Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Employment Vs. Entrepreneurship

Sleeping in late, working when you feel like it, less stress. These are not characteristics of entrepreneurship however, they can be common misconceptions about the self-employed lifestyle. 

And while entrepreneurship does have perks like being your own boss, it also requires a certain personality type. 

You have to be organized, self motivated, focused, disciplined and determined to make it! You also have to be able to sacrifice luxuries and any notion of disposable income in the formative years of your business.

As a matter of fact, on a recent trip, I had a very candid conversation with a friend of mine; a former entrepreneur who has recently found happiness in the corporate world. And we couldn’t help but chuckle at the motivations for our distinctive paths--she (professional woman) vs me (entrepreneur).

Professional Woman
-Entrepreneurship provided a lot of creativity but it consumed a lot of creative energy too. How so? There was the creativity of bootstrapping a business budget, exploring various advertising revenues in addition to religiously growing a consumer base.
-A steady salary, 401k and health benefits are nice! They sure beat waiting on money to come in then crossing your fingers that you cover costs. Oh and they sure beat hoping that you have a little left over to pay yourself.
-Working for a corporation allows you the budget to be creative. If there is a necessary expenditure to help meet the end goal, it’s covered in a synch.
-It’s nice to have a life and not work, work, work and work some more.

On the flip side, here is what I had to say regarding the benefits of entrepreneurship.

The benefits of Entrepreneurship/Self Employment
-Mobility! Hands down this is the number one reason I work for myself. I need to be able to pick up and go and bring my business with me. Most entrepreneurs would agree.
-Distaste for micromanagement, self-motivated. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait on something or being told that vision may not work. You don’t know unless you are willing to try, trust and learn in the process. 
-Breakaway from cubicle confinement. Whether I work out of my home office, also referred to as my productivity palace, or the local coffee shop, a change in scenery leads to enhanced creativity. And that means I can think for my clients beyond the basic business boundaries. The 99% had a great blog post about this entitled, "Are You An Arm Chair Creative?"
-All the risk, all the reward. Yes, entrepreneurs forgo the initial perks of a steady salary, health benefits and 401k but if the risk you’ve made pays off, you reap all the reward! I’d rather bet 100% and yield 200% the get a 10% standard of living increase annually. How about you?

Bottom line.  Which do you prefer--employment of entrepreneurship?

What works best......You may try entrepreneurship and discover that it's not for you. (And that's ok). But if the ideas of building something from scratch and watching it grow, having geographic flexibility and having something to call your own melt your heart, then you may be fit for entrepreneurship. Of course you won't know for certain unless you try. And if all else fails, you're 401k will be waiting for you.

Got something to say? Feel free to post a comment below. Want more entrepreneurial advice and motivation? Visit http://www.facebook.com/jaclynmullenmedia


  1. Without a doubt, that freedom of mobility is the clincher!

  2. I have a friend who says being self-employed means you get to choose which 16 hours a day you want to work. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at myqualityday.blogspot.com

  3. i love how you outlined the benefits. I really hope to be self employed one day.
    Happy A-Zing!

  4. avenue 5 consulting
    You have the choice; you can use your thoughts constructively or destructively.

  5. There's one other choice...winning the lottery! lol

    All kidding aside, both have their advantages. I liken employment to renting, in that you don't have to mow the lawn (worry about the actual running of the biz), and entrepreneurs as being the owners of said aforementioned house/apartment.

    I've done both, preferring the latter.