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This question is a legitimate one, given the fact that at least 42% of all business owners surveyed in a recent poll admitted that one of the primary reasons they started their own business was to be able to enjoy the kind of lifestyle which most appealed to them. The 2015 survey conducted by Credibly showed that almost half of all business owners were motivated by the desire to manage time as they chose, and to live according to their own wishes rather than someone else’s.

How does perception match up with reality?

The statistics cited are not much of a surprise. If anything, you might think that a huge majority of business owners were primarily motivated by the desire for self-determination, with regard to lifestyle. However, 20% of all survey participants felt that there simply wasn’t enough time to do everything necessary to keep the business running smoothly, and that figure was even larger in specific industries such as manufacturing, health care, and service providers.

The opinion voiced by Don Jaeger, owner of Next Level Health & Fitness, is one echoed by many business owners who have found that their current lifestyles simply don’t match up with expectations they had prior to starting up their companies. “As a business owner, I don’t have a time clock. If I have to stay late because something needs to get done, it falls on my shoulders, or those of my partner. There are a lot of times where we miss time with our friends and families, and that’s by far the toughest thing about business ownership. The actual amount of time you have to put in makes a 40-hour work week look real nice.”

The bottom line on business and lifestyle freedom

While the results of this survey cannot be construed as the definitive answer to the question, they are in line with the results of similar surveys conducted on the same question. The inescapable truth is that, as owner and manager of your own business, you are the one person who must ultimately assume responsibility for all the requirements of that business, including the time necessary to manage all problem-solving, fire-fighting, customer complaints, and even normal business operations.

Most owners do feel that this kind of commitment is worthwhile though, because even if they don’t get to enjoy the freedoms that they had anticipated, it still allows them to be doing something they love for a living. That sentiment by the way, was the second most popular answer in the survey when people were asked what it was that motivated them to start their own business.

Almost one-third of respondents responded that owning a business of their own was providing them with the opportunity to work in a field that they really enjoyed. While some owners may also feel disillusioned about this expectation, the gap between perception and reality is certainly less with career satisfaction than with lifestyle freedom.