One of the most common thoughts about entrepreneurship is that it's just too risky. After all, you are the one responsible for keeping your business both operational and profitable.
The truth is, entrepreneurship is a scary thought for many, and an overwhelming thought for most. While that is true, I personally think that entrepreneurship is a less risky way to make a living than working a full-time job.
I know you’re probably thinking that that's a pretty crazy thing to say, but stay tuned and I will explain exactly why that is.
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Full-Time Employment Relies on Others
The first reason is that your full-time employment relies on others. If you have a full-time job with a company, you are 100% reliant on other people for your paychecks. With that, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
If there is a business that's poorly run by a CEO and revenue or funding has, for some reason, gone by the wayside, it’s possible you could be let go. With everything going on right now, I'm sure there are many people in the startup community that are being let go, through no fault of their own. All of a sudden, their job is gone and there’s nothing they can do. That's pretty scary to deal with.
Next is that, aside from revenue or funding drying up, you have a lot of outside factors that can negatively impact you. A lot of people are feeling this right now.
Obviously, there are external market factors, like a pandemic. That's no good; that's hitting a lot of people hard.
But if you also have a boss who’s not very good at their job, there's a chance–and I'm sure some of you have dealt with this–that with all the company politics, you're going to be fighting with your boss at all times.
It's going to come down to the boss’s word versus your own. Unless the higher-ups see that you're not the problem (which isn't always going to happen), then you can actually be let go.
That is really brutal because you might be a fine worker, but if your boss is bad, they may blame it on you. What will happen is, they'll let you and some other workers go, and then all of a sudden they’ll realize, “Wow, we keep switching the team and it's not getting better. The team isn't the problem. It's the boss.”
If you're at a higher-level position, like you're a manager and you have a senior manager or a vice president or something, it can look bad on you. A lot of times people will sacrifice the people that work for them. A VP may not want to lose their job, so they’ll say, “Oh, it's actually the manager. They are the problem,” which could be you.
Another thing is that you may have a bad boss not doing what they need to do. Then, there may be a poorly executed department or an entire department within an organization that's not profitable.
Or, maybe they don't have all the support they need from executives and they're just not running very well as an organization within the organization itself.
Again, those are outside factors. Even if you're a good worker and you're doing fine work, it doesn't matter. It will negatively impact you enough to where you could definitely lose your job if a whole department gets let go.
Again, it wasn't you, it was just poorly run within the organization and you have to take the fall. That's pretty crazy.
Another thing I really don't like about full-time employment, especially being where I am now and working for myself, is that strategically, you have absolutely no control.
As an individual, you can't necessarily pivot to adjust the organizational strategy. If you see that there's a problem, you can't just say, “I'm going to do it this way.”
Unless you're a C-level executive, you don't have that control. That's a really scary thing because sometimes, especially times like right now, there are companies that need to pivot. They need to change some things, but the executive teams and the higher-ups aren’t comfortable with doing that.
The lower workers are suffering from getting let go, just because of the incompetence of the other people, which is scary.
In addition to not being able to pivot any organizational structure, you have to focus on projects that your boss thinks are worth it.
Let me tell you a quick story. I remember when I was working for other companies, and I had situations where I was working on reports for the boss to help them understand what I was doing, or just to talk about it internally.
In reality, that wasn’t returning anything on my investment of time. It wasn’t doing anything but increasing awareness, which was really frustrating to me.
I would rather have just been able to do my job, do the things that really make an impact, and really bring the whole department up and make the whole marketing team (which is what I was a part of) even better.
At the end of the day, you can't do that. If you're a low-level worker of any type, or even if you're a manager, you have to take orders. You are a soldier and you have to take those orders. You don't always have a choice in it.
With Entrepreneurship, You Control Your Destiny
Now the difference is, with entrepreneurship, you really control your destiny. I've seen lately that the harder you work, the more money you make. You can actually put in 40, 50, or even 60 hours a week.
If you do that, you will see the money come in, as long as you're making the right decisions and have the right things going on. You have 100% autonomy to make organizational decisions.
Remember earlier how I said that you can't pivot if you're a full-time employee of someone else’s company? In your own organization, if you’re dealing with a situation like this pandemic, you can pivot.
My business shifted because I had to re-evaluate everything. I had to look at the costs, reduce hours, and adjust my strategy. I was able to do that because I own it.
If I were in another organization, they would either make the decision to shift or not, and then their run rate would run out, which would mean they would have to start firing people. That happens, too.
With my own business, I was able to make that decision and change things to make sure that it didn't tank. Luckily, this last month, it's kind of bounced back.
Another thing with entrepreneurship that I think is really important is, when I was working for other people, I'd only work hard enough to do a decent job.
When I'm working for myself, I have a vested interest in the organization succeeding. I am very focused on not only making my organization succeed, but making it as successful as possible.
That is a pretty good feeling because you're not just working for someone else and doing mundane tasks. You're working for something that you care about that really impacts your livelihood and can grow very large.
