Which is better: a job or own a business?


Is having a job or owning a business the right choice for you?

Owning a business is an attractive option for many people as it can provide more wealth and freedom than being an employee.

There’s an old saying “you will never get rich working for someone else” and this is a strong motivation for some people. 

Others like “to be their own boss” and enjoy the autonomy that business ownership provides.

Some owner managers enjoy the creativity and the sense of achievement in shaping their business and life.

Employees often look at business owners with a degree of envy when they see some of the tangible benefits, such as a nice car or house.

However, owning a business can be risky and stressful. Behind the scenes, there is much hard work and often a 24 x 7 effort. It is also a fact that many new businesses do not survive for a variety of reasons.


A job is different to owning a business, not necessarily better or worse

A job does have advantages as it can provide consistent, stable income. It may have other benefits such as annual leave, parental leave, overtime pay, sick pay, etc.

Regular income can be valuable, and many employees build comfortable lives and accrue assets by saving and investing wisely. Obviously there is a huge range of job salaries with some employees being high earners.

No doubt, some business owner managers are financially worse off than some employees.

An employee generally has less responsibility than a business owner and they can change their employer relatively easily.


Which is better: a job or own a business?

To answer this question correctly, you need to understand what owning a business is really like. Whether you are thinking of buying a business or franchise or starting a business from scratch, there are fundamental things to grasp.

The Should I Own A Business podcast explains the reality of business ownership, as well as what it takes to be successful. 

It might surprise you to hear that our first 3 questions for you to answer have nothing to do with your business dream. 

The 3 Questions, however, are to do with YOU.


What do I really want?

As we plow through life, few of us ever take the time to ask that most fundamental of questions – “what do I really want? 

We seem to get caught up in life and get carried along by it.

Well, starting a business can be the same. You get caught up in it and carried along, sometimes to where you like and sometimes not.

If you are going to own a business, it is an excellent idea that it aligns with what you want out of life. Why do we make this connection between business and life? In smaller businesses, it is tough to separate you from your business. We think that it is essential to recognize this, as an owner, you will shape your business. 

You will commit a very significant amount of your time and life to your business, and therefore choosing something that fits in well with you makes sense.

This sounds almost too simple to say, but it’s a massive consideration. It’s not just about what your business idea is but also about how it fits into your life. Or, to be more precise, how your life will fit into it!

Owning a business is a significant commitment, and we explore this a lot more in an episode called “Understanding Your Motivation”. For now, focus on what makes you tick.


Stop doing and start thinking!

We all tend to take comfort in doing things! When we think of owning a business, our mind goes into overdrive about business names, domain names, and how great our idea is, etc. We seem to take comfort in “busyness,” and that’s how we get caught up in it.

But most people who are thinking of getting into business would be better off if they consciously stop doing and start thinking!

Owning a business is a huge commitment that can change your life forever. You might be giving up stable employment or risking your savings to start a business. So, you want this huge commitment to be a huge success. 


What does success look like to you?

The word success can mean vastly different things to different people.

You have to understand what success means to you. 

Many aspects influence your understanding of success in your life. 

Each of us seeks achievement, which again can be very subjective.

There is a free worksheet to help you decide what is important to you in episode 2 “You-360”  Show notes.


3 Key questions to answer before you start a business

If you are thinking about buying a business, buying a franchise or starting a business from scratch, answer these three questions:

  • What motivates you in life?
  • How do you define success in your life?
  • What achievements are you seeking?

Answering these questions will help you decide if owning a business is a good choice for you. The answers will also help you to evaluate business ideas and opportunities that come along. 

We have met business owners who wished they had understood “what they really wanted” out of life. They would have either chosen a different business to the one they have or done things a very different way. 

Some admit they would never have started their business if they had known what it entailed.

Try our free Business Readiness Test that has a lot of information about what it takes to be a successful business owner.

Brendan Barrow Co-Host

The Should I Own A Business Podcast