Entrepreneurship versus Employment: Which one is better?
Entrepreneurship is one of the most talked of topics of the century. A wide body of literature has accumulated which mainly discusses entrepreneurial traits and the value of entrepreneurship. Many times people believe that entrepreneurship is better than employment without giving it much thought. However, entrepreneurship is not a piece of cake and neither everyone’s curry. If it has a bright side, there are also major tussles associated with entrepreneurship which the average employee generally does not face. An employee comparatively feels securer in his job while the entire onus of success or failure remains on the shoulders of an entrepreneur. There are other several challenges too associated with entrepreneurship that one must consider before trying to launch his career on this path.
One very important trait that is associated with entrepreneurs is their ability to bear risks and tolerate uncertainty and ambiguity. However, risk taking is not everyone’s game and seen a on a risk taking continuum, there are people who avoid risks to those who are absolute daredevils. Depending upon the several success stories of this century, many would like to become an entrepreneur. However, not all of them succeed because start ups fail and when they do the burden remains on the founder and not on the employees he hired. This is a very critical aspect of entrepreneurship and must be considered before launching a start up of one’s own. An average employee is relatively free from worries, has fixed responsibilities to shoulder whereas, an entrepreneur may have to juggle between roles, work longer than an average employee does and worry for many more things until his start up is a success and in a strong enough position financially. Traditional jobs have their own perks and one can find enough satisfaction and peace of mind in them too. It is not true that you have higher peace of mind and a better work life balance as an entrepreneur. You may find better work life balance while working for some company rather than running your own. Work hours can get stretched and you may have to toil with more complex issues when you are heading a start up.
Everyone wants to be his own boss but it is challenging and not everyone succeeds. Having a start up does not mean you are already successful. From funding and investment to hiring and other challenges, there are plenty to keep you engaged and busy round the clock. So, entrepreneurship always does not bring the kind of freedom that people imagine comes with being your own boss. Moreover, if you are looking for financial security, entrepreneurship may not be always the right way to go. In case of a corporate job, you earn a fixed salary. As an entrepreneur you are risking many things including money and a few miscalculations could take you into losses. You may find more stability in your career as an employee rather than as an entrepreneur. Many corporate executives earn much more handsomely than small business owners. As an entrepreneur, you may sometimes have to play several roles from accounting to being the HR and marketing head. There are many roles some of which are quite complex requiring specialization, while others may be simple. Had you been in a job, these responsibilities may have gotten distributed among several people.
It is true that as an employee, you have act as per rules and instructions from above. As an entrepreneur, you get to set your own rules. You also have comparatively more freedom to make your decisions and to execute them. An entrepreneur does not have to ask for permission from others for his plan but then the financial and non-financial risks associated with his plan are also his. As an employee, you may also feel like under or over-utilized and may have to work with limited authority. However, entrepreneurs also have to act under certain restraints which may be financial or non-financial in nature. Still, if your own venture succeeds, you know how much success brings with itself. If you are in a job that makes you feel like caught in a small role and you have the idea and vision to make it big, you must certainly go for it but not without estimating and calculating the risks. Entrepreneurship has its own rewards but it has its challenges as well and underestimating these challenges can result in failure.
There are several attractive things related with traditional employment also. Apart from timely salary and other benefits like getting to work with others and the water-cooler moments, traditional jobs have not lost their attractiveness. The fat salaries of top executives are also a proof that if you want big money, good education could help you earn more than the small business owners. As an employee you can focus on your job and not have to worry about other related things. As an entrepreneur marketing becomes a major worry for you. How you market and sell your idea also decides the level of success you are going to achieve. It depends upon your ability to bear risks and tolerate uncertainty. Sometimes the environment can be so full of uncertainty that it may boggle your mind. However, entrepreneurs are relentless in passion and learn from failures. So, undoubtedly while you may feel secure in your 8-9 hours daily job, the attraction of entrepreneurship also lies in the uncertainty. If you win, you may earn several times more than your job pays you. This is the hope that has made many leave their job to search for the right opportunity.
Overall, both areas have their own attraction and if you are satisfied with your job, you would not need to be an entrepreneur. Unless you are ready for the risks and challenges, a well paid job is always a safer bait. An entrepreneur’s fate is uncertain, an employees’ is less uncertain. There is some uncertainty in every job because jobs have become more complex in this century where you may feel like lacking in one area or another. As an entrepreneur you do not just get to be your own boss, you also enjoy relatively higher freedom in terms of planning and spending. If your idea and start-up succeed you may also get to earn a lot more than a job could pay you. The critical thing is that everyone does not have the entrepreneurial mindset and so it will not suit everyone. One must evaluate both the risks and rewards before trying to move away from his job.
No one can answer but only you. It all depends on your drive, your capacity to take risk, the goals of your life. With the few pointers above, entrepreneurship is far better than job.