Employment Vs Entrepreneurship - Which Is Better?

The facile answer to this question is: both have their benefits and deficits. A smarter answer is: you are not comparing like with like. Being employed is very different to being self-employed.

So the question really is: Is it worth my leaving my secure job to follow my dream of selling spoons?

Let's tease this out.

Q: Do you have a secure job, with prospects, and is it well paid?

If yes, then employment is probably best for you.

Lets keep going.

If you have a secure, well-paid job:

Q: Have you, or you family, ever been in trade for yourselves before?

No? Employment is looking even better.

Next question:

Q: Do you have a young family to support and is your wife is not wealthy, or well-employed, herself?

Yes? Ooooh, it's not looking good, is it?

Q: Have you started selling spoons in a small way recently, to test the market?

No? Hmmm, better go into work tomorrow morning, at least, eh?

I would like to bust one myth about entrepreneurship: 'Follow your passion and you will succeed'.


Just because you really like spoons doesn't mean you'll succeed at selling them. If passion was all that was needed for success the deluded creatures that clog up X-Factor auditions would be gracing our airwaves regularly. All this talk about passion is just marketing flannel. It's a cliche of the times. Passion = sales, as a marketing technique, but you'll be the one doing the paying.

Financial success is a combination of hard work, luck, cadging investment and having a product that is truly remarkable. Your product mainly sells itself because it's 1. Very much in demand, in some way, already and 2. Yours is a remarkable example of it.

It could be the price of your spoons, their quality, how fast you deliver them, or you've made a much better quality spoon. Cue videos and pictures on the internet and rave reviews.

Now here's why entrepreneurship is right for you:

Q: Did you get laid off from a bum job, that was going nowhere anyway?

Yes? Well, it can't hurt to get out your new spoon model and get a few promo copies made. Hawk 'em around. See if you can get some money-men interested.

Q: Are you debt-free and/or your children can be taken care off for 1 year, without any proceeds from your new business?

Good, it's looking better. Sometimes family can be a great motivator, but you don't want your kids in the poorhouse because a thief ran away with your spoons (ahem).

Q: Are you unable to cut it in the 9 - 5 world anyway?

Some people can't. They can't get up early enough, they don't like taking orders or they have a disability which excludes them from the morning commute.

Q: Do you have family money to fall back on?

If yes, then you have no excuse for not being an entrepreneur!

Fringe benefits of owning your own business are:

- It's much more energising;
- You are in charge;
- Work doesn't feel like drudgery;
- You put in extra hours gladly because they benefit you directly;
- You're building something that may keep you in old age;
- You get the satisfaction of being creative.

Go for a walk by a river. Sit down and have a chat with yourself. Above all, test your likely sales before risking all.

And then go have some fun!

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