To be an entrepreneur or to stick with Corporate America…quite a question, huh?
Just recently a friend (this one is dedicated to you Eggman) sent me an article that was basically bemoaning the fact that being an entrepreneur does not give you freedom but instead does just the opposite. Being an entrepreneur, having lived in the Corporate America world (and also the government world, non-profit world, etc) I have seen all sides and know what does and does not work for me. The question remains though…does being an entrepreneur give you freedom?
The simple answer, yes.
Then again, it could be no.
I’m sticking with the former however. It DOES give you the freedom that you hear about. What you DO with the freedom however dictates what your life will be and what free time you have (which some people mistakenly associate to freedom). “Freedom” does not equal “Free Time”.
Life as an entrepreneur may or may not consist of the following:
- Get paid what you’re worth
- Find your own way to get paid
- Deal with your own tax issues
- Work with who you want
- Deal with HR issues if you have employees
- Work from home if you have the space
- Set your own hours
- Worry about every aspect of your business 24/7
- Take two weeks vacation without asking for permission
- Don’t take a vacation for three years because you have work to do
So which is it? You read article after article about “getting your freedom by being your own boss” yet you may know entrepreneurs who never have time to do things with you because they’re working until 11pm every night.
It’s what you make of it. It’s how YOU decide to structure your new company and how you decide live your life.
- Open Hours – You can worry about it 24/7 or you can “shut the office down” at 5pm
- Working Hours – You can take a four hour lunch on Tuesday and make it up Tuesday night or you can work a strict schedule
- Vacation – You can take one whenever you want or you can be a slave to your own company
- HR Issues – If you have employees you can worry about it all yourself and burn your time or you can hire someone to do it
I think you see my point here. You can choose to be a slave to your own company or you can structure your company around your life. The choice is yours. Having your own company isn’t for everyone. It requires discipline and it also requires you to know yourself. Many people have fallen for the “freedom” schtick thinking “freedom” means they can work two hours a day and screw off the rest of the day. Sure, you have the freedom to try that. The freedom of being your own boss means you’re free to make your own decisions and this freedom can overwhelm people if they don’t know how to handle it.