A Business for Your Life
This is my site Written by Alora on January 20, 2010 – 10:35 am

One of the most compelling reasons for an entrepreneur to strike out on his or her own is lifestyle. For some people it might be health reasons or inability to tolerate a long commute anymore; for some of us it may be a craving to be location independent or it could be the birth of a child. Whatever the reason, lifestyle is often a huge motivator when it comes to entrepreneurship.

Family
Universally cited by women who get off the corporate ladder as the biggest reason to start their own businesses, opportunities for stay-at-home parents (mostly targeted at Moms, though also often applicable to Dads) are everywhere. Whether it’s Brazen Careerist founder, author and blogger, serial entrepreneur Penelope Trunk, Forbes magazine’s “Mompreneur,” Lisa Druxman, or dedicated online communities, such as Work-at-Home Moms, opportunities for parents to build a family-friendly business only continue to grow, as does their recognition as truly viable business models.

Geography
As someone who likes to pick up and move a couple of thousand miles away every couple of years, this is one of my biggest motivators: being able to work no matter where I am. In the age of the Internet, a laptop and an Internet connection are a mobile entrepreneur’s best friend. Author of the best selling book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss, blogs about the his misadventures abroad, while communities like Location Independent offer advice to entrepreneurs building geo-neutral businesses.

Schedule
The single biggest complaint I hear from anyone who has ever worked for themselves and has then gone back to working for someone else is about the schedule: being told what hours to work, not having the luxury of picking your own routine and needing to account for your hours. Whether you are a night owl, a highly social power-networker or just someone who likes to be able to take an afternoon nap, having at least some measure of control over your daily schedule can make all the difference between enjoying your week or dreading it.

For most of us, I think it’s ultimately about time: we have limited time on this planet, limited time to do the things we want with the people we love, and limited time to see and explore all the experiences we want to take in. While there are definitely always times when being your own boss is more time-consuming than working for someone else, knowing that your work is going towards allowing you to have some measure of control over your time so that you can spend it on your priorities is often worth the sacrifice.

I know entrepreneurs who are motivated by a desire to spend time with their grandchildren, those who want to volunteer with their church, some who never want to have to wake up before noon and one (other than me!) who wants to be able to have time to water ski every single day. Whatever the reason, these entrepreneurs want a lifestyle first, and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to support that goal.

So out of all the lifestyle reasons to be your own boss, which matters most to you?