This past week, I had a meeting with some colleagues and I told them I’m still very much an entrepreneur at heart, except that due to circumstances in my life, I must surrender to the benefits of being in employment.
They laughed at me.
“You’re not an entrepreneur. If you really were an entrepreneur, you won’t even be in a job!”
… that got me thinking.
For 5 seconds.
Why Entrepreneurs Don’t Start With Employment
I believe there are several reasons why entrepreneurs don’t want a job…
- Easy or no challenge to the work
- Skills/expertise “sold” at a wholesale level to the company
- Little authority and control to go in their direction
Entrepreneurs perceive employment as a position where there isn’t any challenge and they’ll need to do boring work on a repetitive basis, the income doesn’t match the amount of skill which they believe are of immense value and they don’t have complete authority to get whatever resources they need to accomplish their goals. Time is another important criteria but I left it out as entrepreneurs can forget about how much time they’re putting in when they truly get involved in a project.
However, if employment does offer the above, many entrepreneurs might find that they’re actually willing to stay in employment. It’s my belief that people push the blame to jobs that it’s not going to give them what they want because they’ve not put in the effort to look for good employment. So they think “I’m going to be an entrepreneur!” and drop the hunt for the right work.
How Employment Can Benefit Entrepreneurs
But not all entrepreneurs think that way, there’s a breed where they’re very realistic about what they want and how to go about it. They know that while they want to start their own business ventures eventually, they can’t drop everything and run to it as they need to make sure they have done all the necessary calculations.
And when the time or circumstance appears when they have to start over, they take off like ducks to water – where everything runs smoothly and with purpose, with a certain grace that was absent when they were working in employment.
That came because of the limitations of being in employment which bring about these unseen benefits
- Forced to get creative with limited resources
- Necessity to stay professional when dealing with clients from hell
- Deadlines to get projects done and completed
Under employment, you’re required to deliver certain project requirements while being limited with whatever resources you have on hand. Sometimes, the best outcome won’t be achieved but one thing is for certain… something has progressed. Action is always better than meditation. Many entrepreneurs stay in the dreaming stage because they didn’t force themselves into action.
And when clients get a little crazy with their expectations, you’ve got to stay professional and find a tactful way to deal with or convince them.
This breed of entrepreneurs, though, tend to lose out in terms of being an early adopter. They’ll then need to spend the extra time and effort in defining what sets them apart from the competitors.
When Should You Make The Jump From Employment To Entrepreneur?
Realistically speaking, entrepreneurs should only jump after they’ve considered all aspects of their venture. What would happen if they succeed and what would they do if they fail? What is the ultimate strategy of the business? If the business can’t be explained in a single liner and the target audience “get it”, then the strategy hasn’t been clearly defined enough.
Hope is the worst strategy.
Never leave the future of the business venture to “hope”. Always determine if there already is an existing market where you can tap into, where you exchange something of value for whatever rewards you decide on.
Plan everything in advance. Depending on your characteristic, you may plan it out all on paper (recommended) or you may just have it your head. Have all aspects planned out, do the tests. Be brave enough to say “this isn’t working” and get back to the drawing board. Fail fast. Accept the failures and learn from them, celebrate the victories and then carry out the exit strategies soon.