CEO at Self-Employed

I have always been fascinated by this title I see on facebook profiles. I still can't dissect it. Is it love for the CEO title?

Back to the main issue.

There's  this  tweet that sparked controversy during the week saying that you cannot buy a Benz car by having just a 9-5 job. Implying you must be an 'entrepreneur' to  get one.

You know that moment where you go ... "is this one even serious or just trolling".

Let's be honest, some of us have thought that way before or were led to believe that owning a business is the only way out. Well to an extent but not entirely true.

I read this book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki in 2006,  since then I made up my mind, I wasn't gonna work for anyone, I will start companies instead. I started seeing everyone who wanted to have a 9-5 job as lazy and unambitious, as people who don't want to push boundaries. I saw them as being comfortable being average.

Well, it's a good thing I wasn't only growing in height but also in wisdom lol. I mean as I grew older I got to understand better. I believe we have to keep unlearning a lot of stuff we once thought was true, keeping your mind open is important.

We are all wired differently, it's ok to just want to come back from work, watch Tv, go to bed and back to work the next day, it's okay to come back from work, have night classes learning something new.

It's ok to decide not to work for anyone. We all have different choices.

I think the most dangerous thing about this  is that with the internet, information flies quickly, therefore we see a headline like Old Cargo Raises $10m  in Funding. Or Forbes 30 under 30 lol. We see those things and we feel like damn, the world of entrepreneurship  must be glamorous.

It is painted as this glamorous thing, the fame, the fortune, we all want to be Mark Zuckerberg.

What we fail to realize is that those are the outliers, that 90% of businesses fail within the first 3 years of operation. Starting your own business is actually really really stressful, it can be depressing, you are on the losing side from day one, the odds are stacked against you.

You cannot even predict your cashflow, today you have lots of money, tomorrow? dead broke. Only the stress of raising funding can be crippling.  It is when you get in, that you understand that boy o boy, this hill is not it.

You think you are the boss, but you will now understand that nope,  you answer to customers, investors and remain accountable for the company. You have to send investor updates, you have to work twice as hard to hit milestones so you can get another round of funding, your company might not break even or make profit for many years.

Yes the rewards can be life-changing but you can still achieve same with your 9-5 if you play well.

If you keep on improving your skill yet, moving into higher roles, investing some of your salary into a diversified portfolio, heck, you could even get company stocks in the future and still have a big payout at the end of the day. There is no single way to becoming successful, and success actually means different thing to different people.

If 9-5 is for you, give it your best, aim to be the best at what you do. Deliver consistently.

I think what most of us fail to understand is that we are looking at this from the monetary rewards aspect of it all, instead of focusing on maximising impact . If we are more concerned with providing great value to people, then we will eventually be rewarded. When you find a mission, something you love doing and dedicate yourself to executing it, the market will reward you eventually.

Working a 9-5 before starting your own business has so many advantages like:

  1. A stable income, this allows you to plan your budget well
  2. You get paid to learn, even though you are working, you sometimes make mistakes and still get paid. You are practically getting more experience and getting paid for it
  3. You get to build a network which you can use to to grow your business later
  4. You practically learn how to run a business
  5. You build a safety net that you can depend on when you start your own business

There are many advantages of starting a 9-5 before eventually starting your own business. This is supported by data as carried out in this survey where it was found that the average age of a successful startup founder is 45. So young man and lady, we have time.

If time is rolled back, I would have worked for longer before venturing out on my own, I look at job offers I turned down to focus on my own stuff, sometimes I tell myself that I will look back to this period of my life and be like "boy, that was a stroke of genius, or that was an entirely stupid gamble", one thing is sure, no regrets, only lessons, in your 20's you are still young, there is time, learn as much as you can now.

I think we should respect other people's choices as to what they want to do with their lives, we can't all be business owners and we can't all be employees, a jungle cannot have only lions. Find your mission, and stick to it.

Whatever you do, just do something great.