The lot of the quintessential small business owner presents a paradox: these individuals love being their own boss, but do not always believe themselves to be very successful at running their own business.

A Gallup poll revealed this inherent tension when it asked small-business bosses two key questions:

  1. Are you satisfied being the owner of your own business?
  2. Do you feel successful as a small business owner?

Two very different trends emerged.

First, 56 percent of those 601 small business owners surveyed said they were extremely or very satisfied being their own bosses. That was the highest percent since the pre-recession days, and a 5 percent increase compared to one year ago. In 2010, just 45 percent said they were extremely or very satisfied with being a small-business owner.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.