NASE Blogs

Independent In The Most Literal Sense

Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Posted by Sung Yoo - How was your Independence Day?

Jaimie and I came down to the office on the Fourth to see the fireworks. The NASE's D.C. office is located right across from the National Archives, and the 13th floor rooftop has a great view of the Washington Monument.

Apparently, people who work at the office building are all given passes to see the fireworks so instead of braving through the Mall, we had a much more private experience. Going home after the fireworks was ridiculous, though. I barely made it onto a train and I couldn’t help but feel like a sardine! Side fact: Did you know that they squeeze so many sardines into a can because the oil they are in is more expensive than the sardine itself? Does that mean the air in the metro train is more expensive than the people in it? Kidding.

Speaking of Independence Day, the self-employed are truly independent in the most literal sense. Entrepreneur magazine interviewed some entrepreneurs about what they are grateful for this Fourth of July. "Unlike working for someone else, in your own independent company, you get to decide," 
Rebecca Minkoff said. "It's a great feeling when you can be successful at it."

Speaking of being successful, Bethenny Frankel of the Real Housewives fame was featured on Inc. magazine for her Skinnygirl liquor brand. Frankel came up with Skinnygirl margaritas in her kitchen because she realized there was a market for a low calorie liquor. No one thought she’d make it, but the margaritas were a huge hit and Skinnygirl later sold for $120 million. She talked about the challenges of not being taken seriously as an entrepreneur due to her reality television status, and told readers to follow their gut each and every time.

Speaking of striking it rich, many entrepreneurs dream of going public and raking in the big money. But according to this Forbes blog post, the initial public offering may not be the right choice for “real entrepreneurs”. Some reasons: loss of autonomy, being personally liable for all government standards and compliance, and pressure to maintain growth levels. In essence: loss of independence.

I’m really curious as to what the self-employed at the NASE think about this. Is loss of total independence something you’d consider to expand your business? How do you decide whether to trust your gut or to bring in outsiders for help? Do you like being small, or are you always reaching for the stars? We’d love to hear from you.

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