While scrolling down the never-ending abyss of the Internet, I am sure you’ve noticed the endless opportunities offering you to earn a living by doing what you’ve always dreamed of. Work, that will actually feel more like constant fun.
And there is more to that. The examples are everywhere – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Amazon, Twitter, even the boring news on TV. We see a decent amount of people who have hundreds, million followers and it seems that they have it all figured out. Their lives look like a mixture of exotic locations and high fashion clothes. Some of these people are even half your age, which is actually quite depressing if you are 40 and you are still wondering how to make it till the next paycheck. And, still haven’t figure out what’s your true calling.
Nowadays, nobody is trying to climb the corporate ladder or trying to become the CEO of the company they work for. People want to be successful, happy and occupied on their own terms. Hell, I am even trying to do it myself with this blog (and a couple of other stuff).
We are obsessed with these terms -“entrepreneur”; “self-employed”; “being my own boss”. And how not to be? You see this Dan Bilzerian guy with 10 naked girls on his neck, or Gianluca Vacchi dancing on one of his yachts. After the initial adrenaline and jealousy, you ask yourself “How did they do it? I want the same life like theirs”. Then, you start a blog, call yourself “serial entrepreneur” and sit by the window of your momma’s house and wait for all the girls to come pick you up.
They are not coming, right?
Entrepreneurship is Becoming Viral
I was at a conference a few months back. It was mainly focused on people starting new small businesses online. I spoke with quite a few people there and most of them were repeating pretty much the same thing – “Yeah, I started a site and now I want to earn more money but with less work, you know?”. Internally, I was laughing my brains out, outside, I was trying to explain to these guys without publicly offending them, that it doesn’t work that way. When you are trying to make your own thing work and really succeed you need to work even harder.
Most of the people don’t see it like that. They see the shiny cars, the exotic places, the nice clothes on twitter and they think that the people who “have it all” were born like that. Yes, some of them really were but that’s not the point.
Probably one of the best visual descriptions of success is the iceberg:
As you probably know, icebergs are bigger underwater. On the surface, we only see the beautiful forms of the iceberg but we don’t really see what it was made of. Just like successful people.
We see what they have now, but we rarely think about what they had to do in order to become a real success. All the struggle, all the hard work they did to make that initial idea turn into a million dollar business.
Both working from 9 to 5 and going self-employed has its own positives and negatives. Below I will describe in details what are the pros and cons of these two:
Salaried – Working from 9 to 5
The main benefit of working 9 to 5 are the regular paychecks and the sense of security. If you are coming and leaving the office when you are supposed too and you are doing a decent work, basically you don’t have to worry about anything. Also, your employer is taking care of your health insurance taxes.
You have your colleagues, probably a desk or a chair where you work. Coordinated brakes, paid vacation leave. If you are not feeling well you can take a day off. Additional benefits may apply depending on the company you work for. Some of them may include sponsored company vacation; reimbursement of gym cards; free meals and others.
Unfortunately, the benefits I described above can be also negatives.
Your employer may delay your paycheck. Most of the companies leave a door open in the contract you both sign so they can fire your ass when they feel like it. Depending on the country, your employer may want to hide taxes and save money on your heath insurance by giving you a percent of the salary cash.
Your colleagues can be jerks. The place you work can be an absolute mess. Your boss may force you to work straight for 8 hours without a real break and even force you to work overtime without any additional payment.
Yes, there is a huge chance the company, or the person, you work for can turn your days into a real nightmare.
The opportunities for people who are employees can be divided into these two categories:
Internal – You can climb the corporate ladder by putting an extra hour daily and doing more than you are supposed to. Hopefully, the managers will see the extra effort you put and they may consider promoting you and increasing your salary.
External – You can simply open a job offering site and search for a new position. Each job will teach you something different. Expanding your skills will help you get that higher paying job you’ve always wanted.
- Is this for you?
If you are not born with a silver spoon, the chance that you will someday work for someone is higher than 99%.
If you don’t want much in life and you are quite satisfied with an average paycheck, being an employee is definitely for you. Still, you can become really successful as an employee by working your way to the top of a company you work for.
Working a 9 to 5 job will meet you with different people and will teach you different things. If the job you are working right now is close to what I described in the negative section, get your shit together and quit.
The best thing that being salaried is that when you leave at 5 you don’t have to worry about work anymore, which is quite the opposite when you are your own boss.
Of course, the main thing about this is the feeling of freedom. You decide when and how much hours you are going to work. You decide who you are going to work with and whether or not to hire additional people.
If you work allows it, you can produce quality stuff by sitting on the beach of an exotic island with nothing else but a laptop and a connection to the Internet.
There are virtually no boundaries on how much money you can make and you don’t have a boss to report what you were doing the whole day.
Overnight success doesn’t exist.
Your paycheck solely depends on how you spend your day. How much real work you’ve made, what you’ve produced and how many deals you’ve signed. Excuses don’t work when you are your own boss. You have to pay your company taxes, the health insurances of you and the people you’ve hired.
Working alone will probably become lonely over time. You will start wondering what is the boundary of working and not working.
On the other hand – let say you won’t be working alone. You need to find quality people who share the same vision as you do and don’t spend their whole day watching cat videos on Facebook. Believe me, such people are really hard to find.
There aren’t any limits on the opportunities when being self-employed. If you spend your time wisely – learning new stuff related to your work, connecting with the right people, hustling daily towards your goals – you can become a real star in your niche.
You just need to understand this – it’s going to take time and a whole lot of work.
- Is this for you?
If you are creative, individualistic, stubborn, open-minded, self-motivated person who is willing to put those extra hours for several years – then yes, becoming self-employed is the thing for you.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should quit your job now and do the stuff you want right this moment. If you have a wife and a kid – start small. Invest your time in the project you’ve always wanted to see grow and tatke the leap of faith (quitting your job) when you have at least some stable income.
Still Not Sure Which One is Better – Self-employed vs Employed?
Don’t blame yourself if you are not thinking of starting the next FaceBook. We are all different people with different desires and dreams.
Maybe you don’t possess the so-called entrepreneurial spirit or you just feel that working for a company suits you better. It’s all fine if this makes you happy. There are a lot of companies that treat their employees with respect and pay them a decent amount of money.
You don’t necessarily have to start a blog, invent an app, create a YouTube channel to be a complete person. In this era of high consumerism and serial entrepreneurship, wanting less it’s actually a good thing.
However, the next time you see 17-year-old making millions from his YouTube channel or from his app, don’t start trolling him with negative comments and saying stuff like “You are rich because of your parents”, rather think about how you spend your day. If you are spending most of your free time watching TV and jerking off, you don’t have the right to judge other people who hustle daily.
While working 9 to 5 can be everybody’s job, starting your venture do requires some serious balls.
It’s fun, crazy and will require more work than you will be ever prepared for but at the end, you can build something that can really outlive you. Something that can help others and truly change their lives. What better way to devote yourself to than helping others, right?
It doesn’t necessarily need to be something really big. You can start by helping your surroundings and at the end, who knows what might happen. It can turn out something really amazing.
Either way, it’s better to try, push yourself to the limits, get yourself out of that comfort zone – if nothing works out, at the end, you will at least have great stories to tell your grandchildren.