To be your own boss, or not to be your own boss: that is the question.
Social media can be a great platform to share ideas and get different opinions surrounding various subjects or topics. I quite enjoy just seeing and reading what everyone generally has to say. One trend I have noticed though and which I don’t seem to understand is this sudden proliferation of negative sentiments and slander regarding working a typical 9-5 career. I see the comments like “a modern slave” “not dreaming big enough” and “a salary is a bribe to forget your dreams” being thrown around when referring to that type of career. In essence, there has been a great deal of shame that has been placed around being an employee as opposed to an employer – and honestly, it’s exhausting. It appears as if being a business owner is the new cool. And in the words of the keyboard warriors with “Founder and CEO” in their profile bios – “shame on you for forgetting your dreams and being under someone else’s payroll.”
YOU’RE TELLING ME I COULD BE WORKING FROM THE CABANAS?
Business Studies 101: Entrepreneurship is fundamentally about identifying a gap in the market and finding money-making methods of solving the problem. Independence and financial freedom are the long term benefits that come after your business has been established and is a well-oiled machine. And I can see how those perks have created all this “glamour” around being a business owner. I mean, how ideal is it that you can work wherever and whenever you please, make money while you sleep and have 7 figure bank balance? That’s the idea of autonomy that we are sold on the socials, right? What and what not to expect in business is a whole new conversation for another day. My key concern here and what I have gathered from the comments is: Are you now considered less driven or your goals and dreams less significant just because you don’t have entrepreneurial aspirations? Are you less likely to have a rewarding career when you work a 9-5 as opposed to being an entrepreneur? Are we all cut out to be business owners?
STAY IN YOUR LANE
The definition of success differs from person to person but generally and broadly speaking, we typically associate success with being financially comfortable, growing from strength to strength as an individual and being genuinely happy. But does that mean that that can only be achieved through being an entrepreneur? Not at all. Of course, there are risks and rewards to being employed by someone else – as it is with running your own business. Neither is a fool-proof guarantee of better rewards or fewer risks than the other. For me, it all boils down to knowing yourself. As they say on the socials – staying in your lane. It is imperative to know and understand where your own strengths and weaknesses lie – this is equally as important as being aligned with your goals and passion. Having a rock solid understanding of these factors about yourself will make it that much easier to know what is meant for you and what isn’t.
I’ve known for a long time that I had a passion for writing and blogging, way before influencers and content creators became a trend. I decided to re-start my blog a few months ago, this time with a properly paid domain with all the bells and whistles. I didn’t hire anyone to do it, I set up everything myself from scratch. Waking up at 1 am to figure out how to set an email account with my domain name didn’t feel like a tiresome task because this is something I really wanted to do. The passion drove me. I wasn’t doing it for the sake of jumping onto the influencer and content creator bandwagon. Had that been my motive, my not so tech-savvy self probably would have found it 10x harder to get the willpower to work late at night to figure the difference between POP3 and IMAP
WATCH AND LEARN – AND EARN
There’s another perspective and advantage to working for someone else. Let’s say you are still trying to find your feet or put together the resources to go out on your own. You are in the perfect position to understand the ins and outs of your industry – the trends, management styles, processes and procedures etc. That way you get to learn from someone else’s mistakes so that you don’t repeat them in your own business! Don’t forget the advantage of having a steady stream of income to boost you along the way.
JUST OWN IT
Owning and running a business needs you to be a certain type of person. If you are not that person and don’t aspire to be it, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. This is by no means a de-motivational post to meant to put anyone off their plans but purely one to just say, listen – success and happiness is what you make of it. My stance has always been to strive to be the best you can be in whatever it is you choose to do. Aspire to be a multi-business owner? Then be the best one that there is out there. Aspire to be an Executive HR Director for a multi-national corporate? An Editor-In-Chief for a glossy fashion publication? Then I don’t see why you can’t aim to be the best one your industry has ever come across. What matters is you are following your passion and are working towards achieving your set goals. Let’s encourage excellence in whatever career fields we choose to go into rather than shaming the one to glorify the other.