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Entrepreneurship is NOT the holy-grail – it’s ok to have the 9-5 dream

Entrepreneurs – those sexy beasts have it all, don’t they? They can wake up when they want, work when they want, take holidays when they choose, and have control over everything.

It’s the goal we all aim for, right?

Working a 9-to-5 corporate gig is the nightmare. It’s being ruled by egotistical low-life’s , surrounded by sycophants who will snap your neck in two and step over your cold, dead corpse to get ahead. You are at someone else’s beck and call that doesn’t have your interests at heart. You have to book your holidays in advance, and remain chained to your cubicle until you have permission to leave.

Is there any truth in this?

I think not.

It’s exhausting to read articles/blog posts online that praise entrepreneurship like it’s the Holy Grail; something that is the lifeblood of society. And of course, if you’re not working towards this, then something is missing.

I believe entrepreneurship is a mind-set that you can apply to whatever your work situation is; taking pleasure in what you do, no matter who you work for. Living the corporate life does not lack respect.

Entrepreneurship is most certainly not for everyone, and here’s why:

It’s risky

Having a good idea does not guarantee a business.  Having a product does not guarantee clients. Having a blog does not necessarily mean the start of passive income.

Some of us just don’t want to take the risk.  And that’s ok. It’s perfectly respectable to want to put your time, energy and ideas into a business somebody else started.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

There are no financial guarantees

So you’re working solo, which means you are responsible for every penny earned. You stop working, the money stops coming in.  Marketing is a consistent activity, and love it or hate it, you’ve gotta do it to make your dough.

When working for a business you don’t own, there is the guarantee of a paycheque at the end of the month. And if for whatever reason you are not doing a good job, there are rules and laws that protect you so that you know when the cash pot will end.

Fringe benefits

Working for a corporate business, you have the option of receiving:

–          Life insurance

–          A pension

–          Health cover for you and your family

–          Paid holidays

How many of these are immediate, or even available, when you’re working a solo gig?

Exactly.

The social factor

If you’re anything like me, you like being around people. You may not necessarily like those people all the time, but simply having the opportunity to interact on a daily basis with people you would not have ordinarily interacted with is refreshing.

Working solo can sometimes mean this and this alone – S.O.L.O.  You must be proactive about finding people to interact with.  What happens if you really need to talk to someone and everyone is busy?  Situations like this are not easy, for those amongst us who are gregarious and feed off the energy of other people.

You can take risks

Want to work abroad? Want to work in sales rather than marketing? Want to work for a different boss for a while?  You can do that.  And you can do it relatively risk free.

When working for yourself, you have to do everything.  When you love it, when you hate it, when you would rather stick fresh red chilies in your eye than do it, you still have to.

Tough.

If you don’t like it, you can leave

Ok, so closing your business is always an option, but it’s not easy to wrap it up and walk away. You have to tell the clients, there are legal aspects to consider, and of course, your next move. With a job, you leave when you find another. It’s simple. And with a safety net in-tact.

 

 

So here’s to the courageous 9-to-fivers; those valiantly committed multi-tasking warriors, believing and living the values of the corporate like they were penned from your own heart.  Working for someone else is not a shameful thing. In a world where the internet is full of entrepreneurs screaming that they have it all, here’s to you – keep living that passion and breathing it into every day.

 

10 Comments

  • Vishnu says:

    Yess!! Glad you wrote this post Razwana and thank you for standing up for employees 🙂

    I’ve done both. Worked for an employer and worked for myself. WOrking for myself gave me a lot of freedom and let allowed me to be my own boss. But the challenges included stress, making ends meet and constant uncertainty. There’s some fun in uncertainty but only when you cover your expenses. hhahaha

    I think a mix which is what I’m trying to do now, works best. I found a great job which still gives me enough time and flexibility to work on my writing and blogging. But I had to make tough decisions, take a pay cut and work reduced hours to do this kind of work. I’m thrilled about it because more than anything, I’m doing what I want. And that choice really has been true happiness and fulfillment.

    No one really stands up for employees in the blogosphere. Glad you’re doing so here. Working for someone else is not the end of the world – there are its benefits – many many benefits as you point. Especially stability and security.

  • Razwana says:

    You’re living the dream, V! Doing what you want; what makes you happy. That’s the holy grail, right there!

    So, fancy writing a guest post for me on why/how you did it? 🙂

  • OK, so I admit I’m not a valiantly committed multi-tasking warrior but 1) I do respect those warriors just as much as anyone and you already know I agree with you, jobs can be awesome and 2) I want to be one after reading this.

    Alan
    (Solo gladiator feeling very naked all of a sudden)

    • Razwana says:

      Great to see you here, Alan !

      You’ve done your 9-5 bit for society I think….it’s ok if you wanna retire to the South of France and make wine or something…. 😉

  • There is nothing wrong about working 9-5 job. In fact, people who do can have a lot of financial stability and receive great benefits throughout the life. Not talking about getting promoted and making more and more every year and what not.
    Having your own business is quite dangerous, you might become a slave of it and never have any days off, holidays off or evenings off. Only the most motivated and talented survive.
    So, take your pick! What does sound attractive to you?

    • Razwana says:

      I like what you said there, Elena, about a 9-5 not just being about getting promoted and earning more and more each year. Not everyone wants this – sometimes the stability of everything – responsibility, money, location, is enough. It gives room for other parts of life to be risky!

  • Steve says:

    You make some really great points. I wonder how many people actually take the time to balance the pros and cons between working for themselves and working for someone else. I imagine that it looks glamorous to work for yourself when you’re stuck in a cubicle. Maybe it’s like that saying about how grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

    As with most things in life, there are trade offs to any changes. Hardly anything comes with only positives.

    I’m glad you made this post. This should be something everyone who wants to become an entrepreneur should read so they know what they’re getting into and what they might be leaving behind.

    • Razwana says:

      You got it – self-employment IS hard work but the glamour of it can be deceptive. I was so tired of reading post, after post, and figured I’d write something to balance it!

      Thank you so much for your comment, Steve, and for the Twitter share. Appreciated 🙂

  • janet says:

    yes, I am one of those in favor of entrepreneurship but I think it’s always been a path I’ve wanted to take, even when I was scared or had no confidence. The thing about the office is it’s hard to find that right perfect fit, ‘dream job’ where you feel happy with what you do and love your job. If you have one of those, and you’re an employee, that’s GREAT! That’s what we should all work towards. Loving what we do. But this is where I stray. My ‘love for what I do’ goes beyond the office because it’s something I know the office couldn’t fulfill. At least for me personally!! Now we can have a level of not just working for the corporation, but work with other entrepreneurs or start-ups too. This is a good space for me as well.. But for right now, I’m solo!

    • Razwana says:

      Janet – it is definitely down to personal preference. For some people, the office works well for the ‘dream job’ fit, but not for others. There are joys and sacrifices in both I think.

      Thank you for commenting, Janet !

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