In many cases being an entrepreneur provides greater rewards than it does as an employee. Granted, not all of us have the tenacity and grit to go it on our own, but those that do, often find that the journey provides satisfaction and rewards that rarely can be achieved as an employee.
For many, sitting in a cubicle, day in and day out, might seem very similar to being in a prison. Yes, at times the work is engaging, and we gain some satisfaction when we complete a project on time with high quality, however, many of us quietly question our purpose. “Is this what we were meant to do?”
Many of us believe we were designed for some greater purpose. Entrepreneurship offers us the ability to identify our passion and with the right motivation, pursue that passion. For many, entrepreneurship has many other rewards and benefits that come attached, if you make the decision to pursue your dream.
Becoming an entrepreneur often flies in the face of conventional thought. What I mean is that depending on the generation you were born into will determine your propensity for entrepreneurial acceptance. For instance, my family always preached that I needed to graduate college, get a good job, get married and buy a house. That was the American dream, then. Life has changed, and if you asked Millennials, many would say the American dream is something entirely different. But one thing is clear, many of us have the same regrets.
In a book titled “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed”, the most common regret identified was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” The author Bronnie Ware, was a palliative caregiver and through her discussions with her patients identified that “This was the most common regret of all. When people realized that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.
Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.” Ware used this information to transform her life by pursuing her dreams.
The benefits of being an entrepreneur align well to mitigate this regret. For instance, one of the most common benefits enjoyed by entrepreneurs is the ability to solve problems and make a difference in the process. Remember Zig Zigler said, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” Essentially, entrepreneurship is about providing solutions to people that have a problem. “Give people want they need to get over a hurdle and you’ll enjoy success. You’ll also create a huge number of raving fans that’ll ultimately become customers. People want to do business with people that help them.”
Being solution oriented and innovative is a key component of being successful as an entrepreneur. And this brings up another benefit, that aligns with both passion as well as purpose. As an entrepreneur you have the ability to develop products and services you love. When you believe in what you are developing, and see it as a solution that can really help others, you are more likely to be passionate and a cheerleader for that product or solution.
This is infectious, and helps the entrepreneur convey the value with greater effectiveness.
As the entrepreneur, you are the boss, and this is another key benefit that offers substantial rewards when success is achieved. As the boss, you provide the vision and direction of your company. The culture is formed through that vision and you control the direction of that culture by the quality of the people that are hired. Granted, the stress associated with being the boss can be overwhelming for some and therefore can also be considered as a disadvantage, this all depends on your overall goals and aspirations.
As an entrepreneur, you have the ability to stand up for what you believe in. #entreprenuer
Which brings me to the next point. As an entrepreneur, you have the ability to stand up for what you believe in. Sure, you might be saying, “yes I can do this as an employee”, and this is true, however, your ability as an employee is limited by your role.
For instance, as the entrepreneur your role varies and often times it is essential for you to articulate your role in the industry, which also helps build your brand and your business, by speaking at events and providing your expert opinion on the merits of your solution as it relates to solve issues for many in that industry. Although, some may find this aspect of entrepreneurship as unnerving, it can be the best way to establish yourself as an authority and therefore provide the credibility you need to catapult you and your solution as the only solution to consider. This of course helps the bottom-line of your business.
Furthermore, one of the biggest rewards is the ability to remove any ceiling on the earnings you can make. Of course, this is not a guarantee, however, as an entrepreneur, you have a greater opportunity to establish the lifestyle you want and a way to fund it. For many, money is not the primary driver for becoming an entrepreneur. Most want to change the world, or establish control and flexibility in their life, which are all attributes associated with being an entrepreneur.
But for most, being rewarded financially is the icing on the cake. It is true that some dream of riches and will most likely fall short, but that is ok. For many, the excitement and satisfaction in the pursuit of the dream is what matters. Enjoyment is achieved by enjoying the journey not only arriving at the destination.
There is overwhelming qualifiers that support the assertion that being an entrepreneur is more rewarding. Conversely, there are many that advocate the benefits and rewards of being an employee. Critical, is your mindset. What I mean is simply that the way you think about and manage yourself will ultimately determine your success. Some of these mindset shifts bring stress, but stress is not necessarily all bad. Another way this can be explained is what others may refer to as thinking outside the box. Thinking outside the box provides growth opportunities for those that engage in this practice.
The downside of course is that in doing so, you are getting outside your comfort zone, and this raises your stress level. Why? I think you would agree that we are motivated by fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of making a mistake and failing. Therefore, we may avoid, at all cost, at stepping outside this box of comfort. “Nothing makes us more uncomfortable than fear. And, we have so many: fear of pain, disease, injury, failure, not being accepted, missing an opportunity, and being scammed to name a few. Fear invokes the flight or fight syndrome; and our first reaction is always to flee back to our comfort zone. If we don’t know the way back, we are likely to follow whoever shows us a path.
I assert, that the greatest rewards are when you can seize the moment, step outside the box, and overcome your fear. This fear can paralyze you, keep you in a mental prison. Force you to do the same thing day in and day out. You may say to yourself, that “if I ran the company, I would do this…” But you never do, you never chase your dreams. This is where you will find the
sweet spot in your life. This is where you can say you tried, even if you failed, and having that conversation with yourself is better than having the regret of not trying. With all of this being said, there are those that promote the employee lifestyle and they do have valid points.
Sometimes following the employee career direction makes the most sense, especially if you value what you believe to be “job security.” As somebody that has failed many times as an entrepreneur, I must admit that sometimes being an employee for me has made sense. It allowed me to re-group, to step back and learn from my mistakes. I see the value of being an employee. Many advocates believe that this makes the best choice for some.
Being an employee has its benefits. For instance, you can focus on creating and not on selling. This serves a purpose and can be very rewarding. Let’s face it, not all of us are good at selling. Perhaps that is why entrepreneurship is so appealing. We all have the ability to do many different functions throughout the day and ultimately this works for those that become bored easily.
In addition, the work/life balance may be sacrificed, at least in the beginning as an entrepreneur. As an employee, you may find that the requirements to be successful are easily achieved than trying to create a business that potential is a market disrupter. As with this, you have to apply an incredible level of exertion to reach critical mass as an entrepreneur. All the while not achieving any level of success, which has a negative impact on your income.
Both career choices have their advantageous and disadvantageous, and depending on what is most important to you, will determine the best career path to take. The rewards for being an entrepreneur are numerous and far outweigh the tendency to stay inside the box. Having control, excitement, flexibility, freedom and an income with no ceiling are desirable, but it is important to move forward with your eyes wide open. There are pitfalls, but as Michael Jordan once said, “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.”
I'm a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, avid traveler, and always seeking the next thrill. My passions include leadership development, Call Center Performance and Digital Marketing. Living life on my terms is the only way to live as far as I’m concerned. If you want to find out what I am doing then check it out here. I share the good, the bad and the ugly!