The Top 30 Reasons to Be an Online Entrepreneur
I never thought I would become an entrepreneur.
Now that I am, it’s hard for me to ever imagine going back to a normal job.
There are a lot of reasons why I love being an entrepreneur and I’ve listed my top 30 below.
If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, I hope reading this inspires you to take the plunge. If you’re already an entrepreneur, I hope it reminds you that you have a lot to be thankful for.
#1 You Can Work in Your Pajamas
When you really want to be comfortable, even business casual isn’t casual enough. Online entrepreneurs get to work while wearing sandals, sweatpants, and even their pajamas.
#2 It’s Low-Risk
“If you start with nothing and end with nothing, then nothing was lost.”
Two decades ago, if you wanted to sell a product, you needed a store. If you wanted to offer a service, then you needed office space. If you wanted a platform to promote yourself with, you would have to pay for advertising space.
Starting a business was expensive and therefore risky.
But the Internet has changed things. Instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars a year for real estate, you can pay less than $100 a year for a domain name and hosting. Instead of paying thousands more on marketing, you can start a social media platform for free.
All of this doesn’t guarantee you’ll succeed, but it does mean that you can’t lose much by trying.
#3 Your Work is Your Own
When you work for someone else, all of your efforts go to helping a business that doesn’t belong to you.
As an entrepreneur, your effort goes to increasing the value of something (a business) that you own outright.
Getting a monthly paycheck is great, but it’s a short-term fix compared to developing an asset that can bring you wealth for years and years to come.
#4 There’s Never a Dull Moment
Companies like to hire people to fill one role. As an employee, you’re generally expected to do one thing and do it very well. This may be efficient, but it’s also boring.
Entrepreneurs just starting out don’t have this problem. Instead of filling one role, they must fill all of the roles for their company. In one day, you’ll work as a designer, writer, coder, salesperson, and maybe even janitor (somebody has to clean up).
Playing so many parts is daunting, but it keeps things interesting.
#5 You Learn Something New Every Day
Here’s another benefit to having the varied duties of an entrepreneur: there’s always more to learn.
Even if one day you were able to learn everything involved in making money online, you would wake up the next day and have more to learn. As an online entrepreneur, the better you’re able to keep up with up-to-date technologies, techniques, and trends, the easier it will be for you to be successful.
Personally, I love the sense of progress I get when I learn a valuable new concept or skill. I also like that I’m always challenging my mind and keeping it sharp.
#6 You Can Find Your True Calling
Most people know what they want to do for the rest of their lives by the time they’re five years old. By the time they’re 25 years old, they usually aren’t so sure.
If you’re looking for some clarity on the subject, then you may want to become an entrepreneur. Since it’s such a diverse and self-guided career path, entrepreneurship is a good way to find your true calling.
#7 You Can Beat the Rush
Driving to work with everybody else during rush hour is a waste of time, gasoline, and your patience.
As an online entrepreneur, your morning commute can be the walk from bedroom to your office. If you choose not to work from home, you can still avoid the rush by going to work an hour earlier or later.
#8 More Home Cooking
Employees don’t do a lot of cooking during their lunch break. It’s more practical to go out to lunch at a restaurant or bring a sack lunch.
But as an entrepreneur, you can spend more days working from home and therefore more lunches in your own kitchen. There’s nothing like home cooking: it’s often healthier, less expensive, and more satisfying.
#9 More Sunshine
I live in Fort Collins, Colorado and this last week has seen some unseasonably warm weather. Unfortunately, when I’m stuck inside working during a beautiful day, I tend to be distracted.
So I took mornings off last week to hike, bike, and play basketball. After getting a couple of hours of Vitamin D, I was ready to buckle down for work.
If I had a regular 9-to-5 job, that wouldn’t be possible. I would probably be stuck looking out the window all day.
#10 It Helps Build Your Network
The difference between achieving your wildest dreams and being left in the dust can be as simple as knowing the right person.
