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Why Being Your Own Boss is Awesome

Want to dump your 9-to-5 and be the business owner you always dreamed you could be? It doesn't have to be as crazy or as difficult as you might think. Anytime Fitness co-founder Dave Mortensen explains.

Let's face it-we've all worked a job that drained the life out of us. And, still, many of us find it impossible to leave that 9-to-5 grind.

Anytime Fitness

But imagine living life on your own terms. You'd have the autonomy to choose how to spend your time and energy. The only person you'd be answerable to is the person you see in the mirror. It's so perfect that it sounds unreal. But it's not impossible to be your own boss.

Take it from Dave Mortensen, president and co-founder of Anytime Fitness. His brand, which has more than 3,300 units, was named Entrepreneur's "Top Global Franchise" in both 2015 and 2016.

Here, Mortensen outlines three amazing benefits of being your own boss, as well as the misconceptions you need to abandon to successfully run your own business.

Dave Mortensen, president and co-founder of Anytime Fitness
Image credit: Anytime Fitness

1. You're investing in yourself.

Running your own business requires commitment that should result in continued development, both personally and professionally. And that's incredibly rewarding.

One of the most common misconceptions people have about running their own business is that it's too big of a risk. Mortensen is no stranger to this misunderstanding. People are so used to the "safety net" of their 9-to-5 jobs that investing in their own vision is incomprehensible, he says.

Mortensen views risk as an inevitable reality and great challenge—an approach Anytime Fitness incorporates into its own philosophy. "There is some kind of risk in everything you do, but the best investment you can make is in yourself," he says. Successful entrepreneurs know this from the get-go and apply it to their business strategy.

Instead of fearing risk, Mortensen suggests that entrepreneurs practice intentional investment. To help new franchisees accomplish this, Anytime Fitness offers guidance on personal investment and how to build a cohesive strategy around starting your own business. It's a method that works. You may not be the expert, but a franchisor's perspective can expose and eradicate vulnerabilities in your strategy that you didn't spot before.

2. You're stepping out of your comfort zone.

Typically, people like the coziness of their routines because we're creatures of habit. But successful businesses prosper by taking on new and intimidating challenges.

Instead of giving into old habits, Mortensen believes in reinterpreting our fear of the unknown. "The beauty of being your own boss is taking risks," he says. "And being prepared to deal with any result."

In order to get past this risk aversion, Mortensen points at a necessary "mindset shift"—something that he himself embraces as a core value while running Anytime Fitness. By abandoning your comfort zone, you gain a sense of empowerment and direction. "You can never predict how well someone is going to achieve their goals, but the risk is worth it," Mortensen says.

To battle apprehension, Anytime Fitness offers guidance for franchisees on how to tackle big challenges without becoming overwhelmed with doubt. And through a variety of forums it offers insight on spearheading a new business while improving yourself personally.

3. You're passionate about what you do.

People often assume that there is no difference between going to the office and running your own business. It's just a job right? Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

When you're in charge of your own business, you're 100 percent involved and invested. "When you are passionate about something, you believe in it," Mortensen says.

Even after running Anytime Fitness for 14 years, Mortensen's passion for Anytime Fitness remains the same—perhaps even stronger. "If you want to be your own boss and run your own business, you need to ask yourself how you plan to achieve your goals," Mortensen says. "Ask yourself questions and get the answers so that you don't walk in blind." You will have a better starting point from which to move forward.

At Anytime Fitness, four "P's" serve as the foundation for the company's business model:

  • People: By taking a personal interest in the people around you and those who may work for you one day, you can strengthen collaboration with your peers.
  • Purpose: If your brand has purpose, you know how to present, improve, and direct it.
  • Profit: Understand profit in terms of 50 percent financial success and 50 percent emotional prosperity. A balanced sense of profit is critical to being a happy boss and running a fruitful business.
  • Play: Every business has its intense days, but knowing how to have a good, hearty laugh when the tough gets going is a true marker of success.

While there's no standard formula to stick to when it comes to being your own boss, some steps collectively build a solid strategy that can be followed. Overcome your fears and get started on that startup of your dreams today.

For information about Anytime Fitness franchise opportunities, visit

Anytime Fitness

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