I’ve been seeing quite a few articles on Facebook and elsewhere advertising ways to get rich quick or create a home business/app/product. All of what I’ve taken the time to read has emphasized that being your own boss brings the strongest feelings of success, development, and achievement.
It’s probably just a trend in the United States, but there is such a strong focus on entrepreneurial culture and the independent business that the very concept of working in an office your entire life seems stale. Have you truly led a successful life if you still answer to someone else?
Not according to some of these articles. For whatever reason, the connotation behind spending your whole life working in an office (particularly a cubicle) is a sign of failure. What these articles don't mention, however, is just how unrealistic it is for absolutely everyone to aspire to be an entrepreneur.
Working in a startup and seeing first hand how individuals struggle to create their own products and brand, I’ve come to realize that no part of me wants to venture into the realm of entrepreneurship. There’s no money, no world-wide recognition, and certainly heaps of doubt that come with starting a business. A deep, encompassing passion drives every entrepreneur and that’s essential because often that’s the only thing driving the business. Most need their own capital to build their empire, meaning private wealth or working a 9-5 job on top taking care of an infant business. Sure, you’re your own boss but you’re also your own accountant, marketer, financial advisor, chief growth officer, and human resources team. Essentially, until they hit their “big break” (if they ever do), entrepreneurs are on their own.
Shows like Shark Tank glorify the spirit of building a business from nothing; few ever reach the level of success each of the panel of sharks boasts, if they reach profitability at all. Not only that, but a good chunk of deals that go through on camera are later dispelled when filming stops. The show paints a pretty picture this way; if you work hard and put your all into a business, you will find success. Unfortunately, that's not true. Shark Tank's job is to show the success stories, the American Dreams, and tuck away the spiraling failures that overwhelm the startup market.
Plus, if the goal of becoming an entrepreneur is to be your own boss, isn’t selling a percentage of your business to be completely controlled by an investor kind of like working for someone else in the end?
I’m shocked that so many see working from a normal, 9-5 job as a sign of failure when so many of us do it. Working for a boss doesn’t mean slaving away for someone else’s paycheck. If you find the right job, you can not only develop yourself and your passion as an employee, but learn from others as well. Starting your own business isn't the only way to "make it." Working hard as a little guy can lead to independent recognition with the big guys and even becoming one of the big guys yourself.
Helping a business grow or make an extra million dollars is something to be incredibly proud of, even if you did it from inside a cubicle.