No matter who you are, you are going to NEED money. People say money can’t buy happiness, but let’s stop with the bulls**t. It may not literally buy you happiness, but it affords you food, clothing, housing, etc. It ranks up there with oxygen as far as necessities go. Not only that, it does make things easier. How many families have been ripped apart by divorce because of MONEY? What’s more, most people spend most of their time either on their businesses or their jobs, just to get a paycheck. No matter who you are, you are going to need to find a way to make money. There are two main ways of doing so: employment and entrepreneurship - or if you like, working for yourself or working for someone else.
Once you’ve realized that you need to make money, then you should focus on discovering which way is the one that will bring you more happiness, and which one fits your dreams and goals. Are you an ambitious person? Are you a person that likes being comfortable? Maybe you want to start your own business and become an entrepreneur, or maybe your dream is to work for companies like Shopify or Google.
I am not here to tell you which one is the best option in general. However, I am here to help guide you to finding which one is the best fit for you, especially if you still don’t know what you want to do with your life (which is OK). I’ve seen many people debate whether or not they should throw themselves into business, so hopefully I can help give you some perspective on what it actually takes.
So let’s think about it for a second. Think about and write down your passions, dreams and goals. Which method is the best way to achieve them? Entrepreneurship or employment? Maybe your dream is neither of these, but if your dream is to travel, ask yourself this question: which path will allow you to travel more? You have to think of the requirements for each of your goals in life, and how you can achieve each of those requirements.
How are you supposed to know which one is the best fit?
That depends on many factors. The answer is not black or white, as there is nothing that will ever guarantee that you will be successful in whatever you do.
How big are your dreams and goals? How far are you willing to go to achieve them? Answering these two questions is what will drive you to do anything you do in life. In regards to entrepreneurship and employment, this is what I’ve found to be true: if you are passionate about your business idea, and I mean you are so passionate that you are willing to sacrifice time, money, and effort with the risk that you may never be successful or profit from it, then you may be ready to throw yourself into business.
When should I jump into business?
I believe some people are born with the genes that give them the skills, or talent if you wish, to be a good entrepreneur. That being said, no one is born an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs aren’t born as entrepreneurs. Individuals become entrepreneurs, and it’s never too late to become one.
So if you wish to become an entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter what you are currently doing, how old you are, and the level of experience that you have. You can begin to walk the entrepreneurial path at any point in your life.
Even if you have been an employee for most of your life, that is okay. Your experience will be a huge asset for you.
Similarities between entrepreneurship and employment
On both sides you are creating and delivering value. I do not care what your industry is, I do not care which company you work for, or what your job is. The core of a business is to create and deliver value. Basically, there is no escape: entrepreneurs just like employees create and deliver value. They must. It is what we get paid for and how we survive. This can be done by creating value in any transaction including for the end-customer, for other businesses, for the government or for other employees.
Without value, no one would be in business. People pay for value. Every transaction is an exchange of value.
Maybe the value is created and delivered differently, but that’s the main similarity between the two paths. Employees make themselves valuable to their boss/company, and entrepreneurs make themselves (their business) valuable for whoever their customer is. If employees can’t provide any sort of value, they won’t be hired. If entrepreneurs can’t provide any sort of value, they won’t have a business, and they wouldn’t be entrepreneurs.
So you see here, to switch from one to the other, all you need to do is to change how you create and deliver your value.
Whether you are a student getting your first job or an expert in your field, there is no escape. You are going to have to learn, and put effort into your learning.
When you are starting a job, you probably got it because of your education, your specific skills, or your experience. All that was a learning process, all those skills didn’t just come to you. You learned them somehow. You likely have had to learn how to deal with new people, new situations, new everything.
So whichever path you choose, learning will be necessary. My recommendation is no matter what you decide to do with your life, entrepreneurship or employment, start learning some skills and start looking for new valuable experiences.
Sure, there are a lot of entrepreneurs that did not go to any sort of formal school, but trust me, they were hustling 12, 14, even 18 hours a day figuring things out, solving problems, and finding new ways to do old processes. That’s BIG TIME learning.
Dealing With People
If you cannot hold a conversation with someone, how can you expect to work on a team? How can you expect to pass an interview? For entrepreneurs, you need to find a way to make connections.
Listen, I get it. Sometimes people suck, and it is not always easy to deal with them.
People skills are something I’m going to stress in this blog post. You need some degree of people skills. Let’s be realistic, you need to be able to communicate in order to survive in this world.
Entrepreneurs just like employees, if you want to be successful either way, you are going to need these skills. If you have been paying attention you would know how much connections are becoming more and more important in this world.
