Today it is trendy to dream about your own business. To open a business, to make a lot of money while sipping from a glass and sitting comfortably on a sun lounger in Thailand. Tempting. And totally unrealistic. We are ready to explain why having your own business does not equal to freedom, and hired labor is more free, easy and pleasant.
Let’s be honest: An entrepreneur is often associated with a stylishly dressed man who always talks on the latest model phone, adjusts an expensive watch on his wrist, and then gets into a premium car to drive to his plane and go to work somewhere on the islands. Because he can.
This image is further cultivated by Instagram photos, all kinds of success stories, interviews with already rich and famous entrepreneurs. The truth looks very different:
Entrepreneurship is the hardest path a person can take.
This is also the opinion of Jon Westenberg, an entrepreneur, writer and columnist for well-known publications. Here’s what he says:
If you are creating a startup because you want a balance between your personal life and work, freedom, and time to relax, I have bad news for you: Nothing will come of it!
Why is it not achievable? Let’s figure it out.
If you are an employee, you get a fixed salary. This allows you to sit down at the beginning of the month, make a cup of coffee, and plan your spending 30 days in advance. You’re awake, cheerful, and have a good idea of where you’ll spend your paycheck this week and next week, too.
The equation when you are hired worker is simple: you work X hours a week, you get Y money for it.
This equation doesn’t work when you’re an entrepreneur. It turns into a “multi-level monster” and makes your brain literally explode.
You need to figure out how much money you have, what deals you can close, what your financial flow is, whether there’s a gap… What’s more, you need to figure out how much you can allocate as your own salary so you don’t go bankrupt next month. You will have to settle for small amounts for a long time. This is very difficult.
On the other hand, if you learn to save money and think several steps ahead, sooner or later your business will make more money, and you will learn to make good financial decisions.
If you are businessman you’re going to have to find a balance point. Either you sacrifice your life to save money to invest in the business, or you leave things as they are and hope that they will somehow work themselves out.
The second option is the easiest. But it will ruin you. You must to choose the first one.
Thus having your own business not equal to freedom. We agree, this all sounds pretty sad. That’s why it’s so much easier to be a salaried employee than to start your own business. Deprivation and self-limitation are difficult, and not everyone can handle them.
More free time
Most future entrepreneurs sincerely believe that having your own business is a good way to control time and separate work from own personal life. Unfortunately, this is complete nonsense.
For most of those who start their own business, time is a major and essential resource. And even here, the entrepreneur is dealing with certain risks. After all, there may be little time, and tomorrow it will disappear altogether. But, one way or another, it’s all you have.
If you start a business, the first few years you will spend almost all of your time on developing it. Time, in fact, will be the only resource you have complete control over and feel.
No matter how much money you have, time will make you anxious and nervous: aren’t you devoting too few hours to your business? And when to live?
“I’m going to start a business and be my own boss” or “My boss is an idiot. I’ll definitely be better at this business”.
That’s what many people say and dive headfirst into their own business. Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s much easier to work under another person than it is to be your own boss. Even if the boss is bad.
There are two types of bosses:
- Boss-“Despot”. I’m sure you know that type. They make sure you’re not a minute late, they can put a stack of cases on your desk five minutes before the end of the day. They don’t remember when your birthday is and have a hard time giving you a raise;
- Boss-“I don’t care”. There are well-known too. They do not care what time you crossed the threshold of the office, they do not give feedback on your work. Sometimes it seems to you that such a boss is not interested in what you do in the office. And that is why you feel unnecessary, and your work is considered meaningless.
The truth is that if you are an entrepreneur, sooner or later you will turn into one of these bosses. You will either give yourself complete freedom of action, or you will go crazy trying to control every minute of it.
Your employees will not understand you. And rightly so, because this is your business, your brainchild, your future. Not surprisingly, it is you who will be the focus of maximum pressure, and the sound of a ticking clock will wake you up in the middle of the night. In fact, you will be the only person on the team who has laid down his life to achieve the goal.
This is a very unhealthy situation. But it cannot be otherwise.
Having your own business is cool
It’s when you’re told by the people around: “Start an own business. Because that’s what the cool guys do, it’s cool”. When you hear someone tell you: “Look, everyone else has started a business, you should try it too”.
What I’ll tell you about is? Losing your money ain’t cool! And if that’s main your motivator in starting your own startup, you’re 99% likely to fail.
Of course, any external motivation pushes a person to action. But if he is not ready, if he is not able to overcome difficulties, he is doomed. Why? There are two reasons:
- First, extrinsic motivation is fleeting. It will be over in a couple of months, believe me;
- Second, I’ll tell you: it’s silly to run to a pack of lions unless you yourself are a lion. You will be devoured quickly and you won’t even be remembered.
Entrepreneurship is a perpetual race. But if you are not ready to run, you will be eaten by your competitors. It’s like an allegory with a stone. If you move a stone from place to place, it will change location, but it will still be a stone.
There are a lot of examples. All kinds of business training and business coaches are very popular today. They claim that anyone can become a businessman, that it’s easy, wrapping that information in a beautiful wrapper.
“Go for it, do it, you can do it”, were the approximate slogans of such “teachers”. And 1 person out of 100 actually becomes a businessman. But not because he absorbed something useful in these courses, but because he would have succeeded anyway. It’s a matter of statistics.
So if someone strongly urges you to become a businessman, but you don’t want to – don’t torture yourself, and choose your own path.
And to the good news
If you’ve read all the gloomy stories and made it to this line, we congratulate you. Because there is good news, too.
All of the horrors described above do exist and await anyone starting their own business. But it’s worth it. In return, you get to create something incredible, unique and original. You get the opportunity to change the course of your own career, your life’s path, and take responsibility for your future. When you do something for yourself, you definitely get great satisfaction.
And maybe, maybe someday you’ll get so far that you’ll actually do your business on a beach somewhere, nestled on a comfy recliner and sipping a cocktail. But the road to that beach chair is long and arduous. It’s not for everyone. But it’s worth it.