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Is Starting Your Own Business (and Succeeding) Easier than Finding A 9-5 ?

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  • Nov 16th, 2017 11:07 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 9, 2008
739 posts
85 upvotes
Winnipeg

Is Starting Your Own Business (and Succeeding) Easier than Finding A 9-5 ?

Is starting your own business (online or brick and mortar) AND earning at least 50k+ easier than working for someone else ?

I really have to ask this question...

I have a lot of friends who work regular office jobs and they tend to be bored out of their minds. They don't even want to talk about work after they have left.

Since starting my own business, I tend to be more focused and motivated to get work done. It's also highly motivating for me to see results in my work. I'm also extremely passionate about being able to start/fund my own venture on my own terms.

One negative is that work is always on my mind even during my off-time...but I love the freedom of not being able to answer to anybody but me.

What do you guys think ?
16 replies
Newbie
Nov 26, 2016
61 posts
3 upvotes
if you make good money then perfect,if you struggle or don't see any reward in the near future then work for someone and maybe pursue it later down the road. Or maybe work part-time and have a business on the side? Whatever works best
Banned
User avatar
Oct 24, 2017
20 posts
23 upvotes
Canada
The stats are 50% of small business will fail within 5 years, so no. However, for the other 50% that find their niche in the market they can but it takes dedication and resources.

The problem is knowing which one you might be in.
Sr. Member
Aug 16, 2008
739 posts
127 upvotes
Markham
MyNameWasTaken wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 10:34 pm
To answer your thread title, I would say no.

However, if you have a good idea and are truly passionate and realistic, then go for it!

Then again, there is also this article too for a dose of reality
I enjoyed the article. That being said, this guy was chasing a pipe dream, obscuring reality - had he focused more on the business (and making money) rather than his dream of serving food, then it may have worked out.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25402 posts
2754 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
If it is easy, everyone would be doing it.

I've done both. Starting your own business is very rewarding. However, you work 14 hour days. You get no life, no holidays, no benefits.

At the end of the day, I looked at the revenue and I was able to make the same amount or a little less at a regular 9 to 5

I'm not discouraging anyone, some people succeed and can grow a company into a machine that can maintain itself. I wasn't one of them.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
4748 posts
464 upvotes
Toronto
I'd say no because it's a lot easier spending someone else's money.

Besides that it's up to the individual. Not everyone is self motivated, has vision to know what to do when. Most people (or as they were taught in life) need a job where they're told what to do.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3675 posts
320 upvotes
Ottawa
IMO, it's quite hard to start your own business and be successful at it. Many good businesses go under all the time and it's not always their fault. Someone said 50% within 5 years - personally, I think it's much higher than that although I have no stats to support it.

I think it's much, much easier to earn $50k/year working for someone else ... if you said $500k/year then I'd agree with you (I do think it's easier to make $500k/year with your own business than it is making $500k/year working for someone else although the chances of either are very slim).

This article https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report ... e20941565/ does support the 50% surviving 5 years number mentioned but I believe it might be inaccurate as it only includes registered businesses and I think that weeds out many that don't succeed ... E.g. someone has an idea for a product or a service so initially starts offering on the side - the ones that don't succeed will just stop and go away, the ones that do succeed will eventually grow and register ...
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2007
993 posts
388 upvotes
Edmonton
A common statistic thrown around is that 80% of all new businesses fail. I can tell you that 80% of new employees do not get fired. It's pretty easy to get to 50k income, assuming you have at least some post-secondary training. If you're starting a new business, you should be going after the high risk / high reward proposition. You should be dreaming that your business can make you 150k, 300k, 500k income in the future. Else there is no point.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2007
4164 posts
674 upvotes
mastercool wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 9:20 pm
Is starting your own business (online or brick and mortar) AND earning at least 50k+ easier than working for someone else ?

I really have to ask this question...

I have a lot of friends who work regular office jobs and they tend to be bored out of their minds. They don't even want to talk about work after they have left.

Since starting my own business, I tend to be more focused and motivated to get work done. It's also highly motivating for me to see results in my work. I'm also extremely passionate about being able to start/fund my own venture on my own terms.

One negative is that work is always on my mind even during my off-time...but I love the freedom of not being able to answer to anybody but me.

What do you guys think ?
I have my own business too so I know what you mean. You HAVE to care because it's your money. I think owning your own business really broadens your perspective. You learn that when you fail, you have no one to blame but yourself. Far too many people in the world fail because they focus their energies on externalizing blame. Like if you hire a contractor to do renovations. Don't blame the contractor for screwing you over. Blame yourself for not choosing a reputable one, or you failing to supervise the work.

You are absolutely right that you can't escape your business. It's like being married. There are definitely pros and cons. When you do something right, you can feel proud. In the office, you have to deal with office politics. But even if you own a business, if you have staff, you need to manage them. But the choice is always yours. You technically don't have to care about your business. You can just do nothing and watch everything fail.

