Dear Ney Ney,

Today is the first of several notes about starting your own business. Starting a business is a great way to earn money, and you can start a business at almost any age. 

A business is an organization that provides value to people in exchange for money. The value provided can be a product, such as clothing, or a service, such as food delivery. The people who pay for the product or service are customers or clients. The person who starts the business is usually called a business owner or business person.

Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Some businesses have thousands of employees working in them. Some companies are very small and might only have one or two employees, or even just the owner, working in them. Some businesses have several owners, called partners, who share ownership of the company.

You will sometimes hear people refer to a business as a corporation, a partnership, an LLC, or a sole proprietorship. Those a names that also describe how the government treats your business based on the laws that determine what a business can and cannot do. We will talk more about that later.

Most businesses are either product based businesses or service based businesses. Some products are easily understood because they are physical objects like cars or T-shirts’. Other products are ideas or tools, like computer programs. Some services businesses have obvious results, like a clean house or a mowed lawn. Other service businesses have less obvious results, like an interior designer who makes a room feel comfortable. Some businesses sell both goods and services. Apple and Google both sell electronic devices and offer services to the customers that buy their physical products.

Now that you have a solid idea about the basics of what a business is, the next question to answer is why would you want to start one?

There are many reasons to start a business, but I think there are two primary reasons - freedom and control.

Many people work in corporations to earn money and are perfectly happy. They are given tasks to do by a boss, complete the tasks, and then receive feedback and new work. They are normally expected to arrive at work at a specific time, stay until a specific time, and do as they are told by their boss. Depending on the culture of the company, they may not have the ability to contribute their own ideas about what tasks they should do and how they should complete them.

Some people feel trapped at work. Instead of working in a company helping someone else make money, they would rather start their own business. When you start a business you are free to, within reason, manage it as you want. You are in control of how your business operates, and you have the final say when it comes to what your tasks are and when they need to be completed. You are your own boss.

Of course, you should always remember that “with great power comes great responsibility.” If you manage your business poorly or treat your clients or employees poorly, you may not be able to find many people who will pay for you or work for you. Starting a business is not easy, but it can be a rewarding way to earn money and be independent.

I love you.