Job Vs Entrepreneurship: Should You Be Your Own Boss?

Job Vs Entrepreneurship is one of the toughest career choices. Choosing to start a business depends on individual taste and preference.


According to a Randstad Work monitor survey, 83% of the Indian workforce would like to be an entrepreneur higher than the global average of 53%. Indians are increasingly becoming aware of the distinction in Job Vs Entrepreneurship. While engineering and medicine were traditionally considered safe career options, self-motivated millennials today are defying the norms, choosing entrepreneurship over traditional jobs and changing the way business is perceived conventionally. Today, entrepreneurial ambition among the workforce is the highest in India, with 56% respondents saying that they are considering leaving current jobs to start their own business.

Job Vs Entrepreneurship: Preference Matters Most

Ask someone holding a well-paying job for years which career option involves maximum risk. Chances are that he/she would say starting a company is the riskiest. But if you pose the same question to someone who has been in the start-up industry, it is quite likely she would say that depending on a single job as the key source of income for the rest of her life is the biggest risk. (A start-up founder says it is equivalent to running a company with a single customer.) The age-old debate between Job Vs Entrepreneurship comes with no easy answers and it totally depends on what one wants from her life. Both come with a long list of pros and cons.

Many would suggest at the drop of a hat that owning a business is better than working 9-5. But business is not everyone’s cup of tea. Working for yourself comes with its own set of perks but it is equally exhausting and comes with higher chances of failures than successes.

Certain factors like money, lifestyle and career growth play a major role in deciding what one chooses as a career option. When it comes to money, there is virtually no limit to earn and live a lifestyle of one’s choice if and when their business works out. Whereas, for a job seeker, money is one of the instant gratifications that one chases. In a job, money comes more easily and regularly but for a business owner, there might not be a situation of as much financial freedom in the initial growth stages of the business but once it takes off, the business owner gains in the long term. Since both sides have their perks and risks, in Job Vs Entrepreneurship it is hard to say who has an edge over who.

Job Vs Entrepreneurship: A Double-Edged Sword

Not everyone is a risk-taker and is comfortable with uncertainty. Majority of Indians look for a job as soon as they graduate because it is a sure shot towards a secure life. It often involves financial and social benefits while business owners’ lives involve a lot more hustle and might not bear instantaneous results.

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Certain factors like money, lifestyle and career growth play a major role in deciding what one chooses as a career option.

Data suggest that around 70% of small business firms fail within the first 18 months. This drives a number of people away from investing in or starting their own business. Owning a business assumes one’s ability to fail because it’s an uncharted territory and higher the risk, higher is the chance of failure. Most people who seek constant personal growth, stability and comfort prefer not to give up prime years of their life in struggle while entrepreneurs tend to be more of believers and passionate towards what they want to achieve.

While entrepreneurship can provide one with an opportunity to grow beyond imagination, it sure comes with risks. Hence, in this respect, jobs are considered to be more stable but for someone who’s been working in the same job for years, it might seem that they’re stuck or not being able to grow beyond a point. Hence, it depends on the individual’s personal and professional goals. While jobs have lesser risk and provide one with a lot of time to make mistakes and learn without losing much but for a business, one is required to keep learning and upgrading but with an added risk that one mistake can cost you a lot.

Job Vs Entrepreneurship – What Your Job Offers?

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 11% of the adult population in India is engaged in “early-stage entrepreneurial activities and only 5% go on to establish their own business, which is to say, their businesses survive for longer than 42 months. This is one of the lowest rates in the world while India’s business discontinuation rate is among the highest at 26.4%. This surely discourages people from choosing a business over a job.

Job security is considered to be one of the top reasons for people to get into jobs. Another reason why people prefer working for others rather than being self-employed is that it has a system and fixed salary, working hours, effort, etc. One can think of enjoying a weekend off only if he/she is employed by someone else. An entrepreneur hardly gets fixed working hours or a weekend.

Similarly, the businessperson has way too much responsibility than anyone in the company. They are not working for one “boss” but have to take care of all the clients, employees, expenses, management, executives, and other stakeholders of the company. Only 10% of the businesses are able to survive after 3 years of starting and with the kind of effort that an entrepreneur is required to put in, many of them go back to their jobs, too. Paritosh Sharma, cofounder of HashTaag, a networking site for start-ups, had joined PayUMoney in a plum role after shutting the company. Even Rajul Jain, who launched Yebhi, a fashion and lifestyle portal, in 2019 had joined fashion e-retailer Myntra as senior vice president of supply chain three months after calling it quits. The list is endless.

Still, Are You a Cog in the Wheel?

