The Self Employed Business Manifesto

The perfect resource for self-employed people to understand business, ensure survival and maximize results.

The Self Employed Business Manifesto is packed with insights for self-employed small business owners looking to hone their business skills and maximize their business success.

Read it now to unlock the strategies used by successful businesses, large and small. Learn how to avoid crucial mistakes, how to fix them if you make them and the four pillars for business success.


Why Do People Start Their Own Business?

It’s true! Owning and running your own business has many advantages. But the high failure rate statistics tell you it is not all a bed of roses.

So, let’s start at the beginning… Why do people start their own business? Why did you start your own business?

I have worked with thousands of self-employed small business owners over the years and have my opinions. But rather than inflict my opinions upon you, I thought I would see what Google disclosed. I found this when I googled ‘why do people start a business’.

50 Reasons to Start Your Own Business

The top result was an article called ’50 Reasons to Start Your Own Business’ from I am not going to give you all 50 here. If you are interested you can go to and read it for yourself. Needless to say, the list contains 50 positive reasons selling you on the idea of starting your own business.

There was a similar article called ‘21 Reasons to Start a Business Today’ at

Once again, they are all benevolent, ‘feel good’ reasons why you should start a business. Here is the list:

      1. You Can Find Freedom
      2. You’ll Build a Source of Pride
      3. You Can Do Things Better
      4. You Can Make Money
      5. You’ll Learn New Skills
      6. You Might Lower Your Taxes
      7. You Could Create Jobs
      8. You Can Follow Your Passion
      9. You Can Live with Excitement
      10. You Can Leverage the Internet
      11. You Can Escape the Rat Race
      12. You’ll Have Meaning and Purpose
      13. You Can Innovate
      14. You Might be Able to Bootstrap
      15. You Could Get Money for Causes You Care About
      16. You Can Consider Social Entrepreneurship
      17. You Could Crowdfund
      18. You’ll Experience New Things
      19. You Can Face the Challenge
      20. You Won’t Know If You Don’t Try
      21. You Can Make Your Own Reasons—and Your Own Decisions

The 4 Reasons Why People Start Their Own Businesses

Yet another article was titled ‘The 4 reasons why people start their own businesses” (

This article allocates each of the reasons into a category of person. They list:

  1. Passionate creators:
    • Start their businesses out of love for what they do
    • Believe wholeheartedly that passion is a crucial quality of success.
    • Running their businesses gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride.
  1. Freedom seekers:
    • Start their businesses because they value the ability to control their work experiences.
    • They want to be in charge of their schedules, career paths and work environments.
  1. Legacy builders:
    • Start their businesses to bring something new to the marketplace.
    • They are practical in their approaches to business ownership.
    • Business ownership provides them with a sense of stability for their futures and the futures of their families, and they have created businesses to help secure their retirements or legacies to their children.
    • They take tremendous pride in the businesses they have created and are in it for the long haul.
  1. Struggling survivors:
    • The struggling survivor profile represents the cold, hard-truth of business ownership: Sometimes running a small business is scarier than it is rewarding. Fear is deeply rooted in this group and they face the very real challenges of ownership every day. In fact, more than half said they’ve considered closing their businesses.

Why Do People Start Small Businesses?

On, I also found a page that asked the question about why people start small businesses. (

A couple of business coaches provided some enlightening answers:

For instance, Kathy Brunner, Business and Career Coach said:

“I think there are FIVE big reasons people start their own business:

    • They are burned out, disillusioned or simply no longer happy in their current job.
    • They have a passion for something and want to make income with it.
    • They have tried to get employment in their field without success and turn to a different option to bring in revenue.
    • They are restless, bored, frustrated, unchallenged or simply feel restrained when working for someone else
    • They see a better vision than they are able to achieve as an employee and are moved to create it.

There are no doubt many other reasons. Most people simply realize exchanging hours for dollars is limited. Starting your own business means you can work as much or little as you like and there is no limit to what you can earn.”

