Different lifestyles work for different people. While there’s no set way to say, “This is the best way to live your life,” there are certainly questions you can ask yourself to determine what might be the best option for you and your personality traits.
The first question that often arises when debating if starting a business is smarter than getting a job is what to do about college. Is it worth the money? Some entrepreneurs tout their dropped out of college stories to support the claims that college is all theory, what you need is practice. Other entrepreneurs say that they met priceless connections in school, sometimes business partners and lifelong friends to wallow in college debt with.
The second question to ask yourself is what kind of mindset you have: employee or entrepreneur. Do you have what it takes to work late nights in the office, or the self discipline to be productive while working from home? Would you rather have an unknown, unstable yet uncapped salary, or something concrete to calculate your finances with. Are you a natural born leader with team building or client acquiring skills? How confident are you to succeed in your chosen industry?
Next, think about your business idea. Is it possible to try it as a side hustle? Keybar founder Mike Taylor worked two jobs until he could fully switch to his business. Joanna Galbraith worked on Letterfolk while her husband held down a steady job until they could both commit to their business. Easing into it may ease some of the stress of taking the plunge, however not all business ideas are conducive to this strategy.
Why are you wondering if starting a business is smarter than getting a job? Are you here for the glamor or prepared for the grit? Do you want security or unlimited success? Are you financially able to handle failure or the provider for a family?
Types of Entrepreneurship
- Start your own business – this could be a software company, a new product, a restaurant. It’s the classic example of entrepreneurship.
- Commission based sales – Not necessarily a phone call or door to door sales! Many companies start with reps and commissions that can be achieved through launch parties and social networking.
- Franchise – It wasn’t your idea, but it is your operation. You are still the boss, calling the shots, making hiring choices and often putting out marketing. High cost of entry, but appealing pay off.
- Private practice or consulting – Doctors, accountants, lawyers, you name it. In this case, going to college is imperative and still allows you to run your own company.
- Freelance work – While known for fluctuating in pay, digital nomads seem to love their mobility and unexpected tasks. If you thrive on fast turnaround and unplanned work, freelancing is a slow build but very satisfying, and comes with great tax cuts!
Ultimately, if you feel your passion is this business, you know in your heart what you have to do to be happy. At the end of the day, starting a business is smarter than getting a job only if you’re smart about it with finances, networking and dedication.