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Fourth of July: A Celebration of Small Business Independence

Americans sure love independence. The biggest event in the country happens every fourth of July as a celebration of its emancipation from foreign governments. During that day, pompous fireworks displays fill the atmosphere and flag-laden parades grace the streets. If Americans can go to great lengths to commemorate their history and government, they can surely do the same to honor not only their personal freedom but also the independence attained by their small businesses.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are currently 28 million small businesses in the country, and they are all responsible for 66 percent of the new jobs created since the 1970s. This only proves how resilient small businesses are. Indeed, they are the underrated cornerstones of the U.S. economy.

Celebrating Small Business Independence This Fourth of July

Seeking Small Business Independence

More and more Americans set to establish their own businesses every year. While it’s true that owning a business has its own complications, a survey by Endurance International Group found that almost 70 percent of entrepreneurs believe that going solo is the best career decision they’ve ever made. A similar study by Yodle Small Business Sentiment came to the same conclusion. They found that nine out of ten respondents are happy with their present stations as small entrepreneurs.
Indeed, the present landscape for small businesses is at its all-time high. To quote Hari Ravichandran, the CEO and founder of Endurance, “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and it’s encouraging to see that so many small business owners are pursuing their passion in a way that provides them the most independence.”            
Celebrating Small Business Independence This Fourth of July | The Rewards to Reap

The Rewards to Reap

The number of people who are enticed to be more independent career-wise is growing. People are setting out to be solo entrepreneurs, and for a good reason. There are many perks you can get by being your own boss and setting your own business. Here are some of them:

Freedom to manage your business processes.

What’s great about running your own business is that you get to have full control of your time. You can choose when to start or end your day, and depending on your business model, you can even choose where to work. You have full freedom and flexibility to do as you please, as long as you take into consideration the best interests of your business.

Balance between work and personal lives.

When you are your own boss, you have the power to work in your own terms. It’s easier to strike a balance between your work and personal lives because you can decide where the horizon ends. The aforementioned Yodle study revealed that 50 percent of small business owners enjoy a decent work-life balance, 52 percent work a maximum of 40 hours a week, and almost 72 percent take at least two weeks of vacation each year. Not a bad deal, right?

More time to pursue your other passions.

If your business doesn’t bind you to a certain timeframe, you’ll have more time to realize your other dreams. This is why most small business owners join the game in the first place—they want to be independent so that they can have more time to do the things they actually love.

Opportunity to challenge the status quo.

By venturing into small business independence, you can expand your network and meet other forward-thinking entrepreneurs. As such, you’ll have more people with you to challenge the status quo and ultimately change the small business atmosphere for the better.

Full control of your business growth.

When you go solo, you’ll have no one to rely on for advancing your interests, so it’s up to you to map your own path. The future of your business is in your hands—your own strategies will determine how long you’ll stay in the game.
Celebrating Small Business Independence This Fourth of July | The Prices to Pay

The Prices to Pay

Small business independence may be good in its own right, but it’s still far from perfect. To become an effective small business owner, you have to live and embody your business every day. Sometimes, you need to make sacrifices to stay in the game. Below are some of the downsides of running your own business:

Absolute financial commitment.

Sometimes, when you’re still starting out, you won’t have enough investors to back you up, so you have no choice but shell out some of your own personal money. Also, when times are tough and the economy is at a low point, you’ll have no one to rely on for financial support, so be ready to break the bank a few times. But don’t worry—it’s all part of the deal. When you do things right, everything will fall into place and all of this will be nothing but the phase you have to go through before attaining growth and expansion. 

Missing the fine line between work and life.

The thing about attaining small business independence is that you can’t always predict how things will turn out. Yes, you can have full control over most of your business processes, but it’s also precisely for that reason that you can’t tell whether work-life balance is something that you can have easily or have to fight hard for.

More saturated business landscape.

