If you’re a student of business 101, you’re familiar with the concept of risk.
Traditional employment for decades has projected a risk-reduction model to the American public.
Get a good job that pays all the right benefits: healthcare, paid time off, pensions – you get my drift.
And then there’s the whole problem of profit. Consider the following scenario:
Because of economic downturn, the XYZ Corporation needs to ensure profitability.
Your job is eliminated, furloughed or reduced.
Their risk was reduced.
And you were thrown into the fire.
So employment as a means of reducing risk?
There’s a flaw there. While levels of risk might be reduced, they’re not eliminated.
And there’s another issue with which to contend – earning capacity.
In return for the benefits and reduced risk, you get to enjoy reduced earning capacity.
And if you’re seeing your company bill out multiples of what you’re paid on work that’s basically “all you,” you probably see where I’m going here.
Back to that idea of downsizing – if you’re not the one on the chopping block, you’re the one stuck footing the bill.
The hell of over-utilization
When your team gets furloughed or gutted through layoffs, the work doesn’t stop coming. You work more and more – because you’re on salary.
Any maybe someone like a CEO brings in bagels once in while (or sends a gift card in the era of quarantine) – but truth be told, you’re an overmilked dairy cow pulling a double shift.
All those “benefits and perks” could end up costing you far more than they’re worth – unless you’re willing to entertain a bit more risk.
A way out through entrepreneurship
So entrepreneurship as an alternative… is it for you?
I’m not here to tear down the corporate machine or paint a rosy picture of entrepreneurship.
I am here to write my way through my own evolution from employee to business owner. To navigate that mindset shift, learn the lessons I need to learn and remind myself of why I’m here.
The coming entrepreneurial pitfalls
So let me start with the downsides of going into business.
You’re on the hook. For all of it.
There’s no team lead, supervisor, director, VP or CEO coming to help out or clean up any messes. The pressure to deliver is there. It’s palpable and real.
You’re doing all the things at first
Before you’re profitable enough to grow and hire out tasks, you’re the Jack of all trades. Prepare to be busy. Prepare to be overwhelmed. Prepare to feel like an impostor.
You’re risking it all.
XYZ Corporation isn’t trading a salary cap for incurring risk on your behalf. Your risk is yours. And that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold said so…
The sweet side of entrepreneurship
Still here? Okay, let’s talk about the positives.
You’re beholden to your customers and your team.
No bosses, no memo’s on TPS reports, no corporate-speak. Your boss is the customer – the person you’re helping with your service or product. And you’re accountable to anyone you employ – to be the embodiment of your values and mission.
You’re in control of what you commit to.
If you want to scale to 7 figures or higher, that burden is on you. Conversely, if you just want to make the equivalent of your corporate salary plus operating costs, that’s totally fine! You get to choose what goals you pursue and how you go about reaching those goals.
Don’t want to work 80 hours per week? Don’t.
Want to run an internet marketing agency whilst parked on a beach, sipping frozen margaritas and sporting a sandy abdomen? Get sandy.
You’re in control of who you serve.
Want to be the go-to copywriter for grow-oriented miniature golf franchises in the upper Midwest? Go be serve those folks. Your dream customers are your dream customers.
Maybe you’re like me – always hates a backseat driver; loves to be behind the wheel (especially out on the open road); up for an adventure; not terribly afraid of risk; curious to a fault…
If that’s you, you’ve got some thinking to do.