Entrepreneurship & self-employment are the 21st century’s darlings.
If people who have never experienced either of them had to create a PSAT analogy question based on the public perception of what working for yourself is like, they would come up with:
a) hot: cold
b) dogs: cats
c) employment: certain death
d) air: water
You know the drill. We hear it all the time…
W-2 income is for pansies!
Do what you love!
Chase your passions!
Carpe the damn diem!
I’m ready to start my own business!
And I’m definitely the guy to carry the You Only Live Once flag in my career but I have to be honest, having my own business at times has left me thinking:
God, I’d kill for some steady W-2 income.
What I love is irrelevant.
Passions are distractions.
Calm the hell down.
I’m ready to run from my own business!
Entrepreneurship/Self-employment is not a place where members of The Skulls dip the Holy Grail in the Fountain of Youth on a floating island in the sky. It’s just one way of many ways to make a living (and hopefully a difference).
Too many people I work with put pressure on themselves like, “If I start my own business or go out on my own, I’ll never be allowed back into the W-2 club!” What? Relax, entrepreneurship is not castration. It’s reversible.
Or they’ll think, “If I start my own business and fail, everyone will laugh at me if I have to be an employee (gasp!) again at a company.” Relax, no one actually cares how you make a living or an impact, only that you’re not an asshole, a slave or a hobo as you’re doing it.
No matter what you do for work, your job is to find a better opportunity for yourself.
I’ve been offered full-time positions throughout my time being self-employed, but I’ve turned them down because self-employment is still the best opportunity for me right now. One day I might not want to coach or blog or run my own business because of a better opportunity a company is offering me to be part of their team.
And that’s perfectly fine.
What we’re all actually aiming for is a life where we can leverage our skills and opportunities so that we can choose how we want to be heard and utilized. Or in my own verbal concoction:
We want to live a life of corralled intent.
Because wants, desires and hopes are still played on a field hosted and curated by reality.
If we’re too caught up in the illusion that self-employment/entrepreneurship is the epitome of an unblemished life, then then we’ll miss out on certain realistic opportunities that might come our way.
There are no universal rights and wrongs when it comes to how you choose to work, only things you choose or don’t choose based on what’s available to you. Never feel guilty for making that choice, however many times it comes. It’s your life. It’s your story.