For the many individuals who have ever thought about starting their own business, chances are there was one thing that stopped them: the risks.
In my industry especially, I talk often about the risk/reward relationship of entrepreneurship and why I love it. Many of us think about starting our own business only to be turned off by the projected risk, time commitment and extra work involved. True, there is much more involved in entrepreneurship than there is in a traditional nine-to-five job, but there is also great potential for reward.
When it comes down to it, there will hardly ever be as much risk involved with sitting behind a desk at a nine-to-five job as there will be as an entrepreneur. You have too much responsibility for there to be. However, you also have more freedom, more power and more potential for reward.
As an entrepreneur you have the incomparable thrill of freedom. Not only the freedom to make your own decisions and do things the way you want them to, but the freedom to work when you want and to make what you want. Compare this to an office that has set times, set pay and no flexibility, and you can see why freedom is one of the biggest draws of self-employment.
There is also an increased amount of satisfaction that entrepreneurs are able to get from their work that individuals working in a traditional office setting simply cannot reach. The money you make as an entrepreneur is based entirely on your hard work. Every dollar you make is equal to the time and effort you have put into your career. This feeling cannot even compare to the small bonuses you get over time with job promotions.
Related: The True Meaning of 'Entrepreneur'
As an entrepreneur, your freedom also comes with the benefit of not having a boss. This means no more reporting to superiors up the food chain of the corporate structure or being harassed by bosses you don’t agree with. As an entrepreneur, you are the boss. Being the boss means you are not only limited by the demands of your superiors but you are not limited by an actual office either. You can work where you want and when you want, whether it's from your sofa or an exotic location.
But of course, there are those risks. There is always the risk of losing your money based on your own actions. There is a risk of not working hard enough. You can’t slack for an hour or day like you can at a traditional job and still get paid. There is no medical support from your corporation and no benefits. If you want benefits such as insurance or a 401k, you need to get them yourself.
Being an entrepreneur also comes with a high risk of failure. There is no getting around that. Many people who try to start their own business fail. To even have a chance of making it succeed, you need to be willing to be competitive and to sacrifice everything, including your personal life. For many people, this is the ultimate risk: losing their personal lives while they work to get their companies off the ground.
Next time you find yourself wavering between the decision to hold on to your traditional job or venture into the world of entrepreneurship, remember that while it is normal to be fearful of the risks involved, there are also great rewards to be had for those who are willing to take the plunge.