Ever wonder what is the difference between a career employee and a career entrepreneur?
I’ve thought about it at various occasions of my life; at times of a personal job loss or that of a friend or an acquaintance. The general atmosphere of economic downturn also doesn’t help the situation and makes people vulnerable to impending closures.
Entrepreneurs Make Their Own Path
I’ve finally come to a conclusion and have found a simple answer to my question. Love them or hate them, but entrepreneurs are fearless. You can loathe them to eternity for their selfishness and ulterior motives but this is a breed that knows how to take on a storm head on.
On the face of it we entrepreneurs all look the same. We can’t tell an entrepreneur or a business owner from any other person.
But just get to know them and you’ll realize and appreciate their risk appetite and fearless attitude towards the future. We can take an example of a Tiger. This big cat in the zoo looks as fierce as the one in the jungle. Release the zoo tiger in the wild and you’ll find it dead in a few days because it had never learned to fend for itself.
The same is true for a career employee, with the monthly paycheck holding the same effect as the meat being thrown to the tiger in the zoo during regular intervals of the day. Just as the tiger is thrown out to the jungle, the employee finds himself helpless and rushes to the nearest job post to get another job.
The majority of us never even contemplate the possibility of doing something on our own just because we have been programmed to think and act as employees. Multinationals and even the local organizations, our families, friends and peers – they all force us to believe that the salvation and happiness lies from 9 to 5. Anything beyond that is someone else’s job.
Ever wondered about the life style of the business owners, even small and medium sized ones? Trust me when I say that they are way better off than most of us and have an ingrained program to ensure that they would never become a slave to the employment factory.
Life After a Job Loss
So what to do in case we did lose our job or have an imminent possibility of getting into this situation?
Please understand that while the bills would be piling up and we are looking for other alternates, it wouldn’t harm to take a few more steps in the direction of the “Entrepreneur Land”, even for trials sake. So what do we do?
- Dress Up: If you have been dressing up sloppily then change your habits, the new world is all about presentation. No need for an Armani suit but look neat and tidy. At times the job loss reflects in an over grown beard with hair looking worse than a tree in a tornado. Wear decent clothing when you leave home even to get your groceries, trust me you’ll feel better.
- Depression doesn’t help: I have been there so trust me that you end up waking with a worse feeling than you had entered the “D” zone of self loathing and cribbing about how the world is all so unfair. Do whatever it takes to get this evil off your back. Go for a jog, meditate, watch TV, pray etc, do whatever but do not sit idle and feel sorry for yourself.
- You’re good at something: You spent many years doing something or the other in some organization(s) and by this time you must be doing it darn well. Now get on with it and see how can you turn it into a business venture. SME’s and Private Business owners are always looking for experts even on a part time basis. Sharpen the saw and get on with a plan to work part time while looking for a job; you never know something might come up. You’re looking for a job aren’t you? Your resume says that you can do x, y and z; well do the same on a part time basis in the meantime. The only catch is that you’ll have to leave the couch and find the people who are looking for your talent and there are plenty of them, trust me.
- Make notes of your skill sets: Write down and make extensive notes of your skills. You have to get into a habit of writing down and coming to a killer proposition for your product; the product is YOU and it better be presentable and clear to the audience.
- Read or Watch as much as you can: We have lost touch with this great treat for the mind, we would rather watch 2 hours of stupid “You Tube” videos of dogs falling asleep in the laps of retired grandmothers but wont spend 20 minutes reading an interesting article on a field relevant to yours. There is everything available on You Tube that is of relevance to us in terms of a career move and all it takes is discipline and perseverance.
- Write Wacko plans and share with friends: Every idea at its inception was crazy including Mcdonalds, Uber, Denim Jeans, Facebook etc. This world belongs to the crazy people and we end up reading their autobiographies and case studies in MBA classes. The people who challenged the norm did not care about the next pay check. My personal hero is Elon Musk, this guy dreams and gets it done. He does everything that is unconventional and breaks the norm including rubbing the wall street continuously on the wrong side and gets away with it every time. Ever wondered why all the greats in business emerge from the US? Its because the country allows you to think. And you my friend you can think as well if you let your mind go free.
- Don’t be afraid of rejections, embrace them: Most people would out rightly and snubbing reject your ideas and even make fun of it; its because they are afraid of your freedom. They are doing this to hide their own in-capabilities to get out of their personal zoos. They would advise you to sit in front of your laptop screen and pray for some recruiter to send you an email in response to the 20000 CV’s that you posted. Enjoy the occasions and keep away from the negative people, they are the worst to be around.
- Share, Share, Share: Talk to people, send me an email and I will also get you some more tips how to get on with your plans.
In the end believe in yourself, you came to this world to fulfill your own dreams and not to be a tool for someone else’s vision.
Now Go and Kick some……………Or sit and sulk. Choice is yours.
Writer is a Dubai based Telecom professional with an extensive business development experience in Middle East and Africa. He can be contacted at [email protected]”