Working in an office is often unsatisfying. Often you know what is wrong but people in management don't agree with you. Some organizations have fundamental structural issues and you could easily find yourself doing meaningless work that someone high up decided was good from sitting at his desk without understanding the whole process.

In terms of "easy", I think it's very easy to START a business. Turning a profit and sustaining that profit is much harder than maintaining a 9-5 job for sure. I don't think the degree of difficulty is even comparable. It's hard to set a target and say $50k is easy vs $100k is easy.

I would add that to be successful in the long run, the business shouldn't revolve around you. You need to introduce a system where the business can run itself. Like...get it smooth and try to get someone to handle bits and pieces for you. The owner of big names like Starbucks doesn't do everything himself. I personally don't like to associate hard work with success, simply because there are many ways to work hard and achieve nothing. And this is one area that is very different vs working office job. In the office you can follow a set of instructions previously set by someone else, and do just that, and go home when your shift is over. In a business, there is no one to tell you the right way.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2007
4164 posts
674 upvotes
OnaFixedIncome wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 11:06 pm
The stats are 50% of small business will fail within 5 years, so no. However, for the other 50% that find their niche in the market they can but it takes dedication and resources.

The problem is knowing which one you might be in.
I could not agree more. There is no crystal ball to tell you what exactly the customer demand is and will be. You have to constantly stay ahead of the game.

I caution people against so called "passion". I support pursuing your passion but I find that most people need to tone it down a bit. At the end of the day, business is about getting customers to pay for goods and/or services. If there is no demand, it won't matter how much passion you have.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 7, 2012
2427 posts
542 upvotes
Toronto
Hell NO.

It's definitely not easier than a 9/5.

As a business owner, for the first 6 years or so, you'll never work less than 10 hours a day, and that's being super generous. It's non stop.
Most can't handle it, or everyone would be doing it.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
9555 posts
1241 upvotes
Toronto
MrsPotato wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 4:29 pm
Hell NO.

It's definitely not easier than a 9/5.

As a business owner, for the first 6 years or so, you'll never work less than 10 hours a day, and that's being super generous. It's non stop.
Most can't handle it, or everyone would be doing it.
And if you have family/children.. say good bye to a more balanced life.
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2013
4803 posts
902 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
There are too many factors. Generally it is harder and riskier, but the reward is much higher. The CEO of Lamborghini once said: "Our most common customer is an entrepreneur- a self made man".

- What industry? Some industries are more competitive than others, have higher entry costs, more difficult to manage (especially employees), more volatile, etc.
- What's your starting capital?
- How much time and risk tolerance do you have? If like most people you freak when your stock (i.e. your SHARE of a business) drops by 5%, how would you feel if you had an entire year where you lost tens of thousands? Do you give up easily? How easily do you grow stronger from failures? Can you accept and learn from failures?
- How much of a hustler are you?

Starting a business is the ultimate risk-for-reward scenario. On top of my head I believe only about 1/3 of startups are successful.

Personally for myself, I do work in 3 different industries. I work for one employer for half the year, and am self-employed as a contractor as the second half. I do oilfield, road construction, pipeline, and trucking work (waste fluid hauling) for city facilities and sometimes highway. Given my experience, credentials, and skillset it is very easy to find work for my own company and myself.

However in my beginning stages (i.e. now) I go through several women in a year, especially being a younger person when women do not see the value of the working/ambitious man (even if they find attractive). Even older people go through multiple partners and wives (especially in my industry) and similar ones with poor work-life balance, especially if you must travel to do your work, and/or meet new clients. My current client's boss lost his home and majority of his other assets to his divorce; his 50% ownership in the company is much of what he still holds. That is an extremely common scenario you come across. One of my colleagues pays $2,500/month in child support; another similar amount, plus another $2,000 or so in alimony. Two of the most successful women I've known (one used to be my roommate), one forced his husband to sign a prenup, another a cohort agreement (prenup, but for unmarried couple living together in same household). In China, many elite businessmen simply do not marry; they just have multiple "sugar babies" in different parts of the country.

But everyone's situation is different.

Note that through employment you are also part of a business, except the framework is already laid out and you're increasing profit for it. It doesn't mean it's "stable"; if the business goes downward, it only takes a lift of someone else's finger and you're gone. The higher up you are on the food chain, the bigger liability and price tag you are, the more the employer will try to find cheaper labour to produce your given output, and the harder it is for you to get something similar again if you are let go. The diversified and hustler types tend to thrive in all economic situations.

All that being said, if all you want to make is $50,000, there is a multitude of lower entry cost options. You can even get a rental condo and run an AirBnB business out of it; then as your capital base grows, come up with more colourful ideas, such as opening a restaurant, store, vehicle dealership, etc. Note it's not always about how experienced or skilled you are; it's often who you know. On Instagram there are a lot of successful "personal trainers", "health and fitness consultants", and in other places, "financial planners/advisors", who really suck at what they do and are only glorified salespeople. They just know the right people and know how to make themselves look and talk like they know something.

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