Getting the Most out of Life

Becoming an Entrepreneur: The Pros and Cons of Launching Your Own Biz

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Thinking of becoming an entrepreneur? Many people dream of running their own business: you can work from any location, dictate your own hours, create “company policies” that make sense, and follow your passions. But before you create a side business (and try to scale it into a full-time living), make sure you measure out the pros and cons.

The Positive and Negative Aspects of Entrepreneurship

The pros and cons of being an entrepreneur strangely resemble one another. First off, you’re the boss. If you want to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon or a half-day break in the middle of the week, that’s your prerogative. The flip side of that is, as the boss, you need to exercise some serious self-discipline. Sure, you call your own shots, but you’ll have to make up for that nap in order to stay afloat. With no set schedule or standard operating procedures, you need to figure out how you work best — and then make yourself stick to your own rules.

When you begin your own business, each day brings unique challenges. So if you thrive on being creative and adaptable, becoming an entrepreneur is a great way to wear a variety of hats. You will be the CEO, CFO, bookkeeper, receptionist, marketing manager, and more. However, this also means you will be in charge of completing tasks you don’t particularly love, such as cold calling prospective clients or organizing your finances. That is, of course, until you can hire a team.

Your Odds of Surpassing Ramen

In this economic environment, an astonishing 8 out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 18 months. These aren’t reassuring numbers, but can be a healthy dose of reality for any aspiring entrepreneur determined to beat the odds. While your business model may seem concrete, and your product or service seems unique, the reality is that clients don’t always pay on time and new ideas don’t always work as tested.

For those who survive these odds, there is a phase called “ramen profitability.” According to Intuit, this is a period of profitability that garners just enough to pay the owner and cover expenses. This certainly won’t be your end goal. As you slowly work your way up to corporate profitability, remember that money might be tight for a few years.

The 5 Best Places for Entrepreneurs

One of the major positive aspects to being an entrepreneur is that you can start your own business wherever you deem it to be most profitable. The following five places welcome entrepreneurs with open arms. Better yet? Each city is located in a state with no income tax, offers a reasonable cost of living, and holds plenty of professional and social opportunities for networking and expansion.

1. Seattle, WA

Seattle is the home to giant corporations like Amazon and Microsoft, as well as many pioneering small tech companies like Moz. This makes the city ideal for networking with other entrepreneurs and innovators. Seattle is also home to a vibrant, modern, and quirky culture that offers plenty of entertainment.

2. Austin, TX

Austin has a booming startup scene and a thriving cultural scene — it’s home to SXSW, Austin City Limits, and the “Keep Austin Weird” philosophy. The city encourages all that successful entrepreneurs hold dear: individuality and independent thinking.

3. Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas is turning into an entrepreneurship hub thanks to the Downtown Project, a $350 million redevelopment that’s making downtown “a place of inspiration (and) entrepreneurial energy,” according to its mission statement. As a hub for annual business conferences, Vegas is also an ideal city for networking. Another bonus: The city offers more than 300 days of sunshine annually.

4. Miami, FL

Miami is best-known for its beaches and nightlife, but it’s also the epicenter of an emerging startup scene. Miami is also filled with co-working spaces and startup accelerators. According to the Wall Street Journal, Miami is an ideal spot for launching businesses that tap into Latin America’s expanding tech market.

5. Nashville, TN

Nashville offers more than great music; it’s rapidly emerging as a hub for tech startups, and ranked sixth city in the nation for job growth. It also has one of the fastest-growing millennial populations in the U.S.

Paula Pant is the founder of award-winning website and a journalist and blogger specializing in personal finance, real estate and lifestyle design. She has been featured more than three dozen publications, including Forbes, DailyFinance, Marketplace Money, Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, and many more.