy, there are steps you have to take before you quit your job on a whim to try something new. 

Build Your Budget

Owning and operating a business is not cheap. Even if you choose a franchise, you have to consider things like fees and how much the daily operations will cost until the business is profitable. Building a budget to handle things like startup costs and paying your salary is a must for success. Taking out a business loan will help you afford some of the necessary investments, but not all. Sometimes it makes more sense to continue to work in your current position while building the resources to jump ship.

Due Diligence

Make sure to be wise about which franchise you decide to start. Things like your franchise agreement are vital in knowing what is expected. Pay close attention to things like taxes, business permits, and insurance. It is critical to examine the fine print!

Budgeting Your Time

Starting any business, even a franchise, is going to require a lot of your time. If you hold off on quitting for a bit, you need to know how much time you will have to allocate to your new venture. Also, consider whether you will need to hire someone to help and how much that will cost versus working full-time on it yourself. 

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Small businesses have many inherent risks, but they also come with incredible rewards if you are smart and choose wisely. Why start a new business from scratch with all the uncertainty and unpredictability involved when you can buy a franchise and have a playbook for success laid out for you? 

A franchise allows you the advantages of getting it up and running faster, a proven business model, less risk, and realistic expectations for your performance based on franchises and locations that set the trend. If you follow the rule book, success is highly likely! You don’t get those advantages from a startup company that may or may not be successful.

Are you one of the millions of employees in the US who are happy about returning to normalcy but not so happy about returning to the daily grind? Now might be an excellent time to ignite your passion, do something different, grow your wealth, and provide a better work/life balance.

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