I read an article recently that talked about five ways that entrepreneurship is overrated. It's a cautionary tale about the downsides to being a business owner. While I don't think that being an entrepreneurship is for everyone, I also don't think it's necessarily overrated for many of the reasons given in the article.
I have experienced the challenges of running my own business as well as the challenges of working for someone else. I spent time working in a corporate environment for almost a decade. Like a caged animal being told what to do and when to do it. I about lost my damn mind in that model so I decided it was time to break free and work more on my terms.
Myth #1. Job's provide a guaranteed income: Tell that to all the people that lost their jobs in 2008 and 2009. In 2016, companies like Walmart (17,500 layoffs), Haliburton (15,200) and Bank of America (8,000) are laying people off. These are well established companies with a track record of success. Even if you don't get laid off, for most employees, their income is flat and they have no opportunity for significant increases in income. As a business owner in any given month, I could make $0 or I could make over $100k. There is bigger downside and an even bigger upside than a steady paycheck.
Myth #2. Paid time off and less work: As a business owner if I work more, it's my choice. If your manager Lumberg asks you to come in on a Saturday at your 9-5, he's an asshole and you likely work in a shitty job. Smart business owners know that you have to create leverage and recurring revenue to be successful. When I'm on vacation, I'm getting paid because I have systems for delivering value and a team that helps me do it. If you work long hours as a business owner it's by choice and simple leverage of a team and systems can help to alleviate that. If you work for someone else, you work as much as they tell you to work. You know what I don't have to do? Ask my boss if I can go to my daughter's soccer game or cheer competition. I get to go on field trips, have lunch with my kids at school all while appearing to others to be that dad that clearly doesn't have a job.
Myth #3. You can work in a fulfilling environment for someone else: There isn't a purer form of self expression of your purpose than entrepreneurship. Period. At a job, you are one management move away from having the best job in the world to having the worst. You will never be as fulfilled, appreciated and well-compensated working for anyone else. Not to say you can't have a great job that you love but those jobs have limits and boundaries and can only do so much.
Entrepreneurship isn't overrated and it's also not for everyone. For the right person, entrepreneurship is a great opportunity to create massive value for the world as well as live life on your terms. If you care about freedom and are tired of “playing it safe”, then I would definitely recommend that you explore entrepreneurship.