Millions of Americans want to go it alone

Sep 02 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

This Labor day, millions Americans say they want to stop laboring for others and take control of their own destinies by starting their own businesses.

Some six million Americans who are currently employees working for others say they plan to strike out on their own and start their own business in the next 12 months, according to a new opinion poll.

In total, some 13.6 million employed, unemployed, or self-employed adults Ė that's almost eight per cent of the U.S. population - hope to take control of their own destinies by starting a new business.

A national opinion poll sponsored by E-Myth Worldwide, a provider of online business education, also found that the most popular reason to start a business Ė cited by one in three of those questioned - is to make more money.

Almost one in five (18 per cent) see it as a way to become their own boss, while a further one in six (15 per cent) want to fulfil a dream or hobby.

"The survey shows that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America," said E-Myth's CEO, William Schlegel, "driven in most cases by the desire to make more money."

"This Labor Day, millions of people want to stop laboring for others, or get out of the unemployment line, and start working for themselves by becoming their own boss."

Some 8.5 million men and 5.1 million women are thinking about starting their own business, the survey suggested, with almost half of unemployed women viewing this as a way to achieving financial independence.

And while the entrepreneurial spirit pervades all age groups, it is significantly higher in those aged between 45 and 54, for whom the question of retirement is looming in the forefront of their minds.

The biggest obstacles for both sexes in the way of achieving this dream emerged as lack of knowledge and confidence, problems in raising money and the economic and competitive climates.

Yet men emerged from the survey as being far more confident of success. Half felt that they would succeed in their dream of starting a business compared to only a third of women.

"Some factors influencing the likelihood of success, such as the state of the economy, are beyond an individual's control, " William Schlegel said.

"However the good news is that the knowledge entrepreneurs need to be successful can be quickly gained by learning the critical thinking and core business development skills essential to the success of small businesses.

"From our experience of looking at the challenges facing small business owners, we can actually see the direct correlation that increased knowledge builds confidence and greater confidence enhances the chances for sustainable success."