Understand that being “social” is much different from being “connected”. It goes far beyond what you say. You could be a super social person, but if you are giving off the wrong vibe, then professionals won’t like you. Introverted people although not as social as extroverted people can be very well connected, and this is because they do not go over-the-top with words, they keep it sweet and simple as well as providing that comfort of less talking, more action.
So whatever you decide, know that it will be important to learn some people skills. For entrepreneurs, it will help to deal with your future HR department, investors, sponsors, new deals, and new partners. For employees, it will help you getting new jobs, better teamwork, new promotions, new deals (raises), and new opportunities.
When it comes down to employment or entrepreneurship, take into consideration to build some people skills.
Are you ready to become an entrepreneur?
Do you have what it takes?
So you just got an idea that you think could completely transform the world, you know what kind of business you want to start. You are ready to start planning how to execute your business. You start thinking, “this is the best idea ever, this would totally work.” However, as you go through all the things you need to figure out, you see how much money you’ll need to start your business, you see how much time you need to put into it, and you see that it’ll involve some sacrifices. You decide not to do it.
This situation happens too often! I am here to tell you what entrepreneurship really means. One thing is for sure, if you are to become an entrepreneur, your passion for your idea or business HAS TO be greater than your fear of failing. If fear of failure is the one factor that stops you from starting all your business ideas, entrepreneurship is not for you.
I will tell you what entrepreneurs do. They see opportunities and they bet on themselves to take advantage of those opportunities. They will take the risks that others will not, and they will find ways to create value for society.
Lastly, entrepreneurs love the hustle. They are in love with the hustle. They think hustle, they eat hustle, they sleep hustle.
They are hustle.
The nonlinear lifestyle
Expect change, and expect it at the moments when you expect it the least. That’s right. You will go through a roller-coaster of emotions, new situations, wins, losses. Expect the unexpected.
Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. If you enjoy and embrace change it can become very interesting and exciting. You will always be in new situations, new phases. It will keep your life moving, it will put you go through so much that you will never become bored and it will not often be repetitive.
One thing is for sure, on the path of the entrepreneur you might be working anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day. You will become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Your body and mind will learn how to always be doing something and stay busy/productive.
The entrepreneurial path is definitely not easy, and definitely not for everyone. If you are looking for a linear lifestyle, this path is not for you. Employment could be your thing.
Employment or entrepreneurship?
Here is what I am going to tell you: think of the lifestyle that you want, your dream lifestyle. What you value the most in your life in terms of career.
Which one would you pick?
- Comfortable life. You want/need stability in your life, and you want to live peacefully. You do not want to risk your comfortable life, and you value your free time to be able to relax.
- You want to stay moving. You understand risks, but you decide to bet on yourself and this excites you. You love to work, and you want to keep growing. You are very ambitious, and you can handle being in a position of discomfort.
The first statement describes employment. It is an easy path to follow because you know all the steps, and if not, you can find all the steps. You will encounter comfort if you are doing your job right, and it is less likely (but still not impossible) that you will lose your job. You will have a set schedule, and you will know exactly when you switch your mind from work to family (usually 5PM Mondays to Fridays). This depends on the job, but the first statement describes best an employee.
The second statement describes entrepreneurship. Your schedule is all over the place, you are thinking about 100 things at the same time, and you usually don’t know when the next time to relax will be (unless you have booked off vacations). Despite this, you love the grind. You love this lifestyle, and you love that what you are creating is yours. You keep betting on yourself, and although you sometimes get stuck in the lower parts of the roller coaster, you will encounter really high points of it too. Life is unstable and unexpected, but you love everything about it! Ambition and dreams are a big part of your thinking.
As you can see, these lifestyles are very different. But they can both be enjoyable depending on who you are. There is no such thing as “one size fits all” career.
Entrepreneurs and employees are both necessary in this world, so no matter what path you choose, understand that you are still valuable to this society. You still have the potential to be successful (in your own way), and you do not need to label yourself as either an employee or an entrepreneur to be happy. Remember, no matter where you are in life you can always change career paths.
Sometimes in life we forget what we really value, and we forget that the goal in life is to be happy and follow our passions and dreams. If you are still confused, go back to the basics. You do not need to know what exactly you are going to do, but you can start by writing down what you value in life, what you don’t like, and what you love to do or would LOVE to do.
Whatever you do, make sure you are following your passions and interests. Maybe before making the decision of entrepreneurship vs employment, this is what you need to work on. If you still feel that this is what you need to work on, here is a great article about how to pursue your interests.