Considering Thanksgiving was last week, I'm probably a few days overdue in writing this column. But, if you're like most entrepreneurs I know, you wouldn't have had time to read it until now, anyway.
While most everyone else was taking a few days off to relax and celebrate, you business owners were probably making apologies and sneaking off to catch up on a little extra work. It's especially hard this time of year, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to see the benefit of being a small independent business. While the Best Buys and Amazons of the world draw big crowds and hundreds of thousands of orders, you're fighting for every customer and struggling for every dollar.
There is a lot to be thankful for, though, and it's worth stopping from time to time to smell the entrepreneurial roses.
Here are a few things every business owner can be thankful for.
Freedom – No matter how tough the going gets, there's something empowering and rewarding about working for yourself. While you may work extra hard, you can make your own schedule and never have to ask permission to attend your child's school play again.
Pride – Though you must weather all the company's storms alone, you also get to take credit for all your successes. Unlike working for a company where the results of your good work may or may not be attributed to you, as a business owner, there's no mistaking that your hard work got you where you are.
Creativity – The problem with working for someone else is that you usually get pigeonholed into one job with a limited range of tasks. When you own your own business, you get to be a jack of all trades. One day you're a Web designer, the next, you're an accountant. For many entrepreneurs, the excitement and constant challenge of changing hats to solve different problems is the biggest allure of business ownership.
Passion – Most entrepreneurs love what they do. Being passionate about your job is great, but you're not ultimately in control of how much influence you have or what impact your passion for your job will have. When you own your own business, you can channel all of your love of your work into a business you can be proud of.
Failures – It's said that we learn from our mistakes, but often, when you work for someone else, you don't get the chance to correct yours. Instead, you learn to avoid taking risks for fear of being penalized for trying something that doesn't work. Entrepreneurs are known as innovators because they are usually the only ones who have the freedom to fail.
So as the holiday season progresses and your employed friends take off for the holidays while you work late and check your email on Christmas , remember that entrepreneurs have a lot to be thankful for. And, admit it, you wouldn't really want it any other way.
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Jeanette Mulvey is the managing editor of BusinessNewsDaily. She has written about small business for more than 20 years and formerly owned her own e-commerce business. Her column, Mind Your Business, appears on Mondays only on BusinessNewsDaily. You can follow her on Twitter at @jeanettebnd or contact her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.