Job Versus Business Ownership: The Pros and Cons

For most people, going to formal school is with the aim of finishing with good grades so that one could land himself or herself with a white-collar job. The call to finish with good grades is usually from parents, relatives, and at times classmates at school.

Very few people talk about starting their own business on completion of formal school (at least the first degree). The reason is because majority of people in the world are in paid employment working for very few individuals who have gotten themselves to think outside the idea of working for others to creating employment themselves for others.

Majority who work for business owners are very rarely able to think of life as their own boss. They are so used to receiving salary either weekly or monthly that they become relaxed and assume it would continue to remain so.

Even though some people dream of becoming their own boss someday, very few are able to actualize this dream. The fear of failure and what people might say is what keeps them hanging on in paid employment.

However, Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad best selling novel said there are two possibilities for folks in paid employment: the first is for one to leave and become his or her own boss and the second is for the employer to ask his employee to leave, and the probability of the second happening is higher for everyone.

It takes a great deal of courage for one to leave a steady paying job to enter the rather uncertain terrain of business. One is not sure if what he or she ventures into would succeed, and is therefore not sure of paying his or her bills.

But the truth is, how certain is paid employment when one could be asked to go at anytime? With this uncertainty of paid employment comes the desire to increase one’s income by investing in places like the real estate market so that one could have what to fall back on if asked to leave paid employment.

But again, whether one likes it or not, a day would surely come when one’s employers ask him or her to leave because he or she is no longer productive and has become a burden on the company’s resources.

It is at that stage that many realise they need to get some kind of business running – something they had been avoiding during their younger days. With no business experience, they jump into the next idea that comes into their head and invest their savings and severance benefits.

When things do not go as envisaged, which is not uncommon for a start-up business, they become jittery and start looking for another business idea. They continue this way jumping from idea to idea and before long all their savings is gone and they are back to square one with no money and as though they never worked before.

Another group of individuals work in organisations that make them look as though they are whiz kids with the Midas touch in business. They are able to analyse business ideas and provide very professional advice that would work if applied.

But outside of that office, if asked to start their own business, they would continue to analyse and analyse all business ideas they have and look for reasons why it cannot work.

Eventually, they also would not be able to start anything because they are still looking for the best idea with the most ideal conditions under which to implement them. In essence, they are waiting for everything to be right before starting.

Fortunately or unfortunately, things cannot be 100% right for one to start a business that would become world class with excellent profits in later years.

I say fortunately because history has shown over and over again (though most of us are either unaware or refuse to be aware of this fact) that every successful business started small with many challenges that had to be surmounted.

Anyone who applies the same principles would equally achieve success in his or her business endeavour.

I say unfortunately because those who want ideal conditions before doing business are living in the wrong world because it cannot happen here. You have to make the conditions right and push yourself in the direction you want to go because that is the way it works in our world.

One major difference between paid employment and owning your business is that in paid employment, you have to be there all the time to earn your living, that is, earn as you work.

In business on the other hand, you do not have to be there to earn your living because you are making use of other people’s talents and time to achieve the same objective of earning a living.

I wish to point out something here. If you say you are self employed and always have to be there for things to run smoothly, that is certainly a job and not a business. You need to put things in place to change it to a business to free you to do other things that are important to you.

Of course, it all depends on what your objectives are. Some may argue here that if you are not there, your employees would take advantage of your absence and create problems. But I know that most people would prefer others to work for them than to do it themselves always.

We may also wish to ask those who prefer to be there always how successful organisations are run. The owners of such businesses are usually not there and where they have locations in several places, they cannot be everywhere at the same time.

So it therefore means there are things they have put in place to ensure smooth operations (it may not be 100% okay in all locations) whether they are there or not.

Something else about a business is that there are usually teething problems at the beginning caused by inexperience or lack of finance, but they are certainly surmountable to enable one achieve success in his or her heart’s desires.

This is usually the stage where most individuals chicken out because they have a wrong understanding of the word failure caused by their formal school and family experience where failure is a word that should be avoided at all costs.

But as motivational speaker Anthony Robbins put it, “Success is the result of good judgement; good judgement is the result of experience and experience is usually the result of bad judgement.”

In business, one cannot rule out the possibility of making mistakes. It could mean the temporary end of the business.

However, while a business owner that understands this fact would forge ahead with the experience behind him or her and eventually achieve success, most organisations would fire an employee who makes a costly mistake.

Notice I used the word temporary because every bad experience can be overcome, every difficulty can be conquered and there is no problem without a solution.

Once you understand this, your approach to problems will certainly change from one of fear to one of a valuable learning experience.

There is a limit to the amount of money one can earn from paid employment and any increase in employees’ earnings is dependent on the organisation’s earnings because an organisation cannot pay more than a certain amount as salary to enable it meet its other financial obligations.

Secondly, one’s earning capacity as an employee is dependent on one’s efforts alone because you are paid for the work you have done for the period under consideration.

In business, one’s earnings is dependent on your effort and the efforts of employees and one’s earning capacity is therefore higher because you are the owner and are paid for everyone’s efforts.

When one is in paid employment, you are under someone’s supervision and that makes you do things you would not feel like doing: resuming work at the right time to do your job and also putting it the extra hours required to finish special projects.

As a business owner, you are free to do your own thing. But there is a time discipline is required at the initial stage similar to when you worked as an employee to allow the business grow.

You’ve got to remember this very important point because it would mean doing things when you don’t feel like even though you are the owner of the business and can do things when you want.

When you are in paid employment, there is a way things are done that you may not like and you would want a change. If your employers do not agree with your views, there is a limit to the impact you can make, even if it is a positive one.

As a business owner, you make the decisions and are free to apply whatever views you feel is necessary to carry your business to great heights. It means you must have vision as the leader of the organisation.

But you’ve also got to note that your employees that do the actual job have their own views for you to consider and apply on how to improve the business.

It would certainly make them feel as a part of the organisation and would help them come up with better views next time.

All said, which of the sides would you want to be found, employee or business owner? If your decision is paid employment, always remember that a day would surely come when your services will no longer be required and you would have to do something to fall back on.

You certainly would not want to start working at an age when you should be retiring and resting. No matter how much work experience you have in someone else’s organization, it may not be sufficient to see you through your own business at the initial stage unless you reached the very top as CEO as an employee.

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For most people, going to formal school is with the aim of finishing with good grades so that one could land himself or herself with a white-collar job. The call to finish with good grades is usually from parents, relatives, and at times classmates at school. Very few people talk about starting their own business…