A student of mine (a senior executive) asked me a simple question about careers.
"I enjoy my current work but everyone seems to glorify entrepreneurship, so just tempted to try. Should I continue with my employment or try out entrepreneurship? How to think about it? Any mental models?"
The question was intriguing and made me think a little more deeply.
Personally, I have been through both experiences. I loved working in both contexts. I didn't hate my job in either worlds. The idea of exaggerating one and putting down the other is just a perspective and not the absolute truth.
The question made me more interested in the correlation between the personality and the choice. This thought has been lingering for almost a week now.
If I enjoyed both throughly then what makes one (entrepreneurship) tick more than the other (employment)? was a natural question. I had to probe into me further and see what is that quality or attribute or parameter that determines the choice.
Today I had a shower moment that clarified some aspects for me. It struck me that the underlying ethos of employment and entrepreneurship is the same thing. The common thread is OWNERSHIP.
I realised that the degree of ownership is what makes one tick and the other cross.
I am a super owner by nature. I own things end to end in all projects. I believe, sorry >>> not doing it. I don't wait for anyone to give me orders or collaborate with me. I just do what I can do. When I need help I just ask. When I don't have the necessary skill, I go out and seek for advice from experts. I don't wait on others. Work was and is as simple as that.
I enjoy work when I could take complete ownership. I enjoy it even more when people around me appreciate ownership. Whether it is called employment or consulting or entrepreneurship or freelancing or moonlighting, it is the ownership that gives the drive to progress.
When there is friction in the ownership, a lot of things dip. Happiness, involvement, efficiency, effectiveness and more takes a beating.
It is a known fact that the communication overhead is high when we work more people. It is a necessity because we can't do everything by ourselves. The threshold and tolerance is what determines the choice and the following decision.
In shorts, if you are able to own responsibilities and have minimum friction in that ownership cycle, enjoy the work without worrying about what it is called. If there is friction and if it goes bumper to bumper, time to ask a bigger question, is this worth my time and energy? is this making sense this lifetime?
If the answer is NO, try and look for places that appreciate ownership and helps with efficiency. You don't have to pick up entrepreneurship for the sake of ownership because entrepreneurship has other parameters that needs more attention.
Making an informed choice based on ownership can be a starting point. If this filter is clear, more can be looked into further.
🥂 to ownership!