How do you know if you want to be an entrepreneur? I’m guessing that if you’re an introvert like me, the flashy cars and private jets seen on YouTube videos don’t do anything for you.
Ah, but the freedom… the freedom is alluring. Think of all the books we can read! The hammocks we can nap in! If only it were as easy as some make it look.
So many entrepreneurs appear to be an overnight success. That one viral video looks like someone just hit the jackpot and now has instant fame and fortune. Rarely is that the case.
Behind most successes are tons of failures, hours upon hours of hard work, dedication, patience, determination, and the list goes on.
Do the folks with the flashy intros really have those cars? Probably. All I am saying is that it took them a while to get there. They put the work in.
It’s time to get real honest with yourself. REAL HONEST. Dig deep, blame no one, and truly examine your behaviors as you read this.
There are no wrong thoughts here; it’s just a fact that entrepreneurship is simply not for everyone!
Entrepreneur VS Employee – Things to Consider:
Entrepreneur: It’s impossible to know if and when a new business will earn an income. Even when your business does take in cash, it doesn’t always mean you can pay yourself right away. On the flip side, if your online business does take off, the sky is the limit.
Employee: Work your hours and get paid. If you crave financial security, working for someone else is often the safer choice. I recommend working on your dream business after your full-time gig at first. Make it a side hustle in the beginning to see the potential.
Personal experience: I started my blog while still working my full-time job. I didn’t leave my job until my online business was doing well enough to support me.
Entrepreneur: Starting a business often requires a ton of time. It’s true that creating your own online business doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it sure does take time. Please do not get caught up in get rich quick schemes. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Trust me on this one. There are very few real shortcuts in this world. I’ve looked.
Employee: Get paid for the hours that you work. There might be a cap on your earnings, but there’s usually a bit of security with working for someone else. Not to mention, benefits in many cases.
Personal experience: All I do is work. Partially because I hop around a lot. You can very likely add ADHD to my list of mental issues. I’m always looking for work at home opportunities and a chaser of shiny things, but running my online business also demands a lot of my time. Even after ten years. I also like to work and suck at balance, so take that into consideration.
Entrepreneur: Can you wake up and get right to work on your online business? Does your life pull you in different directions all day where it’s difficult to focus on what it takes to kickstart a new online gig? Sometimes “make your own hours” can turn into no hours if one isn’t careful.
Employee: The structure of a job creates sometimes much-needed boundaries for you and others in your life.
Personal experience: A lot of changes were made in the beginning of my work at home journey. Many people assume you have all the time in the world when really, it’s the complete opposite. I had to decline many invitations and set boundaries to establish a disciplined work schedule. I have to resist the temptation to go lay down every time I have the teeniest headache. You have to power through sometimes and crack your own whip without supervision.
Entrepreneur: There are many highs and lows that come with starting and running a business. Often times you are in charge of everything. Something goes wrong; you have to handle it, and you may feel like quitting. Something goes right; you feel invincible and risk getting too cocky. Things like this can happen over and over and even multiple times per day! It’s often an emotional rollercoaster for even the typically sanest of people.
Employee: Working for others can also be stressful. Depending on your level of introvert-ness, it might not matter how fantastic your coworkers are if you need a power nap after you get home.
Personal experience: It’s hard to say whether an anxious person like myself should run their own business. It depends when you ask me! I can probably name on one hand the times I haven’t been under stress with the business. However, my anxiety was a lot worse when I worked outside of the home. I have a lot of panic attacks, so being at home is a must for me. Also, I’m under stress even when I shouldn’t be, so… I’ll just end this sentence.
Entrepreneur: Since the time requirement for a new online business is so demanding, you will likely have to give some things up. Delete a few shows off the DVR, rethink that next Netflix binge, and maybe get a little pickier with the events you say “yes” to. This all depends on your goals and ambitions, of course, just be mindful of how much time you spend on everything.
Employee: If you work for someone else you sacrifice “what could be.” It’s up to you if your dream of owning a business will haunt you with “what ifs” if you don’t try it. However, you do get to punch out and leave work.
Personal experience: I gave up A LOT. An entire lifestyle change was in order for me. No more drinking on the weekends to leave me hungover and unproductive for days. I even gave up sweets because they dull my brain and make me even more anxious. I listen to educational podcasts instead of music now. I often opt for instructional videos instead of shows. For downtime, I do still love my smut books and trash tv. Sometimes mindless activities are necessary. 😉
Taxes and Legal
Entrepreneur: You are now running a business. Even if you’re filing a DBA (doing business as), your taxes will be affected. There’s this fun little thing called “self-employment tax” you’ll have to consider. Maybe it depends on where you live, but in my first year, it was quite a chunk of income. Talk to an accountant sooner rather than later if you decide to run your own business. You need to know how to pay yourself, what to set aside, and the best way to structure your business to protect yourself.
Employee: Your paycheck will have all the necessary taxes taken out, you’ll receive a W2 at the end of the year, and possibly even get a tax refund! Keep in mind that if you do freelance work, you will most likely not be paid as an employee. Freelancers receive 1099’s. Again, talk to your accountant because I am not even close to being one.
Personal experience: As I said above, my first year making money from home was a slight gut punch because I didn’t consider self-employment tax or set aside income tax to cover the checks I wrote myself. I spent a few years collecting work from home money into my personal account, then another few years into a separate business account but still filed DBA. Two years ago my accountant suggested I form a corporation. It’s extra work, and you have to do payroll, but there are benefits, as well. Check in with your accountant often to see which moves you should make in your situation.
In a sea of motivational quotes on timelines, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that your mindset matters. A lot of people will say that the better entrepreneur personality is an extrovert, but I don’t believe that. When it comes to running an online business, I think mindset trumps personality type. You have to go into it believing you will win. You will achieve your goals and do whatever it takes to get where you want to be. In many cases, this requires a lot of self-reflection, accountability, and a whole lot of checking in with yourself.
There are so many factors to think about when deciding if entrepreneurship is for you or not. A lot of people are born with the entrepreneur bug, and they won’t stop until they make it happen. Others are lured in by flashy promises and fancy cars. My point is to give it some thought either way. Make sure you’re ready to get smacked in the face with the failures, and also make sure you’re in the mindset to accept the wins.
This post is not intended to sway anyone’s decision to become an entrepreneur. After running my own online businesses for so long, I just feel like some entrepreneur realities need to be tossed out into the web. Hopefully, all of our efforts lead us to meet up in hammocks tied to gorgeous island trees.
Fun fact: Look how many times I typed “entrepreneur” — not once did I spell it right without the help of spellcheck.
Are you thinking of becoming an entrepreneur? Are you one already?