The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Recovering Entrepreneurs

My teammate Garrett Dimon shared some thoughts earlier this year on employment vs. self-employment. One part stuck out for me:

Being self-employed is great. And it’s not so great. Like anything, there are tradeoffs. For you, the tradeoffs may be worth it. Or, they might not. Or, they may not be the right tradeoffs at this point in your life. Just don’t put self-employment on a pedestal. There are plenty of other options that are darn near self-employment without the burdens.

There has been so much hustle and propaganda about “doing what you love” and life hacks and indiepreneurship in recent years that “having a job” has gotten a bad rep. But Garrett shares how his run as an entrepreneur needed to end (at least for a while). As someone who went through the same experience, I understand where he’s coming from.

Yes, I enjoyed a lot of flexibility when I ran my own company (as I do now at Wildbit). Yes, it’s nice being able to make decisions and have impact on the bottom line (which I do now in my customer facing role). And yes, it was nice to earn a great income (that has not changed either). And when I compare running my own business to my previous employment at a 10,000 healthcare company, the contract is striking.

But that does not mean employment is bad. It really does depend on where you work.

You know what else came from running my own business? Anxiety.

The pressure of knowing that your every decision directly impacted the needs of your family wears on you. That kind of pressure is not for everyone. Self-employment sounds really great when you're focused on the negatives of a job that you're not satisfied with, but working for your self will have that as well.

Don’t get me wrong — those were some great years for me. But I also experienced my first taste of anxiety and how it can impact every area of your life. By the time an offer to buy our business came around, I was ready for something else. And I have been blessed to work for some amazing companies since then, enjoying many of the same benefits that self-employment made possible.

And none of my stops has been better than where I am now. This comment from one of our co-founders says it all.

Garrett and I talked about this a bunch. I’m really proud @Wildbit has given several entrepreneurs a safe and fulfilling home.

That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

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