The allure of being your own boss, setting your own schedule and reaping the rewards of your hard work can make the idea of being an entrepreneur mightily enticing. But being a small-business owner also involves long hours and constant uncertainty. For many, it's even more challenging than parenting.
Of the 1,001 small-business owners surveyed by Bank of America for the bank's Spring semi-annual report on the state of small business, 41 percent report that managing their business is their top personal stressor. Only nine percent choose raising children.
Other top stressors include managing personal finances (18 percent), exercising (15 percent), maintaining a relationship with a spouse or partner (13 percent) and maintaining a relationship with employees (four percent).
While running a small business is stressful, it's also largely rewarding. Just over half of the survey respondents who run businesses in the United States with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and have between two and 99 employees say that running their business is fulfilling, interesting and enjoyable.
Millennial business owners, whom Bank of America defines as between 18 and 37 years old, are both more optimistic and more stressed out than their older counterparts.
A higher percentage of millennial entrepreneurs are expecting revenue to grow in the next year, are planning for growth over the next five years and are planning to hire in the next year than Gen X, baby boomer or senior entrepreneurs.
At the same time, a higher percentage of millennial small-business owners say their work gets in the way of their personal relationships. And 42 percent of millennials report they have had a nightmare about their business failing. That's more than Gen-Xers (28 percent), baby boomers (23 percent) and seniors (eight percent).
For more information about the current state of small-business owners, have a look at this infographic, which summarizes the results of the Bank of America survey.