Some occupations are better at building your network than others. But you probably won’t make a ton of connections while working in the same office every day year after year.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are always meeting new people. They have to reach out to potential clients, customers, and partners if they want to keep their business moving forward. All of that turnover helps entrepreneurs to have some of the biggest (and most lucrative) networks around.
#11 The Internet is Still Growing
As of December 2011, only 32.7% of the world’s population had Internet access.
In the next decade, that number will climb steadily as more and more people gain access. Meanwhile, those two billion of us who already connect to the Internet will likely be doing it more often, from more devices, for longer periods of time.
In other words, the Internet is a healthily growing industry. If you start an online business today, it will enjoy the benefits of that growth.
#12 We’re in a Time of Economic Transition
The last two decades have seen the sharp rise of digital technology and globalized trade. This has shaken up the world economy and left many industries depleted.
It has also created brand new business opportunities for entrepreneurs to capitalize on.
While bigger, older companies struggle to adapt to these changes, a startup can be built from the ground-up to solve today’s problems. A great example of this is Green-back Laptops, which turns a profit in a brand-new industry (recycling computers).
#13 It’s an Employer’s Market
Unemployment rates around the world are high. That’s bad news for employees, who are dealing with more competition and lower wages.
But it’s good news for entrepreneurs, who can benefit from hiring an eager, available workforce to help grow their businesses.
#14 You Can Create Jobs
If your business becomes successful, you’ll want to hire a few employees. The larger your business becomes, the more people you’ll need to hire.
Google was started by only two people but it now employs over 30,000. What would those 30,000 people be doing if it weren’t for Google? Maybe they’d working for another search engine, but they might also be out of work.
#15 It Makes Your Internet Habit Productive
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you spend a fair amount of time online.
When you’re an online entrepreneur, browsing the Internet becomes part of your job: you benefit from reading relevant articles, networking with people in your industry, and sharing parts of your story on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’re going to be spending your time online anyway, you might as well be doing something productive.
#16 You Can Do What You Love
This may be the single best reason to be an entrepreneur.
Instead of fitting into a box designated by an employer, entrepreneurs can effectively create their own dream-job.
#17 You Can Earn Passive Income
Passive income is money that you earn on a regular basis without having to put in much effort to maintain it. One example of passive income would be the monthly rent check a landlord receives.
Just about everyone loves the idea of passive income because it means that you can make money while you sleep – and use the daylight to do whatever you like.
Because a good website can earn money without much maintenance, online entrepreneurs have the fast track to earning passive income. Some of the ways to do it are by hosting advertisements on your sites, selling products, and developing membership programs.
#18 You Don’t Have a Boss
A great boss is a leader, mentor, and a friend.
A bad boss is hell on earth.
If you don’t want having to risk getting a bad boss then you may like becoming an entrepreneur. You’ll still have responsibilities to other people, but you won’t have to be anyone’s personal underling five days a week.
#19 You Can’t Get Fired
One of the worst things about being an employee is that you never know when you could get the axe. Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs and annual salaries are one of their biggest expenses. Any day, you could go to work with a career and come home unemployed.
As an entrepreneur, you can lose clients, visitors, or followers, but you can never lose your job. Your future is in your hands.
#20 You Don’t Have to Quit Your Day Job
Making money online doesn’t usually happen right away. It takes time to develop a website, product, or following. Even the world’s most successful online entrepreneurs (think Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page) didn’t earn money from their websites for years.
But even though becoming an online entrepreneur is a big time commitment, the time can be spread out over as many days as you like. So, you don’t need to quit your day job. You can keep earning a full-time income and build an online business with your free time.
#21 You Can Quit Your Day Job
At some point, your online business may become so profitable that your 9-to-5 job becomes obsolete. That’s when you put in your two weeks’ notice and become a full-time entrepreneur.
Other than winning the lottery, entrepreneurship may be the best way to never need a “real job” again.
#22 It Teaches You Self-Discipline
Entrepreneurs have to hold themselves accountable. If they don’t, nobody else will.
