To be or not to be…. an entrepreneur
In a recent endeavour to reflect on my career – maybe connected to the fact that new year’s resolutions are still fresh – I thought a lot about being employed and self-employed. I often have the feeling that one is competing against the other. Employees reminding entrepreneurs how hard an entrepreneur’s life is: no security, no vacation and no one to finance your sick days. Entrepreneurs can counter by saying that an employee lacks freedom, cannot work while sitting on the beach and always works for someone else (millionaire dreams remain a dream). But it’s not black and white and having lived in both worlds I can definitely say, there is no “better” and I am happy that I had the chance to work in both environments.
I recently met a person my age who told me that she was never employed – not for a single day. Sounded great how she said it and it fitted her. For me, however, I can say that I am glad that I had the chance to experience “typical corporate stuff” like structure, hierarchy. Vision, mission, strategies being developed, implemented, discarded. Being evaluated and formed and working with colleagues from different departments and countries. Something impossible currently in my start-up company. All the joy, frustration and experience gained in the corporate world also help me now to serve our customers better with individual workshops, trainings and programmes by being able to relate to the corporate issues.
You never know if you are up to the challenge of being an entrepreneur until you to it. I have had the luck of growing up in a family of entrepreneurs going back three generations. Yet I wasn’t raised in an “entrepreneurial spirit” where I was encouraged to develop my own business idea. I always felt positive towards the idea of entrepreneurship but for long did not consider it myself. What I, however, learnt from home was that you need passion and drive for what you do and if you feel like you have it in you to do something on your own, you should do it. For me the order of corporate and self-employment was the right one and I will always remain flexible and open to working in “both worlds” in the future.
What I love about entrepreneurship is the autonomy and that we have to do everything on our own, diving deep into topics unfamiliar to employees: Acquiring customers, lax and legal aspect, building networks, strategising about social media, speaking in front of people and the camera.
During our Malish journey we have acquired so many skills that add nicely to our corporate experience that we can directly give to other (young) entrepreneurs, employees and people in transition between both.
So to be or not to be an entrepreneur? Start with your Why, the how will follow.