Originally Published in Forbes, 8/8/18: Choose Freedom Over Comfort: Three Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Is Less Risky Than Employment. Written by Terry Powell, Visionary Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source.
I have to laugh when people say that they would never quit their job and start a business of their own. “It’s too risky,” they tell me. This comes after they tell me that they’re in a dead-end career and have a desire to find a better way. It’s amusing to hear that because I think the biggest gamble is to work for someone else. In fact, I believe entrepreneurship is the safest career path.
Of course, that is what you’d expect me to say. I’m the founder of the nation’s leading career transition coaching franchise and specialize in guiding entrepreneurs on their journeys of discovery. You’d expect me to say that you should strike out on your own and that you’re far better off not working for “the man.” But I truly believe in my gut that it’s riskier working for someone else than working for yourself. It’s why I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a teenager.
So, if you’re thinking about leaving your current job but can’t quite muster up the nerve to jump out of the plane and pull the ripcord, let me encourage you to trust yourself and jump. In fact, I’ll give you three reasons why entrepreneurship can actually be a safer move than staying where you are.
People do get laid off.
I’m not trying to scare you. We are in a period of economic prosperity and job growth, so if you love working for someone else and don’t feel like worrying about it, that’s not surprising. But the economy fluctuates, and layoffs can and will happen. Four years ago, according to a Rutgers University survey, one out of five American workers had been laid off in the past five years and about 22% of those who had lost their jobs still hadn’t found another one.
Times are much better now, but even during good times industries can slip and layoffs and terminations can occur. You might one day be considered too expensive for your company. You could, one day, be in a job with good benefits, making six figures with five weeks of paid vacation and the next day be collecting unemployment and wondering how you will support yourself and your family.
So, if you have been thinking about starting a business, create your future career transition at a time of your own choosing rather than waiting for something unfortunate to happen (such as a layoff or job elimination) and then feeling like you are being forced to start your own business. Do it on your terms and your timeline.
Working for yourself means you can never get fired, laid off or told your position has been eliminated.
This is why I love working for myself. Sure, things can go wrong. Businesses sometimes fail. We all know that the worst can, and sometimes does, happen no matter what path you take in life. But what is unfortunate about working for someone else is that it’s possible to excel at your job and do everything right — and still lose your job.
If you’re working for yourself and doing everything right, that doesn’t happen. Nobody can come up to you and tap you on the shoulder and tell you that all your hard work and dedication is no longer needed. When you are working for yourself, only you can tell yourself when to stop working.
You’re the decision maker.
This is where the freedom really comes in. Of course, a lot of entrepreneurs discover that they don’t always have as much freedom as they thought they would when they become their own boss. If you own a franchise, you may have employees to schedule and train and orders or inventory to manage. You will certainly have customers to make happy. Until you have a great manager or two in place who you trust, you probably aren’t going to go vacationing in the South Pacific for a month, and even then it may be more like a long weekend.
Still, you’re the one who decides if you want a second or third business. You can have as big or as modest and stable a franchise enterprise as you want. You’re also the one who decides if you’re going to cut out of work early for the weekend or just to go watch your kid or grand-kid’s soccer game — without clearing it with a supervisor or manager first. When you run a business, there are responsibilities, to be sure, but all that hard work you’re putting into your business is for your company. It’s for your family. It’s for you.
If you really want to stay at your corporate gig, that’s up to you. But from where I stand, the people who take a leap of faith and pull the ripcord are the ones who truly have control.
There will be some late nights; but these tradeoffs will be YOUR decisions. The Entrepreneur’s Source® (TES) can help put you back in control of your own destiny. And if you’re ready to get started finding your franchise match, get started at http://www.franchisematch.com/.