December is usually the month folks are really thinking about their goals for the upcoming year; the new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. There’s a long-held belief that folks don’t follow through with their New Year’s resolutions, but, hey, maybe 2018 will be different (I can feel it!).
Since the upcoming year is going to be so amazing (speak it into existence), why not be ambitious with your New Year’s resolution and start a business in 2018? There are many benefits to being your own boss, including setting your own schedule, gaining financial independence, and earning recognition for your hard work.
Unlike working for most companies you don’t own, entrepreneurs get to set the tone of the organization and make sure they’re advancing with the company. The creator of TAGit, an app that allows viewers to purchase items from their favorite television shows, tells Bustle that being an entrepreneur is about more than just making money, it provides freedom and hope.
“Creating TAGit was about earning my freedom to create an inclusive professional culture. I decided to start my own business because it gave me a creative outlet to combine my passion with everything that I learned in college and in my professional career in finance,” Ana Bermudez tells Bustle. “Being an entrepreneur is showing my family and my community that we are not limited by the circumstances in which we are born. Entrepreneurship creates hope.”
One common misconception folks have about entrepreneurship is that you have to invent an entirely new product or disrupt some industry, but that’s not always the case. You simply need to look at what your community is missing and go from there. Raianna Brown, a college student who went viral earlier this year for kneeling in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, is also an entrepreneur; she co-founded RAIIN Dance Theater in 2017. She tells Bustle about what inspired her to create her dance company: “I decided to start a business because there aren’t many Black, female choreographers of my age who have the platform to put work out there telling our stories.” Brown tells Bustle that “no idea or dream is too big.”
And no starting point is too small, either. Starting a business is easier than ever thanks to technology and social media. Long gone are the days of an entrepreneur having to rent out a brick and mortar store and advertise in the Yellow Pages. Now, folks can set up shop by creating a mobile-friendly website and snapping a few pictures of their products, and social media allows entrepreneurs to reach more people than ever before. There are websites and apps dedicated to linking small business owners to new clients, such as the Official Black Wall Street app, which helps Black-owned businesses gain exposure to over 116 million users.
Although business ownership has lower barriers to entry than ever before, taking that leap can still be nerve-racking. But big risks can potentially bring big rewards, and there are tools you can use to make starting and growing your business go more smoothly. Shyp, for example, allows you to avoid unnecessary trips to the post office, so if your business relies on shipping products to customers this app will save you a lot of time.
I foresee your business growing exponentially in 2018, but with growth comes growing pains in the form of waste and inefficiency, but luckily for you, there’s an app for that. The Lean Journey app allows business owners to identify what processes are slowing them down and ultimately costing them time and money. Every good business owner is constantly looking for ways to improve how their business is ran. It’s an essential aspect of sustainability and growth.
While becoming a business owner in 2018 is an admirable New Year's resolution, not everyone has that entrepreneurial spirit and wants to be their own boss, and that’s perfectly okay. Everyone — no matter what field they work in — can approach 2018 the way Jay-Z so eloquently stated in “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” remix: Whether you like it or not, you (yes, you) are a business, with your own personal brand and values that you bring to every job you work. And even if you work a traditional nine to five, behaving like your job is one you personally built from the ground up is a really good way to be more invested and move up the corporate ladder. Why shouldn't 2018 be the year you embrace your inner entrepreneur? You don't have to literally start a business, but the timing (now) has never been better.