At the end of the day with entrepreneurship, you control either a thriving or sinking ship. It's all on you, which I know is intimidating to some, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I want to be able to fall on that sword and say, “It was my fault. I didn't do it right,” or, “I worked super hard. I did everything the right way. I was able to make money from that.”
That is such a better feeling than just getting a paycheck every single month or every two weeks, and just doing the same thing over and over, which is what a lot of people do. I used to do it, too.
There's nothing wrong with it, but I assure you that knowing you control your own destiny with entrepreneurship is an awesome, awesome feeling.
Are Websites a Risky Business Model?
If you don't know me, I'm a big website guy. I like websites, I've been creating websites for years, and it’s really what I've focused on. I know some people are going to say, “Well, are websites a risky business model?” because we've had all these issues happen lately with websites.
We've had the pandemic occur, which has impacted the number of people who are going to websites. We had commissions from the Amazon affiliate program reduced. Then, we also had a Google algorithm update, which is always impactful.
All that means is that traffic to websites can fluctuate. Sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down. Obviously, that can hurt if it goes down.
You may get scared as a website owner because you're thinking, “I'm only one algorithm update away from Google saying, ‘You know what? Your website's no good anymore. We don't like it.'” Then, all of a sudden, you have no traffic and you're broke.
That's the worst-case scenario, but I don't think that that's realistic. When you have a true website that’s diversified, you have a sustainable business there, because it's not just a website–it's a true business.
As an example, I did some math. This isn't to gloat, but just to give you an idea of where I am with my websites. Last year I made $236,000 in my business between websites and everything else I do, in total.
If I were to take a 50% hit on my business, that would still be around $115,000-$117,000. That's still a good yearly income at most jobs. I would be happy with that at most jobs, especially in marketing.
For me, that is totally reasonable. I don't want that to happen, and I hope it doesn't, but at the end of the day, that is still a pretty good yearly salary.
Even if that did happen, which would suck, I would still get to work from home. This means that if one of my websites was hit really hard, I would deal with it. It wouldn't be comfortable, but I would deal with it, and I could still keep working from home and keep building out other things to further diversify and get bigger and stronger as a business.
I would take working from home over having a full-time job any day. Even though websites do have a risk, it's really crazy to me because I feel like full-time employees have a higher risk.
Why Entrepreneurship Is Less Risky than Employment
Why is entrepreneurship, in my opinion, less risky than regular employment, which I used to have, and most of you probably have? With regular employment, you rely 100% on others for your livelihood.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with an organization. They may hire you and then say, “We don't have the funding.” There are many different problems that can occur that are totally outside of your control, yet you're going to be the victim of it.
Basically, the business is above all else. I know a lot of you are dealing with this right now. In an organization, you can be focused and committed to them and do everything that you can for the organization to try to help them grow for 10 years.
At the end of the day, if they need to cut costs and it's either the business or your livelihood, you're gone. It's not a personal thing; it's a business decision. That is a bad situation to be in, if your livelihood is 100% relying on other people. Look at the current economy.
Look at what we're dealing with. The pandemic started and so many people went on unemployment. They all were 100% relying on their livelihood that was based on other employers, because they trusted them and thought, “These people are running a tight ship. They're doing good things.”
Maybe they were, but then an external factor came in, crushed their employment, and now a lot of these companies are going out of business. There are some scary things happening right now.
When you rely on other people to make sure that you're going to be able to pay your mortgage, you are being very risky with that, because you have no control. It's intimidating to have all that control. It's not easy to make a business succeed.
But, I would rather control my own path and be able to depend on myself for my livelihood than rely 100% on someone else who would choose the business over me every time.
How to Get Started as an Entrepreneur
Maybe I've motivated you a little bit and some of you are probably thinking, “Okay, this is cool. How do I actually get started as an entrepreneur, Ron? What do I have to do?”
Well personally, I prefer websites. There are a lot of reasons for that, and I've talked about them in great detail within this blog. Simply put, websites are passive and something you can work on, leave for a week, and they'll still be there.
Websites never really close because the internet is always open. During the pandemic, it's actually gotten a lot better. A lot more traffic has gone to a lot of websites.
Also, when you have a blog of your own, you are able to do it from anywhere. You just have to have an internet connection and a computer. If you have those two things, you can control your own destiny, have a blog that is growing, and then turn it into a full-fledged website.
In addition to that, one of the things I really like is that it's a really easy side gig. When I started this, I was a full-time employee. I was working for a company, and I started this as a side gig. As it grew, and once it hit a certain level of momentum and profitability, I said, “You know what? I'm jumping ship.” I just did it.
For those people who are risk-averse like me, this isn’t crazy. You don't just have to quit your job and jump right in. If you are interested in starting and want to get into the whole thing, click here to learn how to start a blog.
That gives you a whole guide explaining exactly how to start a blog, and what you need to know. If you're not 100% sure on this yet, and you're like, “Well, that's cool, Ron, but I don't know if I could do it,” you can also look at my income reports to give yourself some inspiration and help you understand how I make the money that I make. Also, you can visit my homepage to learn the truth about online business.
Hopefully, this has shown you why I think that entrepreneurship is actually less risky than full-time employment, which I know sounds crazy.