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  • Writer's pictureDeeAnn Bennett

"Why I Started My Own Business"

Up until September 15th, 2017, I had always worked for someone else. While being a W2 employee gave me many opportunities and skills that I never would have learned any other way, I knew this past year that it was time for me to start my own company.

One of the things that I love about the merchant services industry is that nearly every business has to accept credit cards, so there is always an opportunity to help someone! It was only natural for me to stay in the industry in which I had 14 years’ experience.

In my 43 years on this earth, I have worked many jobs that taught me the skills that I needed to make the jump from W2 employee to business owner. My first job was at a yogurt shop when I was 14 years old. I went on to work at Blockbuster Video, a local pizza restaurant in Las Vegas called Metro Pizza, Arby’s, Wendy’s and I was also employed by a customer service company that answered the 800 numbers for clients such as Nissan, Habitrol, Unsolved Mysteries and Apple Computer. During these years, I learned the simplicity of how to count money, give correct change, how to use technology, type quickly, how to de-escalate customers who might be upset, etc. These jobs were invaluable to me as were the business owners and managers who hired me and gave me a chance to work for them!

Although it can be scary to make the jump into your own business, I have yet to meet anyone who regrets starting their own company. Most people tell me that they wish they had done it sooner in their life! What makes someone go from being a lawyer to a jewelry designer or an accountant to a bakery owner? I think there are many reasons but here are just some of the reasons I’ve seen in my own life as well as others that I’ve had the privilege of knowing over the years:

1. You want to be your own boss and call the shots. Although for many this can be overwhelming, when you can make the decisions and you don’t have people making them for you, it can be absolutely freeing and amazing for your clients! If you don’t like a product, you don’t have to carry it or sell it. You are the boss. If you need a new product that a large potential client needs, you can go and get it to secure that client. You aren't locked in to selling an inferior product that your boss tells you to sell.

2. You are a free spirit and like the adventure of traveling and moving when you want. In this digital age, many business owners can operate their businesses anywhere as long as they have access to the internet. I have a friend who has a social media marketing business and he can do it from anywhere in the world! My sister is an Uber driver (which is a 1099 position) and she can move anywhere and transfer her account with Uber when she moves. She can also work whenever she wants, she just turns on the Uber App when she’s ready to make some money!

3. You work smarter and better without quotas and managers. While some companies promote that they must have quotas to achieve goals there are many companies who take quotas to the extreme and end up micro-managing their workforce to try to meet unrealistic goals and quotas. This type of pressure has a devastating effect on employees. Not only does this behavior destroy morale, but it causes a revolving door and a churn and burn of employees. If you are a driven, disciplined person; you can achieve your goals without managers and quotas. I never looked at quotas (even when I had them) because I loved doing outside sales; and my favorite part was meeting new business owners and fixing their problems in regard to credit card processing. The peace you can have in your own business is extraordinary and worth the pursuit!

4. You want to be able to care for your family or yourself when bad things happen. I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken with employees who have told me stories about how their employer told them to "hit their quota or you can’t go on vacation" or more recently, I have a friend whose husband was in a car accident and sustained a concussion after falling asleep at the wheel. She tried to call in sick to care for her husband only to be told that she must come in or be fired. She rightly chose her husband over her work (did I mention that she is now the owner of her own business?). When you own your own business, the buck does stop with you, but you can take care of your family and yourself and not have to worry about someone taking your livelihood at a low point in your life.

5. You want to work hard and play hard too. Most people find it very hard to relax and take a vacation. Some feel they have to keep striving for that next bonus or that next raise. Life becomes a rat race and a day to day mundaneness that they can’t break free of. Burnout usually ensues. For me, the best memories I’ve made have been on vacations and trips with my husband and my two children. We recently had the privilege of going to Palm Springs, CA for four days on Superbowl weekend. Our team (the Philadelphia Eagles) had finally made it to the Superbowl (for the first time since 2004), so we surprised the kids and pulled them out of school that Friday and Monday. Not only did we have the best time with each other, we were able to see our team beat the New England Patriots and WIN the Superbowl!

I think what holds most people back from starting their own business is fear. A Pew Research Center report found that only 14.6 million people in the United States, or about 10 percent of the active workforce in 2014, were self-employed. What’s interesting is that those self-employed people had an additional 29.4 million people working for them; together, they accounted for 44 million jobs, or 30% of the national workforce! By starting your own business, you are given the privilege of being an awesome employer for someone else. Be that employer that you wish you had when you were a W2 employee! Remember the things that were done right to you and do those things in your own business!

DeeAnn Bennett is the President of ark Payment Solutions and a veteran of the merchant services industry. DeeAnn wants to live in a world where good bread has no carbs and cherry cheesecake has no calories! DeeAnn can be reached at


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