Here we are about 4 months after I quit my corporate job of 15 years!
This transition has been one of the biggest changes in my life. I’m not going to lie and tell you that running your own business is easy. I might even say it’s more stressful than a normal job but I believe the pros outweigh the cons.
I want to share with you some of the major differences I noticed between a job and entrepreneurship.
At my corporate job, I would sit on conference calls 8-10 hours a week! Yes, the majority of these calls were a complete waste of time. Most of the time I would little to no input on these calls.
Below are some of the common reasons why conference calls are a waste of time are:
- The call is dominated by only a few people
- Key participants don’t show up
- The wrong people are included on the call
- People are not paying attention
When you run your own business you won’t have to worry about these calls anymore. You will be in control of all calls. I now will only attend a conference call if I’m getting paid. Don’t just take my word. Jeff Bezos, Mark Cuban, and Elon Musk have publicly stated they don’t sit in on useless meetings and conference calls. Here’s a quote from Mark Cuban on attending meetings:
“The only way you’re going to get me for a meeting is if you’re writing me a check”
Another huge advantage of running your own business is having 100% creative freedom. If you’re in a creative field and working in a corporate environment you will be severely limited on your creativity.
Below are some obstacles I faced while working at my corporate job:
- IT limitations
- Budget cuts
- Poor management
- Outdated mindset
- Branding constraints
I can’t even begin to tell you how stressed I would get when I was working on a project and I had to contact IT in order for me to install a font! Don’t they realize how much time is wasted on a larger scale when their employees have to deal with these types of obstacles?
I noticed that after a few short years most creatives in a corporate environment will just throw up their hands and “give up”. They learn that fighting for creative control is a never-ending battle that can’t be won. If anything it will continue to get worse the more they try to push for creative control.
When you make the switch and run your business, you win back your creativity! It’s only been 4 months and I’m still adjusting to this change. I no longer have to worry about the obstacles I listed above. I now have tons of extra time to expand my creativity, I no longer have anyone above me setting creative limitations.
I would say not having to deal with “decision makers” above me is one of the best changes I’ve noticed. It’s beyond stressful having to work with “decision makers” above you. At the beginning of my career, I was working under 2 direct managers who told me what to do every second of the day.
As you may have guessed, this type of micromanagement gets old very very fast. A few years later, I was lucky enough to move into a position where I was making all the decisions on my projects and dealing directly with the clients. This move really shaped me into who I am today and really opened my eyes to how poor management can ruin morale in the workplace.
I’m going to let you in on a huge secret. Most people have no idea what they are doing and are straight up bad/lazy at their jobs! This may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. There’s a reason why movies like Office Space exist, because it’s based on reality!
It goes without saying that when you run your business, you are the boss. Management responsibilities still exist, but you are in control of everything. You have to be good at managing your time and tasks. I can’t stress how important it is to document all your tasks, this will help you better understand where you are focusing your time in the business.
Another huge time waster at corporate jobs are useless admin tasks. I would waste another 4+ hours a week on these tasks.
Below are a few of the common admin tasks:
- Daily & Weekly timesheets
- Mandatory conference calls
- Safety training
- Healthcare courses
- Performance reviews
- Resume updates
As you can see all of these admin tasks will add up throughout the year.
I just did a rough calculation and I was wasting around 550 hours a year on these admin tasks! This includes my 6 weeks off for vacation time. That comes out to 45 hours a month wasted! I honestly don’t think the bigwigs at large companies have any idea how much time is wasted by their employees with these tasks.
On the flip side, there’s still going to be admin tasks when running your business. There’s no comparison though, I can do all my admin tasks for my business in a few hours a month. Of course, this will vary depending on your business.
The Future of the Working Environment
No matter how you look at it the working environment is changing fast! The days of going into an office are dying. The future is in a Distributed Workforce. Watch this TED Talk video from Matt Mullenweg (WordPress Founder) to help better understand how his company is thriving because of this new business model.
This is a huge deal! I can personally tell you that once they allowed remote working at my company, it changed everything for the better. It cut out all the useless micromanagement, stressful commutes, in-person meetings, employee parties, etc… You need to give people the freedom to work anywhere they want and under fewer time constraints.
I hope this article will shed some light on the differences between a job and entrepreneurship. I understand that not everyone wants to run own their own business and find comfort in a steady job. I personally needed a change after “playing the game” for 15 years. Here’s to the future!