In our modern society, there is a common theme of discussion that arises again and again: the choice between working as an employee or working as a freelancer or entrepreneur. It is a choice that all of us, both young and old, have to make multiple times during our lifetime.
The question is not whether we like to work alone or with other people. It is neither whether we like to have comfort or freedom, nor which choice is better overall. We will always work both alone and together. We will never be comfortable by being limited and we will never be free by avoiding collaboration. Such distinctions are useful, but they cannot represent a final resolution. Most often, if not always, we need to experience and alternate between these options in order to discover what is better suited for us.
We need to look at this problem with the intention of understanding it, instead of eliminating it. First, we need to realize our confusion and lack of direction. We can see that, whichever resolution we come to, it will be suitable for ourselves, but rarely for others. If we want to understand this problem, we need to differentiate the many aspects of it: the work we want to do, the people we want to work with, the vision and purpose we hold, the personality we have, the life conditions we face, the environment we live in, the opportunities we have, and so on. After we differentiate and compare all these facets, we can start looking at the synergies they create. Most often, it’s not a single factor that determines our decision, but the way they come together to enrich our lives. Our resolution will not be an easy one nor a permanent one. We should not expect to make the perfect choice, but rather to explore, learn and grow.
Can we look deeper into the cause of our uncertainty? If our goal is just to survive, does it matter which choice we make? If it doesn’t matter, then it’s not what drives our decision. Is our goal to be comfortable? If it is, then we might remain unsatisfied, since none of the options will secure our comfort on the long term. Is our goal to enjoy our life? Then we can select the most pleasurable parts and focus on experiencing them fully. Is your goal to fulfill a certain vision or purpose? Then we can choose whichever path brings us there.
The debate between employee and entrepreneur is not really about what is better for us, but rather about what brings us more energy to overcome whatever obstacles we have to face. This is true not only in regards to work, but to all aspects of our life. Between option A and option B, whichever A and B are, we should always choose our life story first.
The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.
— Stephen Covey