4 Hidden Benefits of Entrepreneurship
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve had the daydream: You stand up from your desk, give each coworker a handshake and then walk out the door, ready to set out on your own, take on the world and start your own business.
It’s no surprise why this fantasy is so universal—following your passion, being your own boss and setting your own schedule are all pretty attractive propositions! But many business owners will tell you that, in fact, the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur has been their own professional and personal development.
1. Building interpersonal skills.
If you’ve watched the fast-talking, quick-witted contestants on Shark Tank, you may wonder if you’re socially savvy enough to be an entrepreneur. Urvi Vakil, owner of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Manassas – Davis Ford Crossing, in Manassas, Virginia, likely had these doubts as much as anyone—she transitioned into Kumon Franchise ownership from a career as an IT professional.
But what Vakil learned is that you don’t necessarily need all the skills to be a successful business owner right up front. Sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith, the support of a strong franchise like Kumon and a bet on yourself that you can learn and grow on the job:
“I used to be reserved before…I used to be less confident on everything in my life,” Vakil says. But after pushing herself and taking on the challenge of being a Kumon franchisee, she became increasingly poised and self-assured. “Now, I have become a public and social person. Parents believe and trust me.…I share my ideas and can communicate on any topic confidently.”
2. Developing a professional network.
One of the perks of being a business owner is that other business owners and professional influencers in your area become your peers.
Mahlia Rana discovered as much after opening the Kumon Math and Reading Center of Irving – Central, in Irving, Texas: “I have met many accomplished citizens in the community who are on the education board. I am meeting with other small businesses, and I have met some influential people.”
Needless to say, having a new group of knowledgeable experts to exchange ideas with and learn from is invaluable to growing your skill set and your business. That’s why, in addition to focusing on the nitty-gritty of running your own business—or laying out your business plan—you should always be asking yourself how you can do more to get yourself out there and expand your circle. Franchises like Kumon that offer the opportunity to network with fellow franchisees are a great option!
3. Connecting with your community.
Not everything is about the bottom line! Part of the joy of being a local business owner is having the opportunity to enrich your personal life—forging meaningful relationships with your customers and your community that would be otherwise impossible in a traditional office setting.
Since opening her Kumon Franchise, the Kumon Math and Reading Center of Orcutt, in Orcutt, California, Shakira Patel Adams has become a community fixture, finding herself “invited to birthday parties, communion services, graduations, staff high school and college graduations, recitals, plays, musical performances, staff weddings and baby showers.…The list goes on and on.”
In an era when technology is isolating us more than ever, it’s increasingly important to build these types of social bonds. Countless studies have shown that this can positively contribute to one’s health, well-being and mood. And yes, for you workaholics out there, being a happier person will also help you be more successful as a business professional.
4. Giving back through mentorship.
If you’ve already achieved all the above in your career as an entrepreneur, first of all, congrats on killing it! Secondly, you may find that you’re ready to serve as a mentor to a young mogul in the making. Beyond being a nice way to give back, mentorship can reward you with huge dividends down the line: When your mentees come into their own, all of a sudden, you’ll find you have a personal relationship with a whole new generation of business owners!
At franchises like Kumon, these relationships often develop naturally, as promising students can easily and organically evolve from being customers to employees. Anne L. Gruber, the Kumon Franchise owner of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Cascade, in Cascade, Michigan, found it immensely gratifying to be able to “offer my students their ‘first job.’ I think mentoring employees is an exciting part of owning a Kumon Franchise.” Of course, it’s also exciting for the employees, who often go on to own their own Kumon Franchises!
Learn more at KumonFranchise.com or call (888) 425-3218.