By Maureen Chitaha
There is a very famous saying: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I was having a conversation with some of my classmates. One of them was talking about how they didn’t want to work for someone for all their lives. This is a thought process often professed by so many. The grand dream of being your own boss being superior to employment.
I used to think the same a while back, until I saw executives of companies bringing in more money than small business owners.
My classmates were talking about how it doesn’t make sense to go ahead and do a masters right out of university because you need experience more. The same people with the so called skills and experience go back to school for the same masters that is assumable less important so they can get a promotion or a pay rise. I was challenging them, that if you cannot get a job should you just sit at home waiting for experience or go do the masters in anticipation for the best opportunity. People with skills may get opportunities but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for highly educated people. Looking at the limited job openings, can you really look someone in the eye and tell them to look for a job as opposed to doing a masters because skills matter most? If you can’t get the skills isn’t it smarter to acquire more education. That is how I see it.
One of them responded saying you had better take that money and do business with it rather than go and do a masters. I thought about what she said carefully and this was my response. Not everyone has a grand business plan in their youth. It takes different people different duration of time to settle on what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Not everyone has that urge to get out there and start his or her own business. Some people will feel better knowing they have a set income at the end of the month and that does not make them any less ambitious. The predictability of their income gives them peace of mind and allows them to make long term decisions despite the uncertainty that comes with being laid off. Not everyone can be a business owner having to think about the employees, clients as well as profit margins. Human beings crave different things. The end goal is stability.
Most small business struggle for years to survive and end up either being shut down, succeeding or being swallowed by the bigger fish in the market. There are business men who struggle to make ends meet while some employees start at a salary scale of 20K and within ten years are making over 500K a month. Knowing that they are not in absolute control of their employment, they make long term risk free investment plans.
There are managers whose net income is greater than the gross profit of many small businesses. They have investment portfolios that folks with their own business can only envy.
The end goal in life for everyone is to provide food, shelter and clothing for themselves and their families. The rest is a retirement plan and a bonus. What I am saying is that there is more than one way to succeed. As long as the end goal is met legally then it doesn’t matter which route you take.