Survey Says: Will Starting a Business Make You Happy?

Despite a tough economy, entrepreneurs remain quite content with their career paths, according to a new survey.

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The pursuit of happiness: 77 percent of business owners say they are either What's the secret to happiness? According to one new survey, becoming a small-business owner. But are you happy enough that you plan to keep working well into your 70s -- or longer? Here's a closer look at some of the latest small-business surveys.

Get Happy

The state of the economy hasn't affected how microbusiness owners (those with one to 10 employees) feel about their companies. According to Vistaprint's Small Business Happiness Index, 77 percent of these small-business owners are either "very happy" or "extremely happy" about being their own bosses and the state of their businesses in general. In fact, 35 percent say they would never even consider working for someone else.

The entrepreneurs surveyed have reason to be happy: Fifty-six percent have more customers than at this time last year, 46 percent are on track to make more money in 2011 than they did in 2010, while 35 percent expect to make the same. Not bad for small businesses in a tough economy. I have to add, as a small-business owner myself, I'm feeling pretty happy right now. (Knock wood -- I may be happy, but I'm also superstitious.)

Not So Happy

But the beancounters aren't so content. In a recent Accountemps survey, chief financial officers (CFOs) were asked which coworker behaviors annoy them most in the workplace. "Sloppy work" was the top answer, cited by 41 percent. Also in the running -- gossiping or taking part in office politics (cited by 23 percent of respondents), missing deadlines (18 percent), being perpetually late (12 percent) and presenting other people's ideas as their own (5 percent).

All of those deeds are potentially threatening to your workplace, so it would be a smart move to see what behaviors are troubling your staff.

What, Me Retire?

Some of those annoying workplace behaviors may live on in perpetuity. In the 12th Annual Retirement Survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 39 percent of people say they plan to work past age 70 -- or never retire at all. Only 54 percent say they expect to retire between age 60 and 69. A mere 6 percent expect to call it quits while still in their 50s.

Somewhat surprisingly, 54 percent of Americans say that they plan to keep working even after they "retire." Why aren't employees planning to retire sooner? Forty percent say the recession has affected their finances, forcing them to work longer than they once planned -- up from 28 percent who said the same thing a year ago.

What about you? Do you want to go out with your proverbial boots on?

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at and visit to sign up for her free TrendCast reports.

Tags: baby boomers, boomers, business confidence, business optimism, Business Trends, CFOs, planning retirement, retirement, Rieva Lesonsky, starting a business, Survey Says

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