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Is Business The Way To Go?

Beware! it's not as rosy as insta makes you believe

BY Agnes Amondi

Sep 28, 2021, 11:53 AM

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The rags to riches, or is it from grass to grace narratives of businesspeople on our television screens and YouTube channels might have made some folk think twice about employment and whether they should even be in it. 

That somebody only had a few coins to start with and within a few years, has made it to a top 40 under 40 rich lists, another never completed school but now commands a six-figure salary with some infinite zeros at the end, only has some of us questioning whether what we have been doing is in fact wise.

In the middle of all this hype, you trash employment and even threaten to walk away, some actually do walk away. You make a haste decision in a show of bravado and to massage your little ego. You’ve built castles in the air of how far you would have been had you not been breaking your back in that office job. Your eyes can only pop out with the calculations, mostly flawed, you are making - of the money you’ve supposedly lost, the car you should have been driving and the mansion you should be owning.
With all this, you feel you are ready for business. You swear never to clock in your time for anyone else. Self-employment is your new mantra. You mean and only mean business! Then you start and realise that you weren’t even given half the picture. 

BYOB - Be Your Own Boss?

Well, you are annoyingly loud about how you are your own boss. That you don’t have some paranoid manager questioning you for being a minute late, for not punctuating your sentences or turning in a report. Yeeeah! You only answer to yourself, right? 

Now you come to find out that a boss doesn’t really mean that woman in bespoke pants or skirt suit. The consumer you are serving in whatever business venture you dived into is essentially your boss. You come to the realisation that there is always going to be someone “above” you or let's make it nicer, someone to answer to. There’s no escape. And the letdown here is real. Where did the arrogance take you?

Do It Yourself? 

This is not the usual DIY you have come to know. The DIY we are referring to here is having to handle all business demands by yourself because you thought being a one-woman band would be a walk in the park. Now you know. You even remember how you had Joan from the tech team to call for when the button on your keyboard couldn’t press. All this gives you a totally different perspective of what business means. 

Now you see the parallels ever so clearly. You understand the importance of having a team. Joan wasn’t employed for nothing. All of those people, even that boss you hated, were ever so valuable. They smoothened the rough edges for you. You just couldn’t see it because you were consumed with negative self-talk. No longer business as usual, right?

9-5 Is A Rat Race?

So you have been told that working for XYZ is only beneficial to the big bosses. That they are taking advantage of you. You no longer have the weekends to yourself. You rarely go for vacations and can’t even catch a break and watch Maria. The company’s office has become your new home - except that the landlord isn’t nagging you for rent. That’s where people can always find you. You’ve been there long enough to see the walls peel, the door develop a creak and the roof leak. And you say no more.

Business is Open! Your door reads. And, what time did you wake up to turn the sign? 10:00 am? 11:00 am? Mid-day? We don’t think so. You probably pushed in your keys through the knob at 6:00 am. Aha! You thought you’d sleep your way to that six-figure cheque? And you more likely than not leave late in the evening. You clock in more hours than you ever did in your day job. Maybe the world is pulling jokes on you? 

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Have you heard that before? Notice how the narratives of these business people are framed. The struggles are never shared or if shared, it’s wrapped up in a sentence or two. The bulk of the story is about the rise and the rise. More like a feel-good story and at the end, you are left with a feeling of relatability. That could be you. In fact, you are actually made to feel that you have lost so much time and you need to, at that very moment, change course.

Please pause. Take a breather. Let that story sink in. Then examine your situation independently. Are you cut for business? Even if you are, can you really afford to leave your job? Do you have a fallback plan? Have you considered all options? What about the people around you? Have you put this conversation forward or you are just hoping that they’ll agree to this massive change? 

Truth is, you have responsibilities. They don’t take a pause because you made a haphazard decision. Those bills will still come through. So before you move to make such a life-changing decision, think. It’s always been said, be very careful what you wish for. The grass is not always greener on the other side.