Recent years have seen the rise of the self-made man. The Internet has turned business into a free-for-all, paving the way for entrepreneurial greats like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and the Google duo Sergey Brin and Larry Page. For the first time in a long time, it looks like the benefits of starting a company greatly outweigh the risks.
But being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Although it is possible to start a business online with almost no startup cost and promote it simply by word of mouth, repeat customers, and a few Facebook ads, not everyone can pull it off. There are people who do better as employees, just as there are people who will thrive as the head of their own business.
Employment gives you stability and security, giving you an environment where you can develop and grow in your career without worrying too much about the future. Entrepreneurship gives you a chance at greater success but also poses serious risks. So how do you know which path is meant for you?
Signs you’re meant to be an employee:
a. You like structure
Employees expectations are set by their job description. No matter how exciting your profession is, you already have an idea what tasks you’ll need to perform and what your function in the office is. If you enjoy clearly defined roles and structures, being employed is for you.
b. You’re a good soldier
Despite the many books on how to be a good leader, there are people who are undoubtedly better followers. In fact, there wouldn't be good leaders if there weren’t any good followers at all. If you like being mentored, enjoy being part of a team, and thrive on plans, objectives and instructions, you could be a better employee.
c. You need a regular salary
Either you work better with budgeting a regular salary, or you’re at the phase in your life when you have financial responsibilities. Whatever the case is, job security is important to you right now. If you are not in the position or predisposition to gamble with money, it’s best not to put up a business.
Signs you’re meant to be an entrepreneur:
a. You thrive on risks
If life-altering changes and unpredictable futures excite you, you could be an entrepreneur at heart. If you make better choices when there is risk involved, love to run on adrenaline, and make tough decisions, this could be you.
b. You get bored with routine
No matter how much you try, you just get bored with a job. If you’ve explored all the challenges of your career and still find it tedious, maybe the varied tasks, challenging schedule, and fast-paced nature of being an entrepreneur is more for you.
c. Failure doesn't get you down
Putting up a business increases the possibility of failure exponentially. Steve Jobs was almost washed up at 30 when he got kicked out of Apple, but he put up Pixar and was eventually hired back. If failure inspires you to do bigger and better things, a business could be your destiny.
Just because you don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur right now doesn’t mean you never will. An entrepreneurial streak could develop somewhere down the line when you’re more financially stable, or better equipped and more ready to take risks.