Let me ask you a question… How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? We’re almost to the end of January and odds are your resolutions are already falling short. That’s okay – mine are too.

Although I can’t give you advice on how to get to the gym more, or how to improve your marriage – I can share one idea that may help you achieve a few of your resolutions this year: start your own business.

For some of you, that may already be your resolution. For others, perhaps you’ve never thought of starting a business before in your life. But the truth is, if you can clearly define the why of starting a business, it’s a great way to kick-start many aspects of life. In fact, here are five amazing reasons to start your own business in 2017!

1. Benefit from extra income to spend on your hobbies

There’s a good chance that at least a few of your New Year’s Resolutions require a bit of financing. Paying for a monthly gym membership, traveling to a distant land, going on more dates, helping a friend in need, learning a new instrument/sport – most of these ideas have at least a small price-tag associated with them.

So, why not start a business that can at least pay for this year’s hobbies and goals?

The startup costs are minimal for many businesses – and you should be able to earn well more than your hourly rate at work for the projects that you accomplish on the side.

To get you started, here are a few business ideas that you can start with very low overhead:

●      Launch a creative agency (writing, design, video, etc). Finding clients is surprisingly easy and you can start by bringing together a temporary team of freelancers.

●      Start a blog. Although you can earn $100k/month with a blog, it isn’t easy. But you could reasonably be earning a few hundred dollars a month after a few months – if you work smart. This blog could also be related to one of your new hobbies – which could land you some free stuff.

●      Sell products online. Buy and sell products on eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. It doesn’t take much work and you and easily earn a few extra bucks. Connect this business to your new hobby as well!

●      Any of these 100+ ideas.

In short, a simply side hustle can easily help you earn extra money to achieve your other goals a bit faster.

2. Improve your social skills through networking, engaging with clients, and developing a team

Did you add anything social to your list of resolutions? From going on more dates, to landing a promotion, to making more friends, to becoming an online celebrity – all of these goals can be achieved with the assistance of your own business.

My first “serious” business consisted of a competition website for musicians. I never made any money from the project – but I made some incredible connections! I worked with a wide range of up-and-coming musicians, connected with others in the music industry, and forced myself to attend a few networking events. Not to mention the social media hustling I learned how to do!

Learning how to sell – particularly ideas – is one of the most valuable skillsets you can develop for your social life. And starting a business is a great way to force yourself to engage with people on a regular basis.

3. Be better prepared for retirement

Retirement (or more importantly, financial independence) should always be address when creating new resolutions and goals. After all, the sooner you reach a point in your life when you are financially secure, the sooner you can spend your time doing 100% what you want to do, rather than what a superior demands that you accomplish.

Not only does starting a business give you the possibility of becoming fully self-employed, it also creates an asset that can grow without your direct involvement. When done right, a business can be a full-time job now; and downsized, managed, or outsourced in the future.

Related article: How to Invest like a Millionaire without Being Rich

By creating a business you can have a consistent stream of income both now and during retirement.

4. Develop and enhance new skills

Is there a skill that you had hoped to develop this year? Why not incorporate it into a business model? From music, to writing, to speaking, to traveling, you can turn just about any of these activities into a profitable concept for your business.

In fact, between my own projects and content for clients, I wrote well over 250,000 words last year! That’s 3x as many words as most business books.

My goal is to one day write a book. What better way to get to that point then to practice, practice, practice?

And don’t forget about all of the other skills you’ll learn! Discovering how to make sales, design content, write copy, manage your finances, and connect with a client-base are all skills that transfer over into other aspects of life.

Your business may help you get that promotion you were hoping for. Or, maybe you’ll decide that you don’t need a job at all!

5. Maximize your impact on the world

If you’ve ever watched Schindler’s List, then you are aware of one of the most awesome benefits of starting a business – the ability to impact (and maybe even save) people’s lives.

Politicians and the unmotivated spend ridiculous amounts of time fighting for regulations to influence earning potential. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs actually make things happen.

For avid nationalists who hate jobs being outsourced, being an entrepreneur allows you to provide jobs to those in your community. For compassionate entrepreneurs who want to help the ⅓ of the world population that live on under $2/day, becoming an entrepreneur allows you to give hope through employment.

Regardless of whether you want to support immigrants, people in your church, your family, or your friends – entrepreneurship allows you to do just that.

Although not a fortune, last year I was able to pay out around $10,000 to friends, retirees, travelers, and entrepreneurs from four different continents.

Being able to provide financial assistance to friends and strangers alike – in a way that can help you make money as well – is an awesome feeling!

So, what business will you start?

If you spend some time to ponder your personal goals and objectives for this near year, I have no doubt that you’ll find many other reasons to start your own business.

Whether you’re a full-time employee, stay-at-home mom, college student, retiree, or lucky trust-fund kid, starting a business can help you reach an entire new level of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Why put it off any longer? There are many great resources to get you started.

Check out Entrepreneur.com, explore the Trevor McClintock Blog, and of course subscribe to Money Nomad. With one “mediocre” idea, and the courage to try, you can change your life – and maybe, the world.

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