It’s hard to break through in the small business scene when you have a lot of competitors in the field. Couple this with financial insecurity and work-life imbalance, and you’ll have in your hands more challenges in the future. This is why building a business is not for the weak-willed.
Remember that this fourth of July, you have more than one type of independence to celebrate. If there’s a good time to acknowledge the importance of small business independence, it is on the same day that the country celebrates its political freedom. Make sure to pay tribute to small businesses worldwide because they are the true unsung heroes of the American economy.
 

Resources:

Beesley, Caron. “Why Owning a Small Business Is the Best Independence There Is.” Fundbox. July 1, 2015. fundbox.com/blog/why-owning-a-small-business-is-the-best-independence-there-is
Hoagland-Smith, Leanne. “Small Business Owners Drawn to Independence.” Chicago Tribune. July 4, 2016. www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/opinion/ct-ptb-hoagland-smith-column-st-0706-20150704-story.html
Tarr, Simon. “Independents’ Day: A Time to Celebrate Local Businesses.” The Guardian. July 3, 2015. www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/jul/03/independents-day-celebrate-local-small-business
“Survey: Small Business Owners Thrive on Independence.” PR Newswire. June 30, 2016. www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-small-business-owners-thrive-on-independence-300292587.html
“Small Business Profile.” U.S. Small Business Administration. n.d. www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/United_States.pdf

Fourth of July: Celebrate with 4 of the Greatest American Speeches

The sky is sure to light up with fireworks come Friday evening, as Fourth of July celebrations come to full swing. There will be lots of music, picnics, and barbecues as well. In 1776, the thirteen colonies announced their separation from Great Britain. They formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, ushering the birth of America as an independent nation.

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To celebrate the Fourth of July, we’ve compiled a couple of the greatest speeches in American history. As you go about your busy weekend, take a few moments to remember the people whose sentiments reiterated this famous passage:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Fredrick Douglass: What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? (1852)

Fredrick Douglass--Fourth of July

Fredrick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland until he was able to escape in 1838. When he was invited to speak at the Fourth of July celebration in Rochester, N.Y., he took it as an opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of celebrating independence and freedom while many still continued to live as slaves.

Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.”

Abraham Lincoln: Gettysburg Address (1863)

Abraham Lincoln portrait

The former president Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most important speeches in American history in just about three minutes. The speech was to honor the soldiers that offered their lives during the Battle of Gettysburg. With it, Abraham Lincoln left an important message that echoed the importance of liberty and nationhood.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war.”

John F. Kennedy: Inaugural Address (1961)

JFK White House Portrait

When John F. Kennedy won the presidency in 1961, he became the youngest and the first Roman Catholic to do so. In his inaugural address, he posed a challenge to his new constituents and urged them to serve the nation.

I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream (1963)

Martin Luther King Jr

The speech Martin Luther King, Jr. gave on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a defining moment in the civil rights movement. Calling for an end to racism, he outlined his vision of equality and harmony in America.

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

As we go about our Fourth of July activities, let’s take the time to remember our history. These passages ring of the importance of America’s most momentous occasion.

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Featured Image: bclinesmith via Flickr

Fourth of July Infographics: Facts and Tips for the Holiday Weekend

Fourth of July means fireworks, barbecues and family gatherings. We’re going to join in on your celebrations. For America’s 238th birthday, we scoured the Internet to find the best Fourth of July infographics.

Did you know that two presidents died just a few hours apart on Fourth of July? Learn fun facts about the holiday, as well as a few tips to help keep your celebrations safe and orderly.

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Interesting Fourth of July Facts

Independence Day Infographic by FlagandBanner.com
FlagandBanner.com

Happy Birthday, USA! 

Happy Birthday USA by USA Today
USA Today

Food Safety Tips from the Founding Fathers

Food Safety Infographic by USDA
US Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Have a Pet-Friendly Fourth of July

Keep your pet safe on the Fourth of July by Tagg.com
tagg.com / Dakotasden.com

Fireworks Facts and Safety Tips

fireworks-101-4th-of-july-safety_51c9e7049cb42
InstantCheckmate / DailyInfographic.com

 

Featured Image: Jeff Kubina via Flickr