Chapter Twelve: Why Start Something New?
Noteworthy Communications is a new venture, born out of the desire to help local entrepreneurs utilize every tool at their disposal to best tell their noteworthy stories. Our story, like those of so many of the entrepreneurs we work with, starts with a Why?
* Why do I feel driven to start something new?
* Why am I taking a risk on something unknown?
* Why is now the time?
These are all questions we here at Noteworthy asked ourselves before diving into the world of entrepreneurship. For those who have spent their careers reporting to and depending on others for professional development or guidance, not to mention a paycheck, the concept of changing course can seem overwhelming, or out of reach entirely.
The compulsion to start something new stems usually from a lack of fulfillment in whatever our current situation may be. In a 2019 report from Gallup, “Not Just a Job: New Evidence on the Quality of Work in the United States,” 44% of the sample of workers in the United States claim they are working in “mediocre” jobs, while 16% claim they are working in “bad” jobs. Combined, that’s more than half of the workforce who feel dissatisfied in their employment. That's even before the pandemic and The Great Reevaluation!
On top of that, 48% of workers in that 2019 report claimed they are dissatisfied with their ability to alter the aspects of their job that are making them unhappy in the first place. And so, the cycle continues day after day after mediocre day. Professional dissatisfaction is an epidemic that is holding the American workforce by the throat. When the pandemic exacerbated all these malfunctions in the typical workplace, it’s really no wonder why so many of us feel compelled to break free, take a chance on ourselves, and start a new venture.
Achieving Financial Goals
Financial compensation is obviously a major factor we must consider when evaluating our professional satisfaction. According to that same 2019 Gallup report, only 59% of workers reported a pay increase in the previous five years. Even worse, 11% reported a decrease in their salaries during that period of time. These numbers have only gotten worse since the pandemic.
We all have certain financial goals propelling us forward. Maybe we want to travel regularly. Maybe we want to purchase our own home. Maybe we want to be out from under a mountain of student loan debt. Maybe we want to have children and provide security for them. Maybe all of the above and more. It’s disheartening enough to feel trapped in an unfulfilling job. To not even be making enough money in that job so life can be enjoyed outside of work can lead to some real self-reflection. And we ask ourselves, yet again, Why?
Meeting Market Needs
We can't just think of ourselves when we start something new, because no venture can succeed in a vacuum. We have to think of what our venture would add of value that is currently missing from the market. Why are our contributions valuable and necessary, and will they be sustainable well into the future?
Noteworthy, for example, was not even a thought before the pandemic hit our community. It was not until we saw the businesses around us struggling with customer outreach, consistent messaging, and keeping their doors open that Noteworthy began to take shape. By early 2021, we were ready to lend our expertise to make sure we didn't lose the organizations that make our communities unique.
As previously discussed in Chapter Eleven: The Waiting Game, waiting should never become a habit, especially if we are waiting out of fear. Life is happening right now, and it won't wait for anyone. If something new is calling our name, we need to understand why, and how we choose to respond.
For self-starters and established entrepreneurs alike, there’s always a Why? behind what we do and the chances we take, but perhaps the question isn't actually Why? Maybe it's Why not?