The battle: Entrepreneur versus 9-5


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There was this “aspire to perspire” quote I used to like, ‘If you don’t work on your dreams, someone will use you to build theirs…’  

You hear this statement and you burst out with goose pimples feeling inspired to be an entrepreneur, abi? As young people, we are quick to think that being your own boss is a quicker way to leave the sapa life and sometimes we are confused to think which is better, entrepreneur or working a regular 9-5 employment.

See ehnn, I have come to see that both entrepreneurship and 9-5 are the same. What is major is to deliver value. For a career, your value is determined by your direct boss, for entrepreneurship, value is determined by the customer. Yes, you can say that the risks and rewards are different, and probably more self-paced for an entrepreneur but is it really? Both paths are self-paced, although this might depend on the industry.  If you still think say I dey whine you, let’s look at some other factors that apply to both paths:

Time: I always imagined that when I am an entrepreneur laidis, I am the alpha and omega of my time. When I was in a 9-5, I would show up every day obviously, from 9 am, then at 5pm laidis, I carry bag and go. Then Saturdays and Sundays are off, although sometimes, I might have extra deadlines that will need my weekends to finish. Then I started entrepreneurship and will be working for clients until 9pm every day! 

With a career, your boss determines your time and in entrepreneurship, your client determines your time, or better put your product and services determine your free time. If you think say na joke try own an internet service company and let your connectivity get damaged overnight you go hear weinnn!

Reward: I used to be one of those people that wanted to cash out with entrepreneurship but ehhn, I see weinnn! The rewards come in after you put in the work for years of course but you pay for the cost of space, staff, and all the bills in your head, whether you make the money or not. As a career person, I pre-determine my risk, I only make a certain amount regularly and as I grow, I become more marketable.

Bosses: Let’s not lie, everybody wants to be their own boss because they want to leave the annoying bosses. But have you people met annoying clients? I once did a job for a client who I was trying to do a free job for him at first. When it was time to pay, Oga say him he did not like the work. I did it again for free, he was impressed at first, then time to pay, he talk again say him no like the work. Na so the money take enter voicemail.

Leave: Of course, for career, your leave is regulated, depending on your office policy, even though sef, dey go still dey call you for one or two things during your leave and you can still do shakara and not answer. For entrepreneurs, if your customer calls you laidis during your vacation, you will drop everything and respond oh, no grumbling about being on vacation unless you are now at a level where you can delegate.

It all comes down to this – know what you want because all that matters is you.  Because whether entrepreneurship or career, people will still use you to build their dreams so learn, grow, and keep adding value that gives you the best rewards in your life’s journey so that sapa no go catch us *winks.

Bio: Rachel Ewere Ogunlana is a communications specialist with about 10 years of experience. She loves to share knowledge about work and life experiences to help young people make better decisions. When she is not working, she is writing or simply loving the air with a book in her hand. Follow her on Twitter @rachelogunlana

Rachel Ogunlana
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