When people asked me if it’s better to quit their jobs and go into business, here’s my answer:
WHY CORPORATE IS SOMETIMES BETTER THAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
People always assume that if you start a business and work hard, you WILL be successful and won’t lose your capital. That it’s better than working in a 9-to-5 job because you’re no longer beholden to your stupid boss who calls you all day long.
Nothing is further from the truth.
For one, you can lose your shirt if you work for yourself despite your best intentions and your best assets. Earning an income from a business is NEVER guaranteed. You can even lose everything every time you make mistakes.
When I first started, I was stressed everyday because I did not know where to get rent and salary money.
I was lucky to have a very generous and understanding mother who lent us money at minimal interest to expand. Without her, we would have probably gone bankrupt and closed.
Two, income in a business is no guarantee.
When I started, there were months we would abono. Because business ran out of cash. Those were terrible times and I was always short tempered and stressed because who wants to close down a company and fire people you’ve hired?
Third, while I don’t have a stupid boss to be beholden to, I am instead beholdened to my employees.
They’re my real boss and I do my best to ensure they are happy to work freely.
When they call, I answer. When there’s trouble, I solve it. I can’t even have a proper vacation because I’m on call all the time.
I remember a week after I had my Caesarean, I was at the fiscal filing a case because of a theft in the store. My newborn baby was in the car because at a week old, he needed to breastfeed. I worked because it is necessary.
If I was working a php200,000 corporate job, I would actually be taking my 3.5 months of fully paid leave. Can’t do that in my own business because many people are counting on me.
Fourth, even ANY income is NOT guaranteed.
As a business owner, I pay myself last and only 10% of what I used to earn back from corporate. So if you want to quit, please ensure your spouse can maintain your current lifestyle by himself.
Fifth, before quitting, make plans AT THE EVENT the business don’t pan out.
Unless you’re really good at your field, good jobs come by rarely so quitting now does not mean you’ll get your old job later if your plans fail. You could if the slot is still open but there’s always a chance if it won’t. If so, make sure you’ve planned for that event because if not, quitting might not be the smartest thing to do without a Plan B.
WHY I SAY THIS
Because I personally have done both —- Corporate and entrepreneurship.
I worked hard at corporate and really got paid very well. Corporate is a walk in the park for me vs working in a business.
Sure, it’s hard and stressful but I could do my work with my eyes closed, go on 20 day vacations per year and was rewarded very handsomely for something I know what to do.
Getting into entrepreneurship was like Train to Busan. Problems are everywhere, and not easy to solve. Workers don’t work unless you monitor them. And the red tape —- LGU permits, BIR, etc —- discourages.
So guys, do your math first before quitting. Remember, what you do impacts all, and if I knew how hard entrepreneurship was, I probably would never have arrogantly quit my cushy job back then.
Success is never a done deal, and even today, I worry my efforts may be in naught. I am also extremely lucky that my business survived throughout these years AND the pandemic.
Instead of quitting now without any income, try if you can generate income on the side and see if it’s sustainable. Side gigs are only lucrative when there are main gigs to prop you up. Do a side gig instead if you really want to follow your passions.