While people choose jobs over business for a host of practical reasons like security, work-life balance, a stable income and less stress, these are the same reasons that lead them to hate their jobs, too. Many people feel fatigued after working in a similar role for years and this results in jobs dissatisfaction. People who are stuck in the same job start to find it predictable, boring and even as an individual there’s less control and flexibility when it comes to day-to-day decision making at work.

They are merely following orders of their bosses and feel either overworked or underutilised. For someone who has a creative bent of mind, it is very difficult to find a job that fulfils that aspect. Most people, again, feel that their jobs aren’t creatively satisfying and hence they choose to quit or change their stream.

There’s no freedom and control in a job. Of course, people do have control over aspects that involve their function, but at the end of the day they’re working for someone else and this can be really bothersome for people with untapped creative potential.

Job Vs Entrepreneurship – Should You Be Your Own Boss?

People soon realise that their growth potential is limited inside a cubicle no matter how many appraisals they get during their service. There might be immense opportunities to grow within the organisation and even switch jobs to find a better deal, one can still feel stuck in a monotonous life cycle of a job. They often find themselves with few choices and those, too, are more often than not limited to their industry they are associated with.

In contrast, when one runs a business, they are in direct control of it rather than reporting to a higher authority and there is a greater level of flexibility in terms of working hours. With discipline, one can even achieve a higher amount of time for personal life. This not only gives you greater control over the company but also rids you of anyone pressing you down in your professional life. There are a number of perks of choosing to be an entrepreneur or owning a business over working in a 9 to 5 job after the business is well-established, scalable and towards the path of profitability. We’ve already discussed the pros and cons of having a job. Here are eight reasons why people choose to be their own boss:

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A start-up will always reflect the ideology, identity and belief system of its founder.

You create your own identity

A job forces one to think about his/her collective identity as a group whereas a business owner builds on his individual identity so that the company and its employees can help enhance it. A start-up will always reflect the ideology, identity and belief system of its founder. That is because the founder has the freedom to nurture a company the way he/she deems right. For a business owner, starting a company means a way to exercise their individual identity far greater than someone who works in a 9 to 5 job.

You can wear many hats

People choose to be their own boss because they get to wear a number of hats at the same time. While some people may enjoy it, others designate the work to better-suited professionals but the final decision rests with the founder. A business owner is required to learn the basics of financial planning, supply chain management, marketing, employee engagement, etc. and has to be involved in each and every process that takes place in the company, especially in its initial growth stages.

You have greater control

Entrepreneurs crave for power and control. That’s an easy secret of their success. It not only gives people full creative liberty and control, but also helps them follow their dream over a long period. There is enough freedom to make their own decisions in both personal and professional life but with great power comes great responsibility. While the entrepreneur is in full control of the decisions for the company, they are also the one responsible for it.

You witness non-linear growth

The biggest complaint that people with jobs have is that after a point in their life, they stop growing professional and hit the glass ceiling. In entrepreneurship, there is no question of that. You decide your growth curve and it can be as unpredictable and exciting as one makes it to be. People choose to get into a business to never stop growing.

You earn more money

Nobody in the company can earn more than the owner. Now, this comes after a lot of trials and tribulations but once the company reaches a particular growth stage, there is no looking back in terms of financial growth potential. An entrepreneur can earn as far as his vision can take him/her. But one has to remember that during the initial stages of establishing a company, there are enough risks and uncertainty involved. So, we can say that this financial freedom comes at a cost.

You become a mini-influencer

As an employee, you can never be a face of the company but the founder or the CEO of the company is someone everybody idolises. There are many reasons for this. First is that they provide their employees with employment opportunities and second it that as an employer, you have the power to propagate your vision and mission while others look up to you as a role model. This is true both within the company and if the company makes it big, the founder enjoys that kind of popularity even outside his/her firm.

You enjoy long-term gratification

Even failed entrepreneurs swear by this. The kind of gratification and flexibility that a business provides is far greater than what a job promises. Which is why start-up founders keep venturing into new projects until one finally clicks. Ola’s Bhavesh Aggarwal and OYO Rooms’ Ritesh Aggarwal both had a different company before they became the biggest start-ups in the country.

You can make a difference

Business gives people a sure shot chance of making a difference in society by addressing a pain point or helping in addressing a larger social and practical problem of the society. This is also the reason why most people choose to start their own company. Money shouldn’t be on their mind in the short-term. Only then they will be successful in creating a positive change in society.

DU Desk
DU Desk
Stories from DU Desk are the collective efforts of our in-house authors, guest authors and subject matter experts who collate and distill their ideas and thoughts to bring out actionable insights for our readers.

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