Here’s how I made twice as much money as my friends…
Back when I was in high school, I made a decision for the better and decided that I was going to start my own business. A few months following that decision, and with some initial planning (of course), I successfully launched my first business which was a landscaping and lawn care business.
While it wasn’t anything close to being a large business operation, it was certainly a good business for someone still in high school. It took quite a bit of work to get things started and get to the point where I was happy with it. I had to buy lawnmowers, a trailer, and a truck in addition to other equipment. Rather than buying or leasing new equipment, I did a little bit of research ahead of time and ended up going with second-hand equipment where I was able to purchase everything I needed to get started for a fraction of the cost. To say the least, I was able to get a very good deal that made it worth it in the early stages.
Next, I knew that I had to get my name, or rather the business’ name out there—that’s when I decided to start handing out flyers every day after school for several weeks. It wasn’t easy at first, but the commitment to handing out flyers and talking with homeowners eventually paid off. Sure, it definitely took me quite some time to build up my clientele, but once I did, the business was doing great and things were going well.
After practice and working out a few kinks, I eventually nailed down a system where I was able to mow all of my clients’ lawns in just one day. It was a long day full of hard work, but as a high school student, it was more than worth it.
Now, you might be thinking that this business likely took up all of my ‘free’ time as a high school student. But that’s not the case—actually, the opposite was true. This business allowed me to have even more available time the rest of the week where I was then able to hang out with my friends, get my school work done, and partake in extracurricular activities.
My friends on the other hand were stuck slaving away throughout the evenings and on the weekends. The kicker is that they made half the amount of money I did and put in four times the hours.
To say the very least, I loved starting and owning my own business. It took an incredible amount of work, discipline, and planning compared to going out and getting a job like the rest of my friends, but it allowed me to live the life that I wanted to live… at least as a high school student.
Fast forward several years and I have since started my own business once again. So far I’m enjoying the fruits of doing so a second time around.
The many benefits of starting a business
It should go without saying that starting a business isn’t for everyone. It takes an incredible amount of work, time, and dedication. However, the benefits of starting your own business can far outweigh the cost. It’s important to highlight the word ‘can’ as there are many risks, including financial risks, associated with starting your own business.
As someone who has been through the journey before and is now going through it again, here are a few benefits that I have come to learn as a small business owner. Hopefully, these will help shed some light on your situation.
As a business owner, there are a ton of tax advantages at your disposal. You can write off your business expenses and even some personal expenses that are directly business-related. This can be a great way of lowering the amount of taxes you’re paying every year.
My personal piece of advice here would be to save all of your receipts, seriously everything, throughout the year, and determine whether or not you can write them off when it comes to tax season. You can take the shoebox approach of throwing things into a ‘shoebox’ (or folder) and then going through them at the end of the year, or organizing and sorting things as they come your way.
One of the ultimate perks of being a business owner is that you have full control and the flexibility to design your business to fit with your lifestyle. This is simply because you are your own boss, and really no other reason. As long as you are meeting your financial obligations, you can create an incredible lifestyle for yourself as a business owner.
I personally believe that being a business owner is one of the best ways to create wealth and to be able to reach your financial goals. What you put in often determines what you get out of it—hard work and discipline are required, but the financial rewards are limitless as a business owner.
I must warn you though that if you’re strictly in it for a quick and easy financial reward then starting a business might not exactly align with your expectations. It usually takes months, if not several years before business owners are able to start earning the type of income many talk about.
Instills hard work ethic and learning opportunities
I have learned a great deal through running and operating my own business. As a high school student it taught me a considerable amount, notably, that successful outcomes are almost always the result of hard work and dedication.
The process of starting and improving my businesses has taught me that listening to peers and mentors is valuable. There are so many things we can learn from those we’re fortunate to have around us, we just need to take a step back from our own viewpoints at times to be able to open our minds to a different perspective and lens.
And last but not least, as a business owner, one of our main responsibilities and duties is to continually learn, improve, and roll with the punches.
Other considerations of starting a business
Starting a business is a sacrifice at first. It takes an incredible amount of time. It often leads to increased stress levels. And there is almost always a guaranteed amount of financial risk that’s involved. Why am I telling you this? Because it is important to understand this before you start a business.
But don’t let this deter you from following your dreams of starting your own business. Owning your own business can be fun, even if it just starts out on the side. Most importantly, starting a business forces you to level up and step up to the plate, so to speak, every single day.
I highly recommend it for anyone seriously considering it, just beware of the process that’s involved.
To this day, I’m continually amazed at how much I continue to learn and the things that catch me off guard at times. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much!