Employee vs. Entrepreneur – Which are you?

As with all options in life, there are pros and cons to being both an employee and an entrepreneur. A realistic assessment of your personality traits and attitudes (as opposed to an idealistic notion of how you would like to be) will give you a better idea as to which may suit you better.

As an employee, the thought of having no boss, being able to work when you want to and with whom you want is very appealing. Not to mention the lack of office politics and gossip.

As a self employed entrepreneur, you soon realise ALL your clients and customers are effectively your bosses. You have to be extremely self-disciplined to work when there are so many attractive distractions that will quickly ‘steal’ your ‘work time’, and you will probably have to put in long hours to ensure all the jobs and disciplines that you are now responsible for, are covered.

Being your own boss comes with great benefits and freedoms, but also great responsibilities and potential worries. You suddenly have to cover all the bases; the sales team, buying team, finance and administration, payroll and human resources, not to mention actually providing the product and/or service and the customer relations that go with them! Initially on your own until you have built up a team of people to join you in the business and as business advisers – fairly daunting and not for the faint hearted!

You will become adept at wearing many hats in the business, having to make your own decisions and juggling your time and other resources. You will more than likely never be ‘off duty’ as there will always be something to do, or to occupy your time or mind. Your never ending ‘To do’ list may seem overwhelming at times, or you may thrive on it!

Having people rely on you to deliver your products/services as well as ensuring the cashflow enables you to cover all your expenses and pay your staff wages may excite or fill you with dread. The idea of turning up to do your job, and then leaving it behind when you leave work so you can concentrate on other activities may be more appealing to you.

I know plenty of people who have been employed, decided to become self-employed, and then decided it wasn’t for them and have returned to employment. I also know lots of people who think becoming self-employed was the best thing they’ve ever done, wish they’d done it sooner, and wouldn’t contemplate ever being an employee again – it takes all sorts!

And remember, the two are not mutually exclusive, if you can see the benefits in both and would enjoy the variety, it is possible to be both an employee and entrepreneur at the same time!