The Entrepreneurial Mind Shift

Is working for yourself or for others more risky?

That’s the question Hannah Kaufman Joseph tried to answer in the Indianapolis Business Journal. She has had the somewhat unique experience of interviewing new entrepreneurs about their motivations after they come to her firm for legal help in setting up a new business. What she found was that the most common response to why someone wanted to own their own business was to have “some degree of control” over risk, even if the risk can be inherently greater than working for someone else. This is a result in a recent paradigm shift workers are going through where they no longer see employment as risk-free.

Whether or not you have been laid off, fired, or downsized, you probably know someone who has and the culmination of those events have slowly shaved away confidence in the workplace enough to make going out on your own seem less risky and more controllable. Joseph also notes that sometimes, “People are mad.” Even if they haven’t been laid off or fired they have been asked to do more with less. Many companies stopped giving raises or cut pay or benefits. This has given people an excuse to do something they may have always wanted to, but were afraid to try.

Joseph’s main point is that, “Individual performance is the key indicator of success.” Your business grows or falters in large part due to your own attitude. Measure success and be willing to change and environmental factors matter less.

One if the things I hated the most about working for someone else was the time clock. I didn’t quite agree with rules about tardiness as long as I got my work done. Times are easily tracked though and so late arrivals are easy targets for HR and managers. Joseph finishes her article with, “When you own your own business, you are never off the clock. But it is your clock.”