6.6 million new businesses started in the US in 2015 — that’s more than 18,000 startups every day. What is driving this stampede into the startup lifestyle?
For those already in the startup community, the attraction to the startup lifestyle is obvious. Whether we’re in a startup that already has the jeans-wearing, dog-loving office set up… or we’re stocking up on the inventory for our food truck… or we’re sitting in a coffee shop with our co-founders trying to create a prototype… we all see certain benefits of our choice to go down the startup path.
These are exactly the things that bring us out of the corporate, not-for-profit, or even public-sector paths and into our startups.
1. We’re passionate
Nobody starts a business because they love working through the red-tape. We started our companies because we believe our product is the best one out there, and that it’s going to succeed. Our ideas, as they turn into prototypes and eventually as they turn into full blown products or services, are the most important things to us.
2. We bring inherent value to the community
Businesses that succeed solve a problem or achieve a goal for their customers. As founders, we’re constantly questioning our customers about the problems they have — it’s the only way to be sure that our product or service is relevant to our market. This gives us the opportunity to know, sometimes even before we have a product or a service, that we will help our customers.
3. We don’t have to specialize
From financial management to code, from leadership to execution, there are hundreds of unique to-dos in any business. For the breed of humans who love to dip our feet in every one of these, the startup path is a well-timed release of our bottled up interests. No longer are we forced to master a single skill set, being disconnected from all other pieces of the company which are outside our specific job. In a startup lifestyle, we are able to play to our strengths — all of them. We do what we love and outsource the rest, learning through our management of these many moving parts a little bit about each.
4. The network is unlike any we’ve experienced before
In the startup community, we have found the natural innovators and builders, the problem solvers and the visionaries. We have the opportunity to bounce our ideas off of each other and learn from our competitors. The networks we build in the startup life are often our biggest supporters and first customers, simply because they are just as thrilled about our fledgling companies as we are.
5. We’re utilizing new tools and innovative technology every day
When we’re on our own as a founder, we don’t have time for or money to spend on inefficiency and waste. In a startup we have the opportunity to build our own foundations, including buying the tools and technology that *we* want, not the ones some past employer had forced us to use. Our operations are in our hands; we have found satisfaction in new, faster technology that drives our businesses forward rather than creating red-tape. From a CRM system that integrates into email to the newest web development tools, we get to seek and drive for innovation.
6. We’re constantly learning
For us, long gone are the days of boredom and monotony. Unlike our days in corporate offices or cubicles, we’re constantly overcoming obstacles, reading articles on how to complete the next task, or sitting down with a fellow founder for advice. We have the freedom to ask, “how do I do that?” rather than feeling ashamed of not already knowing. The truly amazing reality is that we have the right resources to get these lessons under our belts. We’re surrounded by our network of fellow founders, researching our market and competitors, and finding the right tools for the tasks.
In the startup community, we share these benefits as a result of our choice to live the startup life. We thrive not only because we are challenged, but also because we are surrounded by passion, by learning, and by an amazing network. So when we’re asked why we love the startup life, it’s hard to break our answer down to only a few reasons.