Entrepreneurship or self-employment can provide individuals with developmental disabilities a way to do meaningful work while earning a living. Many of the traditional barriers to employment for people with disabilities – such as an inconsistent schedule, lack of flexibility during the day, or being able to truly work to your strengths – can be overcome by starting your own business.
In this post we’ll take a look at 6 benefits of being an entrepreneur:
1. You can create your own work environment according to your strengths.
When you have your own business, you are truly your own boss. You can decide what work you want to do based on your own strengths and needs. Celebrate EDU graduate Sophia Digirolamo always wanted to be an artist, but the sound and texture of paper really bothered her. She uses makeup and video as a medium instead and now has her own YouTube channel where she teaches people about skincare and makeup techniques.
2. You can schedule your own time around your needs and preferences.
Not only can you choose what type of work you want to do, you can also set your own schedule. If you are an early riser, you can start working as soon as you wake up without waiting for a boss to tell you whent to work. If you need a break or nap in the middle of the day, you can get the rest you need. When Brent Anderson worked in a grocery store, his schedule was always changing. The shifts were also long and tiring. Now, as a speaker and author, he can work at times that are best for him.
3. You get to do something that you are good at and interested in.
Traditional employment often involves performing specific tasks and is not customized for the person working the job. An employee may be required to interact with customers even though they are socially uncomfortable, or may be asked to complete work that is boring or unpleasant. When you are an entrepreneur, however, you can create work around the things you enjoy. Reid Moriarty loves music and has built a successful business performing music, speaking, and hosting a podcast.
4. You get to be creative.
Entrepreneurship is a great way for individuals to express their unique skills. You can run a creative business like making jewelry or crafts, or you can showcase your talents as a writer or artist. Luis Uriel has been drawing on walls (and then on paper!) since he was five years old. He has transitioned his love of art into a career and now has an online art shop and YouTube channel teaching kids about art techniques. Luis is also studying filmmaking to pursue his dream of being a director.
5. You have the chance to work from home.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be safe for you to go to work if you have a compromised immune system or other health condition. Entrepreneurship makes it possible to work from the safety of your own home. You may also just prefer to work from home so you can take breaks more easily or spend time with family. Whatever the reason, many entrepreneurs enjoy working from home, and you can too!
6. Anyone can start a business.
You don’t need a college degree or lots of money to start a business. Many famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never finished college and started their businesses out of their own home! Most small businesses only need a small amount of money to get started. If you have a good business plan and are willing to work hard, you can be an entrepreneur.
One of the best ways to learn more about starting a business is to uncover how to turn your strengths and interests into opportunities for success. Our online Spark 101 course is a perfect place to start. Sign up for our 2-week Spark 101 class to learn more about entrepreneurship!