Even though none of us were in Philadelphia 245 years ago, the gravity of the signing of the Declaration of Independence still resonates today. While Americans enjoy 4th of July festivities, which for many is a return to tradition after a 2020 hiatus, let us think of the modern day revolutionaries: small business owners. Like the American colonists who chose to brave the unknown rather than be vassals, America’s small business owners are intrepid leaders who through will-power and determination forge their own paths.
Independence, however, can mean something different to each business and business owner. Below is a collection of quotes from small business owners explaining what they enjoy most about their independence.
Richard O’Brien, CEO, Hoamsy, Boston, MA
“There are two great things about running an independent business: setting your own direction and constantly solving new challenges. Running an independent business means that we get to define our own vision and our own impact, and really build our values into our brand’s mission and goals. Moreover, it forces us to be flexible and solve new challenges all the time. The ability to think on our feet is required in order to tackle the issues that we may face. It might be a bug in our code or an ops issue one day and then it might be marketing strategies that we need to reassess. Building and managing an independent business offers a great deal of freedom and flexibility, and it’s also a great learning opportunity to tackle issues as they arise.”
“Your boss’s standards and processes, as well as corporate culture, have no bearing on you. You can sell a product or provide a service that aligns with your goals. You can even create your own corporation based on your own ideas. Maybe you’ve come up with a solution to make procedures run more smoothly. Perhaps you want to ensure that your employees are paid fairly and have adequate time off for family obligations. Whatever troubles you’ve had in the workplace, you now have the opportunity to start your own business and do something different.
Many entrepreneurs claim that once they’ve experienced the independence of being their own boss and controlling the shots in their own business, they’ll never want to work for anybody else.”
Natasha, Owner, Whisk, Brooklyn, NY
“Whisk was formed in 2008 with the intent to provide a range of cookware and cooking tools for everyone – from the novice cook to the professional chef – and at a range of price points. Cooking should be affordable.
Being independent means that we take this mission seriously. We don’t have any Wall St largesse backing us and our choices really matter and so we continuously think about our two priorities – curating the best selection of kitchenware and providing the best customer service we can muster. We love and respect our customers’ needs and their opinions and we will always listen to their experiences with a product. So we celebrate our independence as our freedom – freedom to make decisions that always benefit our customers first.”
Thomas Fultz, CEO, Coffeeble.com
”Talking from my case, I gave up the job at BBC that I worked for almost a decade to build my own team, in a very different industry – Coffee. That is my hobby and my own business. My first thought was how can I validate my business ideas of building a site that provides valuable content for coffee-lovers. Everyone can write about their hobby, their recommendations, and their knowledge about coffee. I tried some business ideas, then stopped, before coming up with Coffeeble. At this moment, we have more than 50,000 readers/month from more than 100 countries. We know the business idea is not new, yet we understand the hunger for quality and authentic content. We are a team of experienced writers and creative people. We built a business from simple ideas, but we have the unique system/ or we often call the Coffeeble lab, to test and recommend products in the most transparent ways. We work for coffee-lovers, they can be individuals or whole organisations. They can be a supplier or any player in the coffee industry.
We know they need and they want our content, that’s our niche touching point. I love this job as it gives me joy every day, working with my hobby, and I have freedom in my own job.”
Rod Greensage, Owner, focus4marketing.com, San Antonio, TX
“Here’s what Independence Day means to me: It was 7 years ago today that I made a tough decision to leave a ‘safe’ job to start my own business. I had been thinking about it for a while before I took that leap. There have been many challenges, emotions, and learning curves along the way, but I’m so glad I chose to do it. Being miserable at a safe job is not the way I wanted to live my business life. Congrats to all of us who dare to be Business owners, entrepreneurs, and/or self employed.”
Tiffany Riffer, Founder, TiffanyRifferSoap, Washington, D.C.
“I love having full creative control of the products I make for my customers. It allows me to brainstorm and visualize new soap scents and color combinations, and ultimately see how it plays out in the production process. Having my independent business available to do that brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction.
I also love meeting and befriending other small independent businesses, either through direct wholesale partnerships or through our presence at pop-up events throughout Washington, DC. It’s refreshing to meet others on a similar journey to share knowledge with, as well as lift-up and support along the way. I don’t get the same sort of collaborative friendship from larger companies or chains. “
David Reischer Esq., Attorney and CEO, LegalAdvice.com, New York, NY
“Independence is at the heart of being a self-employed entrepreneur. The biggest motivation for starting a company was to be my own boss and be self-employed. Entrepreneurs like myself are dedicated to building an organization from the ground-up with a mission statement and corporate culture that is uniquely personal. Building a business online is especially rewarding due to the freedom to operate the business from anywhere in the world. An online business allows for the ultimate freedom and independence to balance work and life priorities because there is no mandate to appear in a physical office on a daily basis.”
Small Business and The Pursuit of Happiness
When the Founding Fathers set out to secure their freedom, they guaranteed Americans the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is no collective more emblematic of those rights than small business owners. So as you celebrate this momentous 4th of July, extend your thanks and gratitude to your local small businesses, those who boldly chose their own independence.