Many people believe that business owners have the freedom to do whatever they want. They can come and go as they please, with no commitments, no rules. Of course, business owners work fewer hours, and each business owner is independently wealthy. Every business owner on the planet knows this is nonsense, but public perception does exist.
I remember going to my son's morning baseball game (wearing a suit and tie) and an acquaintance saying, "It must be nice to take time off work whenever you want." First, the acquaintance was at the game as well; It must be nice to take time off work whenever...you get the point. Second, I would probably be working until 9:00 PM that evening. And as most business owners realize, any break we take from completing our business tasks will have to be made up later.
Business owners receive requests for any number of charitable and non-charitable contributions. Most business owners give when they can, but it would be impossible to contribute in every instance. The public often perceives businesses as unlimited resources. Every business has to balance cash flow with business needs.
It may sound like I am complaining, but I am simply stating the reality. Non-business owners have no idea the number of sacrifices that owners make. Entrepreneurs face pressures and demands that the general public cannot understand. Despite the demands on a business owner, there is the freedom of being self-employed.
I can't think of a single one of my children's games that I missed. That seemed to be the tradeoff for not being present for some meals, and other times I may have been absent. The flexibility to schedule my work around their events was a blessing. As every business owner knows, this did not mean that I worked less or had more free time.
The average small business owner works approximately 63% more hours than a non-business owner. Yet, 60% or more of small business owners say they like owning their business. Business owners state that pursuing their passion is very important to them. The ability to control their professional life is another reason they like being self-employed.
Business owners must be resilient, flexible, willing to sacrifice, and adaptable. Protracted hours are almost a prerequisite. It seems the struggles would overwhelm the benefits. But the passion, control, and rewards result in the freedom that is not present in most other careers.