Over the past two decades, the ‘be your own boss’ movement has been popularized. The champions of this freedom fight come from the premise that society was designed to enslave you into working for other people. The boss is the enemy that must be crushed to regain your freedom. So you must quit your job, fire your boss and become your own boss. What could be wrong with such a noble and heroic declaration? It appeals to the yearning of the human spirit for freedom and liberation. Nothing could be wrong with it.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the ‘be your own boss’ movement is a deceptive movement, in the sense that it gives an appearance different from what is true. In other words, it can be misleading. This is not because there is anything wrong with becoming your own boss, but because the people propagating this movement only tell the half-truth that appeals to your innate desire. But they fail to tell the whole truth, thereby successfully putting most people with a job under pressure. Before you go on to be your own boss, be sure to watch this video to the end.
First and foremost, there is nothing wrong with decided to start a business of your own. I’m all for entrepreneurship if that is what you want. But the point of this video is that it is not for everyone. It’s just like people going about and telling people to learn to code because the software is the future of technology. While learning to code can prove to be a valuable life and income skill, it is not for everyone; which will make any movement that wants everyone to learn to code a misleading one. I just think people deserve to understand what they are getting themselves into before making that choice.
Now, let me pretend to make the case for why it’s justifiable to tell everyone to be their own boss.
One; You have the flexibility to work when and how you want.
Two; You get to do work that you enjoy.
Three; You get to choose how much money you make.
Four; you don’t have to answer to anyone.
And five; you get to live a more meaningful life. No more working at a company without a purpose. You can now go ahead and save the world.
These all seem like valid reasons to want to be your own boss. At the same time, the same reasons are why it’s wouldn’t be a good idea for most people. Let’s take them one after the other.
You have the flexibility to work when and how you want
No more working 8 to 6. You can wake up by 8am. Start work by 12noon. And go see a movie by 3pm. You are as free as a bird, right? Well wrong. Starting and building a business is a lot harder, and requires more time than working at a job. Usually, when people describe the benefit of starting a business and being your own boss, they only describe one possible end result, which 96% of people who start a business never reach. In the first 5 years of starting a business, you don’t have the luxury of working when and how you want. You pour in everything you’ve got.
During the early years of starting my business, there were days I’ll work round the clock. I became my business, my business became me. I constantly think about the next company I was going to walk into to sell my stuff and what strategy I’ll employ to get through the security. While in the queue at the banking hall, I’m writing, checking up statistics, or reading up a piece of information.
There is no closing for the day. You work round the clock. And when you are not physically working, you are thinking about the work that is waiting to be done. No! You don’t get to choose when and how you work when you are building a business; except you are simply building mediocre self-employment.
You get to do work that you enjoy
I mean who starts a business doing what they hate? You are going to love everything about your business, right? Again, this is dead wrong. At first, you will feel like you love every bit of this little creation of yours. But you will soon realize that you don’t love to write, cook, write code or deal with suppliers as much as you thought you did. When you are met with all the other important aspects of running a business; accounting, legal requirements, bookkeeping, marketing, sales, human resource management, you name it – what was once born out of love quickly becomes ashore.
You get to choose how much money you make
You already know this is nonsense talk. It just doesn’t work like that. In fact, many business studies have shown that the number one reason businesses fail is poor cash flow. So if 96% of businesses fail, them making money from the business isn’t as easy as it is made out to be.
You don’t have to answer to anyone
This, right here, is the biggest problem you will have to deal with. Not being accountable to anyone is why most businesses fail because, in ignorance, the owner spends time and energy defending what they think they know when there is so much left to know.
Think about it. Most people are terrible with their finances; terrible with their eating habits; terrible with how they consume media, despite that they are answerable to themselves. It takes a huge amount of discipline and forming the right habit to be productive and do what is best for you when you are answerable to yourself.
Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth Revisited had something to say on this; “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business, you have a job – and it’s the worst job in the world because you are working for a lunatic”
Should you be your own boss?
“If you want to work in a business, get a job in someone else’s business” a quote by Michael Gerber
Most self-employed people won’t tell you this, but many are frustrated. They have hit a road-block, exhausted of the energy they once had. They have created a job for themselves that feels like a trap. And they are now working for a lunatic. If they decided to take a break, the business suffers. They seem to have lost the exact reason why they chose this path; their freedom.
You see, the moment you choose to start a business, you chose to play a significantly large game than any game you have ever played before. You can win in this game, you can lose, and you can also get trapped.
You are not an entrepreneur because you convinced someone to pay you money to render a service. You may be simply hustling or self-employed. The primary job of an entrepreneur is not making money; although making money is the end result of his job. The job of an entrepreneur is to assemble resources together to build a system around an idea that will function outside of him; and he has to do this at a cost that would eventually turn out profitable over a period of time. The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so that you can create jobs for other people.
In other words, at the start of a business, you may have to be the one doing all the work; but your end goal is to get to a point where you have other people doing all the technical work while you focus to work ON not IN the business.
If the job of an entrepreneur is creating jobs for others, why then would entrepreneurs portray jobs as a plague that must be avoided? It seems though that the people at the forefront of the ‘be your own boss’ movement are people selling one business or income opportunity or the other.
As a matter of fact, the actual phrase of this moment should be ‘be the boss of others’. But these people won’t admit it because it would defy the exact thing they are preaching against.
Nothing great can ever be built by one person. You need other people to align with your vision and join you to build something great. If you choose to be the one with the vision, that is fine. If you choose to be the one who aligns with someone whose vision you believe in, that is equally fine.
The bottom line
There is nothing wrong with working in another persons’ business if that is where you want to be at the moment and if you are working with the right people.
The risk that comes with running your own business is considerably higher than when you work for someone; although the reward can be potentially higher.
Starting your business requires a degree of skills for managing people, capital, time, and resources. You also need to balance your personal with professional life while dealing with a sizable amount of pressure. If you have the resolve to start a business and are willing to learn the skills required to build a business, by all means, go for it, and create jobs for other people. But if all you want is to be your own boss and work for yourself, just be careful not to end up working for a lunatic. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!