There are many different ideas about what constitutes the American dream. Some feel that the American dream is home ownership. Others feel that the American dream is being able to achieve success through hard work. While those are certainly important, in my opinion FREEDOM is the most salient element of the American dream, and the best way to achieve freedom is through entrepreneurship.
What Does It Mean to be an Entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur means developing a product or service that benefits society. This might be opening a restaurant, writing a book, managing multiple real estate properties, running a blog, starting a fitness plan, or developing a software application. Instead of working for a company and being a cog in the wheel, YOU are the CEO. You get to pursue your passion and run the business the way you see fit.
Benefits of Entrepreneurship
In my estimation, there are several key benefits to entrepreneurship.
1. Freedom: Since you’re the boss, you get to make the decisions. No one tells you when to come to work, how long of a lunch to take, or how much you get paid. You get to make the rules.
2. Scalability: Your business might start out with one employee – you. However, if you become successful, your business will grow and you may hire other employees to take care of the daily tasks. As it grows, there will essentially be no limit to the number of people you can serve.
3. Passive Income: Creating a product or business takes a LOT of work up front, but after you have the business on autopilot or the book has already become a New York Times bestseller, you basically make money without any additional work. This is in sharp contrast to being an employee, where you only make money if you’re at work.
4. Time: If you’re generating significant passive income from your business, that will give you time to do whatever else you want to do in life. It could be spending time with family, being an athlete, or starting another business.
Disadvantages to Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is great, but of course, nothing in life comes easy. There is significant risk (in both time and money) to starting your own business. There is no guarantee that you will be successful.
It may make sense for you to be an employee for several years, gain experience, build up a nest egg, and THEN take the leap. There’s nothing wrong with a more conservative, methodical approach.
The Ultimate Goal is Freedom
Becoming an entrepreneuer is a great way to increase your freedom. If you’re interested in starting your own business, think of ideas on a daily basis, and see if you can start a business with minimal risk. For example, it takes minimal up-front time and money to start a blog, write a book, or start designing a new type of backpack.
Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, remember that if you save 50% of your income for 15-20 years, you will inevitably reach financial independence, which will also give you the freedom to do whatever you want to do in life.