I use LinkedIn a lot. It’s amazing for meeting likeminded, professional people who have experience in fields you want to learn more about. It’s great for meeting people who are happy to share their wisdom and years of working experience with you. On top of all of that, it’s brilliant for meeting talented people who are looking for work. If you aren’t on LinkedIn, I recommend it. It’s not business-oriented in the sense that it’s just sales or for CEOs.
Despite all of the love I have for the debates, inspiration, and networking that LinkedIn offers, I have one issue. LinkedIn has a lot of entrepreneurs.
Now don’t get it twisted: I have no problem with entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups, you name it. I think they’re really cool, and I admire the people who make the leap to go get something for themselves by pursuing something they truly believe in. If it works out, the reward is well worth it. If it doesn’t the experience and lessons learned are still great.
So What’s the Problem?
When all you constantly see is the success (see my earlier post about this in my New Year blog), you can easily start to feel like you’re missing out. You can even start to feel like you’re doing something wrong.
I see a lot of entrepreneurs preach about the ideologies of ‘grind’ and ‘hustling’, saying that hard work, continual self-growth and sacrifice trumps all other factors of life. It can be overwhelming, and it’s not just on business networks. Social media, news, YouTube, you name it, you’ll regularly see the latest successes from people who work, work, work on their own projects.
Because of that culture of new businesses, opportunities and the notion that now ‘its easier than ever to start your own business’, it can feel like you’re wrong to not be running your own show. But the truth is while it’s easier than ever to start your own business, that doesn’t mean it’s easier than ever for your business to be successful.
Don’t demonize yourself for working with a company, or feel like less for it.
Because there’s a huge amount of benefit to working for a company that isn’t yours, that’s why.
If you have a manager that can identify talents and potential (as all managers should), you can often still build your skills and experience. You can be approached with new opportunities for growth and job exploration that you might not have available to you while focussing on your business and own workload. (As you can tell from my blog about it, job exploration is big to me.)
Then there are the lifestyle benefits. Holiday and weekends (or just days that you aren’t scheduled for!). Co-workers, teammates that can become friends. A structured salary that is dependable. All these things are part of what makes working for a company great, and working your own business might not guarantee any of these things. Even if it did guarantee these things, it can’t guarantee the sustainability of your business alongside them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not deterring anyone from starting their own business, being their own boss, or chasing dreams. I don’t need to explain the benefits of being your own boss. I’m sure that if you’ve ever been interested in the idea before then it’s already appealing enough. Just remember: if you don’t feel the need to join the wave of entrepreneurs, start-ups and self-made trillionaires, that’s okay.