This is a challenge, but it’s also a great opportunity to flex your willpower. Being your own boss means that you get to practice motivating yourself every day to get things done.
Self-discipline is a rewarding habit. Practicing it daily makes you feel more satisfied and confident in yourself. Of course it’s also the best thing you can do for the success of your business.
#23 You Can Travel the World
When your office is online, you can work from virtually anywhere. As long as you’ve got a power outlet and a connection to the Internet, you’re set.
Some entrepreneurs (like Cody McKibben) take advantage of this and travel the globe year-round. These entrepreneurs are known as ‘digital nomads’. Others just use their location-independence to take the occasional long vacation.
There’s a big, beautiful world out there. Starting an online business gives you a better chance to experience it.
#24 You Can Listen to Your Body Clock
We all have a unique body clock that plays a role in our mood and energy throughout the day.
For me, every night at midnight a switch flicks on in my brain and I become extremely focused, creative, and productive. That time of night is usually when I do my best work.
If I had a typical 9-to-5 job, this productive window would go to waste. One of the big benefits of being an online entrepreneur is that you can listen to your body and work during the times of day when you feel most energized.
#25 You Can Work Four Hours a Week
In “The 4-Hour Workweek”, Timothy Ferriss discusses how to use things like outsourcing, drop-shipping, and Google Adsense to automate your business and work only four hours a week.
This is one of the great entrepreneurial dreams: build a business to the point that it runs without you.
Of course, you can’t start brand-new business, work on it for a few hours per week, and expect to be able to live off of the income. The road to the four-hour workweek is often paved with 50 and 60 hour weeks.
#26 It Encourages Efficiency
Another way to work fewer hours per week is to work more efficiently. The sooner you get today’s project done, the sooner you’ll be able to relax.
The same isn’t true for most jobs. Generally, you get off at the same time regardless of how efficiently you’ve been working. In fact, an hourly wage can actually encourage you to do things slowly because you know you won’t have to work as hard.
Personally, I prefer how entrepreneurship incentivizes efficiency.
#27 It’s Satisfying
It’s hard to define what gives us that sense of satisfaction, but we know it when we feel it. At the end of the day, we either feel happy, content, and satisfied or… we don’t.
In my experience, entrepreneurs are an exceptionally satisfied bunch. This is true even of those who haven’t yet seen very much success.
There’s something about working for yourself, following your own path, and controlling your own destiny that gives a person that happy, contented feeling at the end of the day.
#28 There’s Unlimited Growth Potential
With a traditional job, you move forward by receiving raises and promotions. These are good ways to get ahead, but they’re all incremental forms of growth. You’re not going to be the secretary one week and the CEO the next.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, can experience big breakthroughs and sudden leaps in success. You could make $100 one week and $10,000 the next.
The knowledge that your business could explode overnight is part of what makes being an online entrepreneur so exciting.
#29 You Can Influence the World
As an employee, it’s easy to feel like a cog in a machine. You’re producing results for the company, but you’re not making your individual mark.
Entrepreneurs build businesses that reflect their goals and values. Their businesses entertain, inform, and help people, and in doing that they shape the world.
#30 You Can Leave a Legacy
I don’t know the meaning of life, but I do know that we all want for our life to have mattered.
You don’t have to start a business to do that. Raising a family, becoming a teacher, or simply being a good friend are all fine ways of leaving a legacy.
But if you really want to “put a dent in the universe,” then you may want to become an entrepreneur.
That’s what gave Steve Jobs the platform to change the way we think about technology. It’s also what gave Bill Gates the opportunity to dedicate his life to giving back (through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).
Simply put, a business is a powerful thing. When you create one, you create the possibility to provide huge value for people all around the planet. Build your business to last and it will keep making a difference even after you’re gone.
What’s your reason?
Did any of these 30 reasons jump out at you and make you think, “That’s why I decided to become an entrepreneur?”
Or did I neglect to mention your favorite reason?
Either way, illuminate me in the comment section below.
And if you’re not yet an entrepreneur, I’ll give you one more reason become one: you can start right now.