Moving from employee to employer is an elusive dream, a mirage that never comes to pass, without a strong passion and discipline commitment to make the switch. Though I do insinuate either to be superior to the other.
For me, it doesn’t really matter which side of the table you are at, as long as you are fulfilled and happy, making the most out of your journey in life.
I have different people from both sides of the table (employers and employees), and in my experience with these people, I realized that some people are uncomfortable being just an employee. Indeed, they love their job, yet they crave for freedom, independence and opportunity to call the shots. They want to become the boss and have people working for them. They wish to have the opportunity to become the very best they could become and the only way they can achieve this is through having absolute control of their lives – a rare privilege reserved for bosses.
Making this kind of shift is not always easy, especially if you are gainfully employed with good job security and the comfort of salary at the end of every month. It is a feat only a few dare to embark on.
One of the biggest obstacles that can prevent an employee from making a transition to becoming an employer is salary. In my own personal experience, salary can become so addictive, almost like a lifeline, especially when such employee has worked for so long and has acquired the mindset of receiving salary at the end of every month.
Most employees are so accustomed to receiving paycheck at a given date of every month that it becomes so hardwired into their subconscious. Anything contrary makes them uncomfortable. Some of them makes financial plans monthly based on their salaries with almost fixed expected dates. Any form of interruption in the system can cause severe difficulties or discomfort to them. Some even buy on credit with plans to pay up after receiving salary, usually at the end of the month.
With this mindset, the thought of working without an income at the end of the month is like a nightmare. They have developed a mindset of imminent crisis without salary. It has become a shackle, often too hard to break, that prevents them from leaping forward into their dream of venturing into business.
I believe in burning the bridge. I don’t encourage people to be both employee and employer because I rarely works. It’s just my own opinion.
I don’t usually like writing about myself, but I will share a personal experience of how I almost got entangle into the dilemma of salary.
Please don’t quote me wrong. There is nothing absolutely wrong about receiving salary. You have worked for it and you deserve it. It’s your right.
You might be thinking that I am digressing, but its intentional. Yes, there are so many steps to take in making this kind of transition. Most of them can be found is so many self-help books available in bookshops and on the internet. I decided to write about the biggest monster that can prevent potential business owners remain employee throughout the life. This monster is salary alongside the security and comforts, it offers employees.
When I completed the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, I was confused on which path to follow. Right back on campus, I had desired to become an entrepreneur.
I wanted to start a tech company that delivers software solutions to businesses, organizations and individuals that wants to leverage IT to gain competitive edge, reduce costs and automate workflow.
Though I never intended to work for anyone, right from my days in campus, but I had to face reality as I do not have the needed funds to start up my dream business. I had two options; to look for a good paying job befitting my academic qualifications and getting a low paying job to sustain me while I raise the needed capital to start up a business. I chose the second option, not necessarily because it was easy (there were so many low paying jobs around).
Among other reasons, my choice was the based on the fear of being gripped by the comfort and security attached to good paying jobs. Secondary, there weren’t so many good paying jobs around and it would have been a wild goose chase. Moreover, it would be silly of me to struggle so much for a good job, wasting my time, energy and other resources, only to resign after a few months.
In the face of reality, I applied to teach mathematics in a secondary school within my vicinity. Though I wasn’t paid much but it gave me the opportunity to think and undertake other activities to raise capital. I choose mathematics because it was the only subject that I am so good at, that I don’t need to prepare before entering the class to teach. It gave me time to do other important things.
Within the first three months working as a teacher, I was convinced that if I were to teach for a million years, I will never be able to raise capital to start my own business. Besides, I was beginning to get comfortable and relaxed because my salary is certain at the end of the month and every other month. However, I had to make the most out of my meagre salary. With this salary, I was able to feed, clothe and most importantly was able to save to register my company under CAC.
Meanwhile, I made little money fixing computers for people, doing video editing and events coverage. I saved as much as I can and was able to pay for office apartment. At the eleventh month of working as a teacher, I quickly resigned and started my own business.
I would like to leave you with these few thoughts of mine to ponder over.
- If ever you will start your own company while you are working for other person, you should never give in to the temptation of getting so comfortable at salary. Your life doesn’t revolve around a salary. It’s not your lifeline.
- Use your present place of work to learn about administration, human resource management, teamwork and other necessary skills you could use when you start your own business.
- Try engaging on your dream business as a part-time in order to learn and possibly get potential customers or clients when you eventually leave.
- Stretch yourself out of the comfort zone. Try to see if you can live without your salary.
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Check out: ROADSIDE ENTREPRENEURS: Battle for Survival