Financial success is something everybody wants, but no one can define. That lack of definition makes it exceedingly difficult to achieve. Even if one does achieve it, how would one know? IMBD preserves this exchange from the Simpsons:
Homer: You know, Mr. Burns, you’re the richest guy I know. Way richer than Lenny.
Mr. Burns: Yes, but I’d trade it all for a little more.
We cannot define financial success for anyone else but ourselves. And to achieve it, we have to define it. Only when we have defined it for ourselves can we begin to make a realistic plan for achieving it. When we go to work for someone else, we are helping them achieve their idea of financial success. Going to work for yourself is the most direct way to reach your goal. Here are a few more reasons why it is a good idea:
You’ve Outgrown Your Boss’s Dream
Never lose sight of the fact that you boss hired your to fulfill her dream, not yours. That will cease to work out for you once your needs outgrow her ambitions. She may decide that her first million is enough. But that may not get you to your first hundred thousand. If your boss is satisfied while you’re still hungry, there is a mismatch that can only be resolved by you taking more direct control of your financial destiny.
That is when it’s time for you to open your own office, and your own Checkout.com account so that you can sell your own services, and take payments from all major credit cards. If you want to go worldwide, you can even take regional alternatives in Europe and Asia Pacific. These may be goals that your boss does not have or need for her vision of financial success. When your dreams outgrow those of your boss, it is time to start your own business.
Something You Can Pass Down
You can’t pass down your job to your daughter if you are working for someone else. There is nothing wrong with wanting to pass down a family legacy. But before you can do that, you have to build one.
A great deal of preparation is required before you can pass down a family business. You have to make sure your children have the necessary educational background to administrate a company. You also have to grant them the freedom to develop their own vision.
It will take time to develop something worth passing down. It may not reach its full potential in your lifetime. When it comes to family businesses, you have to be willing to play the long game. But there are few things more rewarding than building something that lasts for generations with your family name on it.
To Change the World
A non-profit corporation is not a corporation that makes no money. It is not the same as a failed corporation. A 501(c)(3) has all the trappings of most any other corporation. The biggest difference is what people do with these corporations. Other types of corporations are for getting rich. A non-profit is for changing the world. And while that is an oversimplification, it is a good place to start.
If you want to stamp out malaria around the world, you are not going to do it by convincing your boss to redirect his efforts. You are going to have to set up your own organization that is dedicated to the causes that are important to you. That is exactly what the founders of The Nature Conservancy did in Europe, and Bina Swadaya in Indonesia. Whether it is preserving nature, or the rights of agricultural workers based on hyperlocal customs, it is passion that powers the non-profit, not financial motives
Note that the rules for setting up a non-profit vary from state to state. Necessary steps include the following:
- Do your homework
- Build a solid foundation
- Incorporation and state forms
- File for federal tax exemption status
- Ongoing compliance
You are not alone in wanting to control your own destiny. Starting your own business is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, even if it fails. Fulfilling your dreams, building something that can be passed down, and changing the world are reasons enough to try.