Project 21 New Visions

 

Dutch Martin

Why I’ve Decided to Be My Own Boss


by Darryn "Dutch" Martin (bio)

Every day seems to bring more headlines about a worsening American economy. As the official unemployment rate dances closer to ten percent, it is likely there are countless people who simply gave up on finding a job.

In this bleak economy, I did what many would consider unthinkable: I quit my job.

After more than a decade of working for the federal government, I quit. I gave up the steady paycheck. I gave up the benefits. I gave up all of the security that a job such as that offers.

I quit to become an entrepreneur. I’m striking out on my own.

Why? The decision was simple: I grew to hate my job with Uncle Sam. I’m sick and tired of being told what to do. I didn’t think my hard work was being appreciated. I need a new challenge.

I’m going to be my own boss.

I am not alone. This past February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more people quit their jobs as opposed to being fired or otherwise let go. This is the first time this trend reversed since October of 2008. The consulting firm Right Management conducted a poll last year that found as many as 60 percent of workers are simply waiting for the economy to improve before they start looking for new opportunities.

I’m getting a jump on them!

There are plenty of franchising opportunities available for people to start their own businesses without a lot of money down. And quite a few of these opportunities — from commercial cleaning to dance fitness to windshield repair — can be operated right from one’s home.

As Sara Wilson wrote on AllBusiness.com: “According to a recent survey conducted by Small Business Success Index and analyzed by Emergent Research, there are currently about 6.6 million home businesses nationwide that generate at least 50 percent of the owner’s household income. These businesses employ over 13 million people; 35 percent of them generate more than $125,000 in revenue, and eight percent generate more than $500,000.”

Job creation. Wealth building. Investment. This is just the kind of thing our nation needs right now.

My primary motivation for wanting to be my own boss is similar that of the typical entrepreneur: FREEDOM. Freedom to make my own decisions and not have to answer to anyone above me. Freedom to set my own schedule and work at my own pace. Freedom to get paid what I am worth based on the quality of the products and services I can offer. And then there’s the potential of also having the free time for family, fun and recreation.

Yes, I long for the freedom that being my own boss will provide.

Am I nervous about leaving the comfort of a regular job and stepping into the unknown world of entrepreneurship? Am I cognizant of the challenges and potential pitfalls that come with owning my own business — especially in these trying economic times? Yes, but I am much more excited and anxious to begin this new journey.

Best of all, my wife supports my decision. This only intensifies my desire to succeed in this next phase of my life.

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Darryn "Dutch" Martin is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network.  Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.


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