Being your own boss? The (dis)advantages of entrepreneurship

What is entrepreneurship? Both the definition in law and the practical difference from employment

A business, by legal definition, is an independent activity run in one’s own name and on one’s own responsibility, where the aim is to make money. The entrepreneur can, among other things, determine for himself in what field he will do business, with whom he will cooperate, what the prices will be or how the business will operate.

By contrast, an employee does not have these options, although he may, for example, even get into a position where he can have control over some of these aspects, but he cannot completely dictate the terms or override the word of his supervisor or even the owner.

The entrepreneur decides for himself how his business will operate, whether he goes it alone, starts a company, or plans to build a large multinational corporation. If he operates within the confines of the law, it is all up to him. This entails tremendous freedom, but also an equal measure of responsibility.

The entrepreneur has the opportunity to make the most money of all, but also the money to remake. The employee doesn’t usually have to deal with that, and typically the employment relationship works out so that the employee does the work according to the contract, for which he or she receives an agreed upon financial reward.

There is something to both options, and someone who is mainly looking for security in the form of a regular income is usually better off with a job, although they can certainly flirt with entrepreneurship as well. On the other hand, someone who desires complete freedom, financial independence and the desire to run things their own way is a better candidate in the business sphere.

Discipline is simply the basis

Being your own boss is a great thing on the one hand, but on the other hand it is also a tremendously treacherous pitfall

. All freedom comes with responsibility, and to be the boss is to bring down the harshest whip on oneself. Entrepreneurship doesn’t work the way it’s sometimes portrayed in the movies. Feet on the desk, a cigar in the mouth, a glamorous secretary by your side and hundreds of millions in the bank. That may be a nice idea, but the reality is different.

The entrepreneur has no one above him to raise his voice or to drive him forward

. He has to look mainly within himself for that drive and motivation. There are some people who will work from morning to night every day because they are just that way. Combine that with high intelligence, motivation, energy, and a little luck, and you have that new multinational corporation making tens of billions a year. But almost no one is like that.

Discipline, however, is something an entrepreneur simply cannot do without. Why get out of bed every morning and go to work when it’s actually so nice to lie down and today would be such a great day to rest, visit and download a movie and relax

? One day like that is survivable, but getting used to great comfort usually means a fall into mediocrity or a straight trip to the unemployment office.

The coronavirus crisis has meant that many people have started working at home.

And at home, that work is simply different because it’s going to be relaxing or simply quitting early because the boss isn’t looking at us right now. Is this freedom enjoyable for you, or on the contrary, do you take advantage of every moment when you go to take time off?

It is clear that there are quite a few factors at play here (you have children to look after, no space or peace at home), but if the freedom of home is more about being able to take a break from work, put on a downloaded movie or a song on your mp3 and be at ease, it is also possible that you need a boss over you, because it is the boss who drives you to work and exercise. Of course, it is also possible that you would perform far higher when working on your own, but one must evaluate one’s self-discipline probably best on one’s own, or with the help of one’s immediate surroundings.

Ability to bear calculated risk

One of the main jobs of an entrepreneur is investing. The money invested, whether in the stock market or, for example, in your employee’s salary, should ideally return and earn you a little extra.

The problem is that there is actually no investment that will 100% always return and earn money. There is always a risk. Usually a high risk means a possible high return but also a high probability of loss, on the other hand a low risk is usually able to generate some small profit with only a small probability of the investment returning less or even losing the whole investment.

Some of these types of investments lend themselves to saving some of one’s salary as part of financial literacy and providing for one’s old age, but for entrepreneurs it is actually the alpha and omega of everything. The time and money invested should pay off, but sometimes it just doesn’t. It can also mean that this person works and works, and at the end of the month or, say, a whole year, they have less money as a result of their business.

Again, we can point to the coronary crisis. Restaurants, bars, pubs, fitness centres, cinemas, theatres and many other industries are remodelling. It is not their fault that this virus has come into the world, and it is not their fault what measures the government has or has not put in place. Business is certainly not making them the money it used to, or much more often they are remaking money.

With overwork, there is also the risk of burnout syndrome

The freedom not to work also means the freedom to overwork. If you’re employed, work typically ends at a predetermined time.

There is a set time each day to work, but before or after that time, employees are not expected to work as much again, or are simply expected to take time off.

But time off and rest are important aspects. There is a need sometimes to regain strength, to regenerate, or simply to think. An entrepreneur has to balance this very carefully, because the work never actually ends. There is always more to do, there is always something to move somewhere, to improve or to try something new. It can so easily happen that instead of having the discipline to start working every day, it becomes more important to find the discipline to also quit sometimes and take care of your private life, your body, your mind, or just go have fun.

Burnout syndrome is not to be taken lightly, as it can sneak up on any of us unexpectedly.

In this regard, it’s good to really set aside time, and figure out what our boundaries are. Are we able to work 4 hours a day? 8 hours? 12? Over what limit should we never go? What should be our average? Can we switch off even when we’re lounging by the beach on holiday and we’re supposed to be relaxing? There’s no definitive answer as to what’s the right number or how much we should spend on what we enjoy, but we should take the time to experiment a bit, especially at a relatively young age when we can still pull off the fact that we’re overdoing something somewhere pretty well without getting rushed.

Working on a beach
Photo: Pixabay

The business of the beach? It’s possible, but it rarely happens

Today, these ads don’t work as much again, but just a few years ago, we could often come across ads with “guaranteed tips” for business, when all you had to do was carry a laptop, and actually everything else was easy. But these tips were almost certainly about something like:

  • Roulette systems
  • Binary options
  • Purchase software/system that capitalizes for us

Or some other jobless activity that made a lot of money, and which the writer in question shared because he had already made enough himself.

All of these activities that beckoned for profit with a laptop on your lap and a cocktail in your hand are a scam. There is always work behind a successful business, and no one is going to give a guaranteed recipe for profit just like that. Even the best entrepreneurs won’t tell you exactly what to do, step by step, to make a guaranteed profit, let alone make it without work.

Thanks to modern technology and the ability to do business on the internet, of course doing business from the beach is theoretically out of the question, but if someone tells you it’s standard, they’re trying to scam you, or they’ve accidentally won a lottery jackpot somewhere, but know nothing about business themselves.

Ideas on the subject of business

The idea of a business is a tricky business. Any idea you would get here is not exactly original, and it is certainly not a guaranteed way. The key to choosing a business is to be honest with yourself, evaluate completely without emotion your strengths and weaknesses, and focus on evaluating the strong ones without letting the weak ones have any major say in how you fare.

Do you have an analytical mind, are you good with technology, and don’t mind sitting in front of a computer? Making software/programming could be exactly what fulfills you.

Are you more of a creative and don’t enjoy following a set of rules exactly? Programming might not be your cup of tea. Whatever you decide, knowing what you’re good at, mediocre at, and terrible at is really essential. There will be several activities in each category. Can’t decide? Ask those who really know you.

There is a wealth of information on the internet. Find out what you’d enjoy, what you could make some money at, for example, and if you think of something really cool that doesn’t exist yet, go for it!

Related Articles

Back to top button