Why You Should Consider Becoming an Entrepreneur

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Except you work for the government I don't believe working in a job is easier than running your own business. Sure, the start of a business is very tough. But so is the start of any career. Some of us spent 2, 3, 4 years to become gainfully employed. We started with dead end jobs we were overqualified for. And some more unlucky ones had a devilish boss and unhelpful colleagues. Then as time passed we got better jobs and a more relaxed working condition. This is the same process an entrepreneur passes through. The beginning is tough for most and it gets better with time. 

image: chrisolam.com

Yes, there are those who had great jobs straight out of school and never seemed to suffer in the job market or work under a devilish boss. Also, there are businesses that started with everything easy; no lack of resources and were profitable from day 1. The one thing common to both is that they are the exception. Not the typical. For every one of my friends who got a great job straight out of university (I actually did too, spent less than 1 month in the job market before getting a job with the then second largest telecoms solution/infrastructure provider in the world) I knew 30 others who didn't. And it's same with entrepreneurship. I have come across people who have parents so rich they simply leverage their family wealth to start a business the easy way: assured customers courtesy family connections and almost inexhaustible financial resources. And there also those who just seem to hit the entrepreneurship jackpot, their businesses took off like a rocket and they don't have any memory of a bad time. They are the exception. For every one of them there are over a 1000 who have it extremely tough.

Young guys like me are reluctant to go full-time on their own, becoming an entrepreneur. They complain of not having enough resources and experience. Older guys are also reluctant to start their own business. They complain of not having the flexibility to juggle family with the struggles of a new business. The truth is no one category of people have it easier: young and without a family; or old and with a family. At every stage of our lives we will have strong enough reasons to not start a company, to not become an entrepreneur. But if you carefully compare working full-time (with or without a part-time biz) and becoming a full-time entrepreneur you will most probably find becoming an entrepreneur the better option. 

I don't know anyone whose salary grows in sync with his increasing competence and value at work. Even though your competence has grown threefold and the value you are creating for the company has quadrupled since the year you joined the company, you can be sure that your salary wouldn't have grown that much. Regardless of how you measure the reward you get from your job (money, influence or connection) it will never grow as fast your value grows. Even if you change job often to push your pay up to reflect your increased competence, you still can't get them in sync. 

The only way you can have your income grow in sync with your competence and value is to be a full-time entrepreneur. Since starting my business full-time in April I have increased my training fees 3 times. It closely tracks not just my increased competence but the growth in my perceived value. Even for my consultancy job I don't collect the same fee from everyone, the first person/company pays a reasonable fee while the next pays more for the same deal. It's called marginal cost. Engaging me to consult for you one day a week leaves me with six days a week, but when another guy comes asking for the same thing I will have 5 days left, and it goes on like that. I value having 6 days left in the week than having 5 days left in the week and I appropriately adjust my fee to capture that increased opportunity cost. You can't try that in a salaried job. You can't even negotiate your overtime fee up (if are even lucky to get paid for overtime). 

As an entrepreneur you can work at the time you find most convenient. You can do things in the way you think most reasonable. Rather than joining the morning mad traffic you can work till late at night and sleep while others are sweating in the morning traffic. You can do things in a more productive way without having to explain or make a presentation to some thick-headed guys. You can give life to your great ideas without fear of losing your job. You can also easily adjust your lifestyle, like working less hours a day to spend more time with your young family or even working more from home.

I strongly believe that for most of us, becoming an entrepreneur will make our lives much better. You have done much tougher things. You have helped some other entrepreneur grow his own business in spite of the limitations and unfair treatment you were subjected to. Just think of all you could have achieved if you had channeled all that creativity, dedication, patience and energy into your own business.


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