Three out of every five American employees now say they will stop at nothing to become their own boss, new research suggests.
In a recent survey of 2,500 people — including 500 small business owners — four in 10 (40%) full-time or part-time employees currently claim to do freelance work in addition to their day job, another three in 10 (30%) run their own business on the side.
Of those same responses, 60% say they're committed to the idea of working for themselves instead of an employer, citing an interest in following their passion (57%), a belief that they could be a resource to others (53%) and a desire to set their own schedule (52%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Invoice2go, the survey also found that 60% of people are inspired by their time in isolation to contemplate new career trajectories.
In fact, 68% of employees believe that they already have a skill, hobby, or passion that they could turn into a successful small business with the proper resources, including passions for writing (42%), baking (34%) and graphic design (32%).
Only 10% say they have no desire to start a business, the data suggests.
Meanwhile, almost half (49%) of all respondents with an existing small business or freelance career say that it was based on an activity they already enjoyed doing, and 48% were inspired by the number of people in their lives who told them they were good enough at something to "go pro."
Moreover, 63% of all respondents are confident — and one third (34%) are "very" confident — that if they quit their current job and started today, they'd be able to launch a brand new small business or freelance career from scratch.
When asked which skills and personality traits were essential for entrepreneurial success, current and would-be small business owners alike agreed that ambition (50%), creativity (46%), and customer service skills (47%) were at the top of the list.
Respondents also acknowledged that they believe money (45%) is the most important resource to have, followed by a social media presence (43%) and a business plan (40%).
"Solopreneurs are acting as the sole accountant, marketer, and employee — they're too busy managing other parts of their business to regularly maintain an online presence," says Mark Lenhard, CEO of Invoice2go. "Having an online presence is critical to reaching current and new customers; it can be incredibly valuable for driving passionate people to your brand."
However, the thought of increased workload also keeps people from pursuing their dreams, too — 42% of small business owners say it's the worst aspect of their career, and 39% of hopefuls say it's their biggest concern about self-employment.
"It's fundamental for long-term success and daily operations that small business owners and freelancers get paid on time," says Lenhard. "We've seen a rise in digital payments this past year, and these will only become more critical for service-based business. My advice to small business owners is to find user-friendly technology you can rely on to get paid quickly and easily."
Of those who run their own small business, 32% said it would never have happened if it weren't for the pandemic.