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Starting Your Own Business: Become an Entrepreneur!





What are the advantages and disadvantages of having your own business versus working as an employee? What will you probably love about being an entrepreneur, and what challenges are you likely to face?

This project helps you work through the answers to those questions and much more.


What is entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship is simply the act of being an entrepreneur. It’s what an entrepreneur — someone who owns his or her own business — does. Anyone who owns a business can be called an entrepreneur. But true entrepreneurs start businesses on their own, or with partners, and work hard to grow those businesses — and they usually love doing it!

Entrepreneurs aren’t just business owners. They thrive on starting and building businesses, and many start several businesses over a lifetime. Some of their businesses are successes, and some are not. But the mark of a true entrepreneur is that he never stops trying. True entrepreneurs are excited about their successful companies, and when something they build fails, they see it as a chance to learn and do better next time.

Another part of what it means to be an entrepreneur is dealing with people who don’t share in your vision. Chances are high that not everyone will be as supportive as possible during your journey through entrepreneurship. You may experience resistance or criticism from parents, friends, or others you meet. But remember, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you are doing it for you — not because of what someone else thinks. You can’t let anyone or anything stand in your way.


Becoming an entrepreneur can be very rewarding. In fact, most people who have started their own businesses would not want to do anything else. Once you’ve experienced entrepreneurship, it might just be the only thing you ever want to do for work.

The following sections look at some of the great things about being an entrepreneur, and some of the challenges you’re likely to face along the way.


If you asked entrepreneurs what they like most about having their own business, many would put freedom at the top of their list. What does freedom mean when it comes to entrepreneurship? You may have heard people refer to owning a business as “being your own boss.” What they mean by this is that you, as the one who started and owns your company, are the one in charge. You don’t have a boss to answer to, as you would if you had a job working for someone else.

Freedom can also mean being able to work at something you enjoy doing. Many people with jobs complain about their work a lot. An entrepreneur should be working only on a business she enjoys, and that can make a big difference in your happiness!

Of course, enjoying your work doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities. As we talk about later in this project, it isn’t about being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. To be a good business owner, you have to take great care of your customers and anyone who works for you, and you have duties that need to get done daily.

However, the kind of freedom that comes with owning a business versus having a job is what allows you to work the hours you prefer, work where you want, and hopefully do what you love as your source of income. An entrepreneur doesn’t have to ask anyone to take a long lunch break or come in late.

What do you think will be the best part about owning your own business?






There’s no question that starting a business does take a lot of time and hard work. In fact, it might take up most of your spare time — at least for a while. However, one great advantage of building your own business is that you can eventually have friends and family help with much of the work, allowing you to spend more time doing the things you love.

Many successful entrepreneurs are able to spend plenty of time with their families, travel all over the world, and take time out to enjoy activities that are meaningful to them. Whether you like boating, playing sports, or just hanging out by the pool, finding success in entrepreneurship can lead to more time to spend the way you want to spend it.

If you could decide what to do with your time, after school and homework, what are two to three things you’d enjoy spending time on?






One reason people find entrepreneurship worthwhile is that it can be very rewarding financially. While it isn’t common, some entrepreneurs, like Mark Zuckerberg (who started Facebook) and Bill Gates (the founder of Microsoft), have even become billionaires through entrepreneurship! Of course, building a company that can change the world isn’t easy, but it’s still true that a big advantage of starting your own business is that you can make good money doing it.

Some entrepreneurs build companies that do very well selling the product or service they make. This can create a great income for the business owner. Many live very well off the money their businesses earn, and that business becomes their livelihood for the rest of their lives. Other entrepreneurs build their business up and then sell the business, often to a larger company. The sale of a business can bring in a large sum of money and allow the entrepreneur who started the business to live comfortably for a long time.

Because most entrepreneurs love starting and building businesses, they often use the money from the sale of one business to start another business. People who start one business after another several times are sometimes called serial entrepreneurs. They enjoy the money from the businesses they start, but their main drive is the thrill of starting a business, as well as other advantages, like time and freedom.

If your business does well, what will you use your money for? List two to three things you’d like to buy or do with the extra money from your business:






At this point, being an entrepreneur sounds pretty good, right? Well, it is! Having your own business has many advantages, which is why so many people become entrepreneurs every year. As with anything, though, entrepreneurship isn’t always easy. There are some challenges that every entrepreneur faces, and it’s important that you know what those are.


It’s true that people get rich starting and owning businesses. It’s also true that some people lose a lot of money trying to build a business that just doesn’t end up working. When starting a business, an entrepreneur almost always has to spend some money to get it going. And once the business is up and running, there are expenses that need to be paid out to keep it going.

With proper planning, a smart business owner can avoid some of the risk that comes with opening a business. However, no one can see the future and plan for everything that could possibly happen. There is always some risk in starting a business, and that risk can sometimes lead to losing money.

Worldwide, entrepreneurs start about 50 million businesses each year, even after knowing the risk of losing money. So, for many, the potential of making a lot of money outweighs the chance they might lose money. It depends a lot on an entrepreneur’s willingness to take a chance and her confidence in her business.

How would you feel if you lost money in business? Would you try again or call it quits? Why?






Time is a precious thing. We each have a limited amount of time in our days, and it’s important to make the best of it. For most entrepreneurs, the extra time spent building their business is worth the reward when the business is successful.

For others, the amount of time it takes to start and run their business is much more than they bargained for. When unexpected challenges come up — or even when the business is more successful than they planned — many entrepreneurs are surprised how much of their time is taken up by their business.

It is important to balance the things you like and need to do (like spending time with friends and family and focusing on school) with the time it takes to tend to your growing business. Your business may be very important to you, and that’s great, but if it’s all you focus on, you might get tired of it pretty fast.

How much time each week are you willing to work on your new business? What will you do if more time is needed?






Wait. How can “freedom” be listed under “What’s not so awesome”? We agree that freedom is pretty awesome! But, believe it or not, not everyone does well when they are given the freedom to do what they want. Running your own business requires your time and attention. And because there isn’t anyone telling you what to do and when to do it, being a business owner requires discipline.

Successful entrepreneurs are self-motivated and have the focus it takes to do what needs to be done without having anyone check up on them. But for many, it can be a challenge to focus on what needs to be done, while having the freedom to do whatever you want.

Also, because owning a business can be time consuming, entrepreneurs often find that even though they can do what they want, the success of their business depends on them putting off the things that total freedom allows.

How do you feel when you have homework to do but really want to play video games or be on your phone or tablet? How do you focus on the task that’s most important?