Entrepreneur or Autonomy: What Do You Really Want?

“Are you really ready to be an entrepreneur? Or do you just need more autonomy in your daily work at your current job? Think about that for a minute…” – Sheldon Barrocks, Facebook Status, 2017 ©

By now you’ve heard about the Kyrie Irving / Lebron James situation.

A modern day tragic love story between 2 people, after achieving great success together for 3 years, can’t seem to make the relationship work for whatever reason.

Their team the Cleveland Cavaliers (along with the Golden State Warriors) are on pace to make an unprecedented 4th consecutive match up in the 20184 NBA Finals, but strangely enough Irving is allegedly having second thoughts about playing alongside King James. 

So much so that a few weeks ago Irving requested to be traded (He’s still legally under contract with the team for the next 2 years). he even went as far as to suggest teams he would like to be traded for. 

Many NBA media pundits, current and former players have criticized the reasoning and timing for the trade request, asking themselves why anyone would want to give up playing with currently the top basket player on the planet and pretty much a guaranteed trip to the NBA Finals for at least the next 2 years.

There’s been speculation of Kyrie not wanting to play in Lebron’s shadow anymore, and having a desire to carve his own path and run his own team as the star player and central focus of the organization. 

 

“The Kyrie/Lebron shake up is the perfect microcosm for what many would be entrepreneurs go through when making the transition from working a 9 to 5 job to running and operating their own business.”

 

That’s all fine and good, but is he ready? There’s a difference between being “the guy” and being a major role player on a team. Yes when success happens usually the start player gets most of the credit and accolades (e.g. Lebron wins his 3rd NBA Title, when the local paper headline should really read “Cleveland wins their first pro sports championship in over 50 years).

Of course the same can be said on the other hand when success doesn’t happen (e.g. Lebron is 3 of 6 in NBA Finals series). Um, okay. I guess he played alone?

If Kyrie wants to be the man, the hero, the whatever, there’s a lot he may encounter that he didn’t plan for or see coming. 

This Kyrie/Lebron shake up is the perfect microcosm for what many aspiring entrepreneurs go through when making the transition from working a 9 to 5 job to running and operating their own business. 

It’s great to fall in love with the idea of being a fast pace entrepreneur, hustling everyday, making deals, selling your products, marketing your service, and ultimately living the “free” life you’ve always dreamed of having. No boss, no office to work in, no clock to punch!

But are you really ready to be an entrepreneur? Or do you really just want more autonomy in your daily work at your current job?

As glamorous as being an entrepreneur looks these days (especially on social media) I think many people under estimate the value of having a level of autonomy from their employer. 

 

 

Now before I go any further, and possibly lose some of you reading this, let me define this term autonomy:

 

Dictionary.com – Autonomy: independence or freedom, as of the will or one’s actions

Merriam-Webster.com – Autonomy: self-directing freedom and especially moral independence;  personal autonomy

 

The Urban dictionary would say something like this: “Your boss lets you do whatever the hell you want as long as the work gets done.”

Basically you have the independence to work at your comfort level in order to achieve the companies objectives. In reality, that’s what most of us want right?

If you do a quick Google search you’ll find the number one reason most people leave their job is related to their relationship (or lack there of) with their current boss. So naturally, there’s draw to want to be your own boss and not have to put up with all the “BS” day to day.

So the idea of being an entrepreneur gets romanticized, and thus begins our pursuit to perceived happiness and total life bliss! 

The truth is not all of us are ready to be our own boss. Some however are ready for it and have the cache´ to succeed. The key is to know where you are on either side of the coin. Knowledge is power and having an understanding of all the options available to you is important in order for you to make an informed decision about an area of your life as important as your career.

 

“I’m given the autonomy to work at my own pace and manage my team as I see fit. In turn, I give my employees the same freedom with their work. The result? A more efficient operation executed by happier employees.”

 

Asking yourself the questions below and thoroughly discussing these topics with people you trust can help clear up if you want the entrepreneur life or just more autonomy in your 9 to 5.

 

Do I really want to open this business? Or do I really just hate my job and boss right now? What’s the real reason you want to do this? If you’re a self motived individual who has taken time to read books on business, maybe go through a night course to pick up some skills or even work under a mentor part-time who happens to be a business owner, then you might be building towards one day to be one too. If you are doing none of the above but daily looking for a way out from your current job for whatever reason, you may want to think twice. Long hours, cash flow fluctuations and direct competitors are just a fraction of the challenges you need to be concerned about when becoming an entrepreneur. It might be better to look for a company that offers a working environment tailored to have a free work space, allowing you to use your individual skills with minimal supervision. In my current role as a Operations Manager (writing is my part-time business) for one of Canada’s largest 3rd Party Logistics providers, I’m given the autonomy to work at my own pace and manage my team as I see fit. In turn, I give my employees the same freedom with their work. The result? A more efficient operation executed by happier employees.

 

Do I have a clear idea of what business to run? Or am I just enamored with what I see about being an entrepreneur on Facebook? For over 10 years in a very small capacity I’ve assisted my wife in running her own business . Watching her everyday motivated me to want the same for my life. So I started making plans to open my own business. But I had no concrete idea of what exactly my business was going to be. The lore of being an entrepreneur seems to get bigger and brighter as our social media culture expands, and more platforms becoming available for us to create our own brands and a voice to communicate whatever we want. But what do you want? The label of being called an “Entrepreneur” and have a list of adoring Facebook and Instagram followers? Or do you have a rough draft of a basic business plan for a food catering business that you have been mulling over for a few years. See the difference? The point I’m making is be clear about your real motives for wanting to open a business. It’s so much more than just a “title” and image. 

 

“Some managers are just plain jack asses, and were hired to drive up numbers and not lead, mentor or nurture growth in the employees they manage. It’s ludicrous to assume most places of employment are the same in that regard.”

 

Is it really that bad working for someone else (right now)? Let me say this – some managers are just plain jerks, and were hired to drive up numbers and not lead, mentor or nurture growth in the people they manage. Its ludicrous to assume most places of employment are the same in that regard. For the extent of your professional career you will always have only two choices: Work for a company, or work for your customers. Its one or the other, and you can’t escape it. If you’re motivation for entrepreneurship is to live a boss free life, think again. As a small business owner you’ll go from having 1 boss to having 50 (your customers). Yes as an entrepreneur your life is not restricted to a 9 to 5, five days a week. But it could end up being a lot more time and a lot more pressure from your customer base than a single manager. Working for the right company can offer such benefits such as direct coaching and mentoring opportunities towards career advancement, including possible free education to advance in the field you are currently working in. 

 

To revisit the Kyrie Irving situation, I have no idea what his thought process is currently. Maybe he just wants to live in a different city. Or have the opportunity to experience something new on a day to day basis as a pro athlete. Only Kyrie and his camp really know. The real topic of discussion here: Is going out on your own the solution to whatever issues you may be facing at your current place of employment, or could it be finding a role/new career that can allow you to have the autonomy to work in a governing way that makes the 9 to 5 life not just bearable, but actually something to look forward to. Contrary to popular option you’ll find on social media and other relevant networking sites, becoming a business owner, while can be a very compelling career goal and one that can eventually have tremendous benefits to your life, isn’t you’re only option when building a successful career and being an influential figure in society. The value of autonomy shouldn’t be underestimated, and could actually be what you are looking for in your career.

 

 

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