Jeff Schuster, Business Coach also said:

“They are sadists 🙂

Most people start a small business for one of five reasons:

    • They hate working for a boss and feel like it is easier working for themselves.
    • They feel like they can make more money working for themselves than for a company.
    • They want to offer a product or service no one else offers and they want to lead the way.
    • They want to set their own work hours; and their own dress code.
    • They want to earn money out of their home without having to commute to a place of work.

Sadly, most who think they can get away from a boss disciplining them at work; find they need to develop self-discipline or they will go broke.”

Other Reasons People Start a Business

In addition to these reasons (and some others), I think that some people have self-employment thrust upon them, as some ‘larger’ business require their workers to be sub-contractors to avoid the extra responsibilities, liabilities and costs that come with employing people.

Let’s go back to category 4 in the article, namely – ‘Struggling survivor’.

I don’t believe anybody starts a business because of a desire to be a ‘Struggling survivor’.

However, it does become a reality for many self-employed small business owners. And the high failure rate of small businesses is also a catastrophic reality.

That is why we have developed this guide, and this website. Whether you are just beginning or already in the small business trenches, this guide is meant specifically for you.


What Does it Really Mean to be ‘Self-Employed’?

Generally, someone who is self-employed works in their own small business and cannot rely on a regular income from an employer. Instead, they have to make sales, (and collect the money for those sales), pay expenses and have enough left over to meet their family financial requirements.

According to the Business Dictionary, ‘self employed’ means ‘Sole-proprietor or partner in a partnership to whom the legal requirements under a contract of employment do not apply. He or she, however, may employ others under such contract. Self-employed individuals obtain their own work or sales and pay their own expenses’.

Investopedia says: ‘Self-employed is a situation in which an individual works for himself instead of working for an employer that pays a salary or a wage. A self-employed individual earns his income through conducting profitable operations from a trade or business that he operates directly.’

In my view, self-employed also includes a family unit where both partners work in the business. For instance, both may be involved on a daily basis, but it may be that one person does the admin while the other person is ‘on the tools’.

In my experience, most self-employed people tend to put everything on the line because the only way the banks will lend them money is when they put up their homes and everything else of value as security.

They work long hours – usually much longer than employees are expected to work, and they are paid last because they have to pay employees and suppliers first, leaving the business owner to be paid out of the money that’s left.

This means that the life of a self-employed small business owner can often be very stressful, and hence the classification of ‘struggling survivors’ referred to earlier.


The Keys to Running Your Own Business

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy’s 2018 Frequently Asked Questions, 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10.

No matter how you cut it, those stats represent a boatload of heartaches and a whopping amount of money lost along the way.

The reality of what you are facing is staggering and without a foundation to lean on you could end up being one of the statistics.

You have chosen a path that requires more than just a half-hearted effort to succeed.

This guide is not about cheap tricks or quick hacks. Rather, it is all about the meat and potatoes of running your own business. It will help you understand how to avoid mistakes and how to correct mistakes that you have made. It will give you a direction and tools to help you avoid the bumps in the road that are always going to challenge you.  


The 4 Pillars of Business

Before we take the deep dive into the rest of the Self Employed Business Owners Manifesto, we want to introduce you to the 4 Pillars of Business.

The four pillars are the foundational pillars of any business regardless of size and they apply to companies as large as Amazon or as small as your local Butcher.

You do not have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand and apply the 4 Pillars.

A business that is not built on the 4 pillars is like a house built on sand that may look beautiful, but in the end, falls to pieces when the storms come as they inevitably will.

However, a business that understands and applies the 4 pillars is more akin to the house that has a solid foundation. It may not look as picturesque, but it will be able to withstand the destructive forces that can raise their ugly heads in any business.

The four pillars that apply to every business are these:

    1. Leadership
    2. Marketing and Sales
    3. Product Delivery
    4. Finance and Administration

Let’s explore them in more detail. Click on the link below.


The video presentations on this page may contain images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click on the link below to see the full list of images and attributions:

Why Do People Start Their Own Business?
What Does it Really Mean to be Self-Employed?
The Keys to Running Your Own Business