Susan, as a Broker, I have found that one of the biggest reasons a fairly large number of people sell their businesses after only a year or so, is that they have the expectation that owning their own businesses will somehow be very easy, or at least easier than being an employee. Obviously, it depends on your current job and the business you would start or buy, but many people find that the stress and hours of having your own business is no different - and sometimes worse, than working for someone else!
And the stress factor is frequently the biggest issue. When you work for someone else, you are constantly at the boss' whim, working on his/her schedules and demands. But when you work for yourself, you have no one else to rely on; all the pressures of decision making have one focal point: You! The buck stops there! Regardless of how many employees you have, it is you and you alone that have the final responsibility. That is ia BIG difference between being an employee and being the business owner, particularly in small businesses.
I am dealing with one woman right now who has owned her business for a number of years, and who now wants to sell. I asked why, as I always do, and she replied: It is a great business, but the stress cost me a husband, I did not see my children grow up, I could not travel the way I wanted...I want to live now, for a change. With the burden of ownership, the hours can be an even greater demand on you, than in being an employee.
So, don't do this because it will change your quality of life, unless and until you really examine these issues. I got away from Corporate America because some of your same concerns; but there are real trade offs. Am I glad I did it? Absolutely. I like being the one to balance my life decisions, rather than some guy that did not know the very business he was charged with supervising, and who made decisions based on next week's revenue, rather than the ability to survive through next year. I like being my own master, rather than having several companies sold out from under me, and being cut loose by the new ownership because I had a high income level - in spite of the fact that I was the top producer in each company.
There are some great aspects of having your own business. But be careful and please, be realistic about your needs and your life style expectations, in general.