Okay you may not exactly start at 9am and finish at 5pm, you may start at 8 and finish at 6 or get out at 5am and come home at 10pm (the typical Lagos life), but you get what I mean - a regular job working Mondays to Fridays or working shifts including nights or weekends. Basically, I want to tell you why you need to be an employee.
The rave is on entrepreneurship. "Be your own boss". "Follow your passion". Good thing is you don't have to answer to anyone. You can get up when you want and snooze the alarm at your own will or don't even have an alarm at all. While there is nothing wrong with starting a business immediately after school, there is also nothing wrong with getting a "9 to 5" as it is called. Here is why.
1. You need discipline.
C'mon who doesn't love sleep and movies and food and play but hey, the world is sustained because people are working. Some people made the bed you sleep on, someone's work was to make the movies you are entertained by. Someone made that food and another designed that game. You have to contribute your quota. Except you are really self-driven, you need a boss to whom you are accountable and deadlines to get work done in a timely manner.
2. You need the money
Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Many people had a job they left to "follow their dreams". It turns out dreams don't pay well if at all initially. Except you can live off someone else during the sowing season of that dream, you need the job that gets you by.
3. You need experience
You see young people running off to start a business without any experience of the corporate world or how to get customers or how the market works. Then they make mistakes, the business folds, they learn from one or two or three failed attempts before they make it big. Some failures would have been avoided if only they learnt from working under someone else. A regular job saves you from that risk. Moreover, you prove you know what you are talking about by your records. How do you gain customers when you have no experience to show?
Click here to read my personal story or too lazy to click? Just continue reading.
I hated Medicine. I wanted to follow my creative passion. I wanted to write songs, record songs, blog, dance, draw, anything but hold the stethoscope. I'd rather be making people laugh than making them well. I'd rather be in the midst of happiness than devouring people's aches and sadness. And I did. I explored all those. I took a break from Medicine after my national youth service year in Nigeria. But I was broke and frustrated. So I took up a job as a doctor.
Talking about bills. How are you to pursue your dreams when you have debt looming over your head? How can you be creative when you are on an involuntary fast? Even though I hated Medicine, I needed my job to at least afford me a roof over my head, at least two meals a day and transport fare to all the entertainment events I attended in Lagos in pursuit of my dream. From my medical career, I could pay to record 4 songs (and studio sessions aren't cheap).
My attitude towards work changed when I came to the UK for a Masters degree. Then I had to survive, passion didn't cut it. I needed to be willing to take any job. Anything to pay my bills. So I got a job as a catering assistant at the university serving students, doing dishes. We did 2 to 4 hr shifts a day, about 5 days a week. It was there I learnt that a business succeeds by discipline. Work gets done whether people feel like it or not because there are customers to satisfy. Success happens when you are able to meet your clients' demands always and in time. Without that discipline, you have no clients.
I love to write. But if I didn't feel like writing, I wouldn't write. If I didn't feel inspired, I'd sit back and so my passion never really grew because of lack of discipline. I am still struggling to apply this discipline to my writing passion. Many times I have failed to meet up with scheduled blogs because I am my own boss in this regard. This is why I ain't earning millions from it yet. Those that turned their passion to successful businesses applied discipline. They weren't just having fun doing what they love to do. They got up when they did not want to get up because they had to meet demands. If you know you are lazy or let's say a little laid back, please take up a regular job.
Thanks to the many experiences I've had working 9-to-5, whether as a catering assistant or a doctor, I have got valuable insights that can be transferred to my creative endeavours. There are many valuable transferable skills you can pick up from other jobs to apply to your business. You don't want to miss out on those.
Now nothing written here is cast in stone. There are some that never had to work for anyone, started a business and are successful, but this is not the case for the majority. This two-part article is to get you to consider the pros to putting in your application while honing your skills in that dream of yours. The aim is to give your dream a chance. Dreams get frustrated when reality hits hard. Passion is not enough.
Radiant ~ March 2019
PS: you can still find a job that affords you enough time to hone those skills.
Do you agree? Do you disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts below.