Most of the testimonials I read about the advantages of starting your own business talk about the beauty of “working for yourself”: the freedom to set your own schedule, the financial benefits, and the personal satisfaction. This sounds great to anyone who sits in a corporate cubicle for 8-plus hours per day, but it is not quite a complete picture of entrepreneurial life.
No matter what you do for a living, whether it’s working in a giant corporation or a one-person freelance business, we all have an obligation to someone: the person paying us for our goods or services. If you worked for yourself, you would pay yourself, but if you could do that you wouldn’t have to work at all.
If I asked the president (and co-founder) of the company I work for if he “worked for himself”, he’d probably laugh. Most of his job consists of solving problems for and making deals with our company’s customers, vendors, and even our employees. This is his more-than-full-time job. It’s his responsibility to make sure the complicated net of relationships that drive the business forward are in good condition.
If you have the drive to “work for yourself”, you should ask yourself why. If it’s because you have a hard time getting along with people, you should really work on improving your social skills before you make any big decisions. Working for yourself is a full-time job making other people happy.