Employee Or Entrepreneur

Employee Or Entrepreneur
December 1, 2017 Gary Shotton

Unless you have a clear vision to own a business as an entrepreneur, you may consider helping someone else in their vision. By Gary Shotton #000163

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Employee Or Entrepreneur

By Gary Shotton

Today we’re going to talk about the difference between being an employee versus an entrepreneur.  I want to start this discussion by saying very clearly that one calling is not better than the other calling. The real issue is in finding who, what, and how you are to go through life when considering those two options. The employee position is mainly for the masses. There are quite a few employees.  However, there are a few people that need to step up to the place as an entrepreneur. This means to actually own the business or at least headed in that direction.

I’m of the opinion that you really don’t have a choice as much as you might think when it comes to choosing a path. I have seen people who wanted to own their own business and it was just horrible, absolutely horrible. They were frustrated day in and day out. It could cost them their marriage. It could cost them their family. It was just the wrong thing for them to do.

Yet, I know other people that feel stuck in a job. And they are equally frustrated. They can’t believe that time and life is going on, and on, and on. They want more challenges and more opportunities. It is not that you going to choose, in as much as you are going to discover your calling. Let’s say you had the chance to divide the world population into groups of people that are over six feet tall, and those that are shorter than six feet. My height is not really something I got to choose for myself.  I’m not quite six feet. I’m less than six feet and somebody else is over six feet tall. You are kind of stuck a little bit with what you got.  You have to learn to deal with it. In my case, I do not view this as being stuck with it. Discover what you are called to do and how you can reach to be the best of what you are called to be. This is going to be the objective.

I believe that God has a lot of to say in our lives in this regard. I’m not going to preach to you, but I think God has a plan for everyone on earth. The closer and quicker and more defined that we can find God’s calling on our life the better off we are, and the happier we’re going to be. You know, if you are in that category of an employee, here’s my suggestion: Find somebody that you can get passionate about – that somebody that has a vision. They are the entrepreneur. They are the owner. They are the leader. They have a cause.  They have a product. They have a place that I could just dig in and become very satisfied helping fulfill their vision.   Now hopefully that visionary is also fair and will honor you and pay you fairly. However, you’re going to be able to go home at night and you’re neither going to have to worry about a job necessarily – nor a paycheck because that kind of shifted to the owners responsibility.

Some people don’t want to handle this pressure. They don’t want that extra responsibility. I understand it’s not a case of better or worse. I would make sure that you understand, as an employee, most of the times you’re going to start out as an employee.  And you may spend a part of your career as an employee.  Maybe you will know you’re going to be an entrepreneur, that you’re going to be a business owner, and maybe you won’t even know it until you get a few years under your belt, and then you see hey you could do that. So sometimes it could be progressive. You see, as hard as I want to be a basketball player, I can’t jump. I can’t get off the ground. I can excuse it.   I can practice.  I can do anything I want to try to jump higher. I could use a springboard, but they don’t allow that in basketball. So I’m kind of relegated to what God has designed me to do.

Now let’s talk about the entrepreneur. That’s who I am. I know because as I was raised I saw my dad was an entrepreneur. I know that I have been.  And yet, to my knowledge none of my brothers and sisters has that same DNA that I have. It’s not that I’m better, it’s just that I’m different. I will say that part of the definition of an entrepreneur is that he or she is someone that has a vision and actually takes risk. You see, I’m a risk taker.  I’m a calculated risk taker. And, I hope to be able to cast vision for other people to join me, and be a part of my company and other things I do. But those are some of the characteristics that you’re going to need to be an entrepreneur. A lot of people say that they’re entrepreneurs just because they have a job. But a lot of business owners are just frankly contract-laborers. They never get to the point that they could leave their day-to-day work.

Say a bricklayer, I’m not I’m not knocking bricklayers, but if every day you have a business card, You’ve got a brick laying job but you have to lay brick that day, be on the job every day, then you’ve got a small company or you’re just a self-employed contractor. That’s fine, you have some freedom but I’m talking about the ability to have more freedom than that.

One of the things about an entrepreneur that I’ve seen is that you’ve got to be willing to go against the herd or against the flow. A lot of times people are headed down a path with the masses. They are going this direction and the person that thinks differently has a different vision, sees something different, and goes a different path or a different direction.

My dad actually told me several times when he was living – he said and demonstrated that he trained himself to kind of go opposite the flow of everyone else. He was referring to buying cattle.  The cycle of buying cattle, and feeding them in the feedlot, and feeding them out and being in the beef business was very cyclical. So if he was buying cattle when everybody else was he’s probably going to be on the wrong side of the profit realm. Because when everybody else has them fat and ready to sell, the price is going to be low.  So he actually forced himself to go, a lot of times, against the flow.

Let’s talk about my dad.  He did things that others thought was crazy. He was a farmer in Kansas, where there’s a lot of nice ground, a lot of better farm ground, a lot of moisture and he decided to move to the dust-bowl, where there was good dirt but not a lot of rain. He took a high risk in doing this and people thought he was crazy. But he went against the flow. He had a vision and he was not afraid to take a risk. He also took risk in the cattle business and a lot of people thought he was crazy when he did that, Because he was just a farmer. No, he decided to mix farming and the cattle business together.

I’m a bit in the same category, because I moved my family leaving a good paying job, in a big corporation, after working there almost nine and a half years to take on a starting, fledgling Moving & Storage business with a borrowed horse trailer. I had a vision for where this could go and I was willing to take a risk. In my current company, I was tooling along after I’d sold my first business, my trucking company.  I was out of business ownership for about six years, and then, at age 55, I take on a huge responsibility with a lot of debt, to purchase this business here.  I didn’t even let people call me crazy, because I didn’t let a lot of people know about it. It was a crazy thing to do, but I felt comfortable with it. I had that drive, that energy – I had a vision. I was willing to take the risk.

So I encourage you to not try to be something that you aren’t, but just find out more on that one question of whether you are happy to be a part of somebody else’s vision – and you can be extremely successful in doing that, and very profitable – or are you not going to be happy there, and are you going to want to be the visionary and be the one responsible.  There are a lot of pitfalls in being the visionary – a lot of pitfalls in being the owner. Don’t think it’s a walk in the park to accomplish ownership. It has a lot of challenges.  It’s very costly sometimes.

Well, I hope this is helpful to you!


1 Comment

  1. Jim Furr 5 years ago

    What Gary’s talk, “Employee or Entrepreneur,” says to me is that I’m going to find the greatest satisfaction in my vocation when my work is the best fit with who God made me to be. It’s clear, however, from Gary’s remarks that being an unhappy employee doesn’t necessarily make me an entrepreneur. My unhappiness may just be a signal that I’d be better suited to working as an employee in a different company, a different field, or maybe for a different boss. As Gary says, entrepreneurs are not just dissatisfied employees, entrepreneurs have such a compelling vision to provide a product or service that to achieve it they’re willing to take calculated risks and put up with all the sacrifices that come with being the owner.

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