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Self-Employment Options


Your shortcut to figuring out exactly what you’re here to do, and how to get started doing it, today.

According to a survey by Inc. Magazine, 63% of people want to start their own business. But the reality is that only 2% of people will ever follow their dream.

Many people want to build a business, but they don’t know what they want to do. They don’t know what they can or should do. Or they don’t know what’s going to get traction with their ideal customer or even who that customer is.

For others, it’s like there’s an invisible force field stopping them. They have all this excitement and pent up energy. They want to get started. But they’re stuck. They get overwhelmed. They don’t know where to start. They don’t know what to do next. Or they spin their wheels trying to come up with the perfect business idea.

Review of Self-Employment Options

Determining Your Personal Vision

Entrepreneurship can change your lifestyle dramatically. Here’s where a personal vision comes into play.

A personal vision serves as a compass for an entrepreneur’s decisions. It incorporates not only professional goals, but also lifestyle priorities and financial needs. Having a personal vision will help remind you that your business is a part of a bigger life plan, rather than an end in itself. It’ll help you examine and adjust your business idea to meet your personal, financial, and professional goals.

For example, you may need a personal income of at least $75,000 from the business to cover your existing needs. This can’t be compromised. On the other hand, you may have optional goals, such as the desire to travel.

You’ll need to determine what is critical for you in your personal and professional entrepreneurial life, as well as what kind of venture you want to pursue and how it balances within your life.


Ask Yourself

Am I willing to take the time up front to determine what matters most to me in terms of my lifestyle?



Before you can pursue a business that can support your lifestyle goals, you need to take some time to figure out what those goals really are. While that might seem obvious, the reality is that many people just don’t do it.

Think through the three case studies in your workbook. Consider the personal lifestyle considerations described below and answer the questions in the space provided.

Personal/professional life balance. Many entrepreneurs are constantly working, thinking about the future of the business, or networking with potential business partners. Once the company-building process starts, it’s hard to say “no” to business demands.

At the outset of a business venture, an entrepreneur likely will work longer hours and more weekends and holidays than he or she would in a “regular” job. There’s always something more to do. You have to figure out how much time you’re willing to give to your business—and the tradeoffs of not giving the extra time to your new venture.

Tip: Writing out your answers is optional, but you may find that seeing your thoughts in print helps you pay more attention to them. Click "Take Notes" at the bottom of the screen and answer the questions as you go! You can review, download, and print the notes you take on the "Notes" page in the main menu bar.

Question 1: Flexibility

What days of the week and times of the day am I willing to work every week? How much flexibility do I want or need in my schedule?

Consider how much flexibility you want. For instance, you may need to be available to assist family members or friends throughout the day or week. Or maybe there are weekly obligations that you have that can’t be compromised.

Tip: Click "Take Notes" below to answer this question! A template for your answers is already set up!

Question 2: Location and Travel

Where do I want to live and work? Will my business idea allow me to be flexible with where I live? Do I want to travel? Do I have limits on how much I’m willing to travel?

Location. Sometimes entrepreneurs select a location before choosing a business. Or they discover the need to relocate or expand into other areas after the business takes off. Location can be especially important when looking for venture capital. Despite the global economy and ability to communicate remotely, venture capital is easier to find in certain geographical areas.

Tip: Click "Take Notes" below to answer this question! A template for your answers is already set up!

Question 3: Physical Requirements & Family Involvement

Do I have any physical requirements or limitations that need to be considered? How might business ownership impact my family? Will they be involved? Will they be supportive? Am I bringing value to my family by starting this business?

It’s important to consider your health and how it meets the mental and physical requirements of your business. It’s also essential to recognize family issues, evaluate their effect on your proposed business, and discuss them with family members. These issues can range from family ownership, investment, or participation in the business to your obligations and acceptance by your family of the time, energy, and emotional demands the business will make on you.

Tip: Click "Take Notes" below to answer this question! A template for your answers is already set up!

If you can dream it, you can do it.

- Walt Disney


Take a moment to review the case studies and examples in your workbook. What are some of the advantages you find appealing? What are some of the skills you currently have? Jot down your thinking, concerns and ideas in your workbook.

Next Steps

Our next step will be to look at consumer trends and what people in Calgary are buying.

Tip: You can't move on to the next lesson in the workshop until you've marked the current one complete. When you click "Mark Complete" you'll automatically be taken to the next Lesson!