Disclaimer: I am deeply prejudiced against being an employee! Deeply! I would personally become an employee only out of necessity; that is, to keep my kids away from hunger. So beware that the following article may be a tiny bit partial. I will do my best to sound less militant and more objective, though.
1. Freedom, Freedom, Freedom! I have been born to be free and I intend to keep it that way! Let’s face it. Like most entrepreneurs I have issues with authorities, rules, regulations, restrictions, bonds, bondage , structures, hierarchies, conservatives views, traditions, stereotypes, and anything else that could be deemed as restrictive. I need to be able to think by myself and for myself, come up with new ideas and take action to turn them into reality.
2. Money! I know that a job pays well but entrepreneurship has the potential to pay better. If it works (which is not always the case), you will be creating value for your own business. Are you not yet tired of working for others? Did you know that in the best of the cases an employer reaps 70% of the value you are producing? In fact, after the 2008 crisis the employer keeps more than 90% of this value. Personally, I would rather add value to the business I own.
3. Fulfil your Mission! Life and Work is not just about money. We need to aim at something higher than ourselves. We need to fulfil our destiny; whatever that might be. Our own business will give us the opportunity to create something bigger that lasts longer than we do. It will help us leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren.
4. Work – Life Balance! When I first left my cushy job and started pursuing entrepreneurship, I have been warned about it. They told me that I will have to work longer hours. They insisted that I will never leave the office; in fact, the office would probably follow me at home. They lamented that my children would grow up without their mother. Well, they were wrong. I have a much better work-life balance than I did when I was an academic. In fact, I set strict rules that would allow me to spend all of my free time with my kids. And this time, I have a lot of free time in my hands, because this is what matters to me the most.
5. Constant Excitement. OK, for some people this is a curse. But for me it is another reason to be alive. You never know what each day holds for you. I am constantly surprised by the range of jobs that need to be completed or the types of people I have to meet. There is not a day passing by in boredom.
All of the above. From another perspective…
1. Complete freedom comes with a certain lack of structure. None will tell you what to do or not to do. The only deadlines you will have are the deadlines you will set on yourself. So, unless you are very motivated, nothing will be completed.
2. Depending on the success of your business, you will reap the appropriate rewards. When things turn sour, you will not have the chance to have a proper salary. So, if you are looking for security, you are looking in the wrong area.
3. Loneliness. This is one aspect that not many people can grasp. I feel that the journey I have chosen is a lonely one. I may have a team to help me, I may have employees relying on me. Despite of the people surrounding me, I will never be able to share with them everything that is in my mind. If anything, I would not like to scare them away.
4. Failure will happen. There is no doubt that, despite your best efforts, at some point you will fail. Most likely you will make several mistakes, based on the limited information you will have. Not many people can face failure. Our society has trained us only for success. The best entrepreneurs I know embrace failure on a daily basis, they learn from their mistakes, and they turn these lessons into wild successes.
Whatever you decide, make sure that you understand what you are getting into, and that the people surrounding you are supportive. Entrepreneurship is probably going to be the most difficult and exciting thing you will ever do.