MINNEAPOLIS — Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss? Doing your own thing?
Well, you’re certainly not alone. Millions of Americans want to ditch the traditional workforce, but who is actually DOING it, is changing.
"People actually have said to me, I'm a different person,” says Kate Miller.
Miller spent 10 stressful years in the corporate world before she took a leap... a pretty giant leap. “A month after I bought my house, I quit my job. Everyone thought I was a little crazy, and I fully jumped into my two businesses,” she says.
As scary as it was, Kate says the decision to start her digital marketing and yoga wellness companies was fairly easy, and she was encouraged by her parents. “I think it's really beautiful that we were raised in a way that we have permission to create a life where we're happy,” says Miller.
Happy. That's the key word. And the word behind a movement, to be your own boss.
“Something like 27 million people really, really thought they might or could be self-employed in two years,” says Dave Cosgrave with Freshbooks.
Freshbooks sells accounting software to small business owners, so they have an interest in who those people are. They surveyed folks who are already self-employed and those who wanted to ditch their traditional job, and found the biggest motivator was to take back control.
“Controlling when you work. So, it's not that people want to work less hard, they just don't want to work their 40 hours in a compressed Monday-Friday thing," Cosgrave explains. "So, they work mornings, they work evenings, they work weekends, but they work when they want.”
The biggest barriers for self-employment were things like access to healthcare, or needing to get out of debt first.
Not surprising, but there has been one big change among people starting their own thing…age. “We track the average age that a person starts their business and for the first time ever that person is not boomer-aged. That person is millennial aged,” says Cosgrave.
Once upon a time, the vast majority of people who started their own business had already worked a full career, built up a brand, and had both a customer base AND cash. No more.
“I think technology and social media are allowing younger people to short-circuit that,” Cosgrave says.
That's exactly the path Kate has taken. So, it is possible. You just have to jump...and trust.
"I think I would tell people, stop trying to make it perfect, and just go for it and you're going to learn along the way, ask people for a little bit of help and ask people questions, but don't rely on that because we're all so different. The way I do it is so different than another entrepreneur,” says Miller.
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