Drawing the line between salaried job and entrepreneurship

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There are basically two set of workforce in the labor market, the employee who receives salary on periodic basis and the entrepreneur or “self-employed” who employs and pay wages or salary. These sets of workforce are necessary in the economy, the economy will not survive in the absence of any of those.

In recent times there have been a cause to debate whether to be an entrepreneur or settle for a salary job as an employee. This debate to some extent has been marred with so many misconceptions. Some of the misguided argument against entrepreneurship are:

  1. It requires huge capital for start off
  2. It is usually motivated by unemployment
  3. Entrepreneurs lack the humility to work for others
  4. Entrepreneurship has to do with crafts and little fixes
  5. Entrepreneurship is simply setting up a small business
  6. It is filled with uncertainty and usually unstable

These are the points usually raised against entrepreneurship whenever there is an argument on the subjects. Fortunately entrepreneurship is much more than that. To buttress my point, calling Alike Dangote who is Africa’s richest man an entrepreneur is not out of order. What am saying is that most establishments and great companies has at its foundation entrepreneurs with great business IQ.

On the other hand, proponents of entrepreneurship has also had their misconception about salary employees. Some of the arguments often raised are:

  1. Being an employee is slavery
  2. Salary limits ones achievements in life
  3. They keep answering “yes sir” at work place
  4. They are not in charge of their time
  5. They can be sacked or dismissed at any time
  6. Salary earners hardly become billionaires

The underlining factor in most debate on these subjects is usually marred with pride, arrogance and inferiority complex with both sides using various points as defense mechanisms. A proper understanding of what roles each workforce plays in the economy will better position one in making a right decision where to belong.

As I earlier mentioned, both segments are crucial for the economy of any nation to survive, so arguing which is better has no place in influencing decisions of where to belong. Now let’s put this into perspective by looking up into some facts about both segments.


Employees play very key role towards the success of any organization, company or government. There is no government or company that can survive without civil servants or employees because of the key roles they perform. In summary the duties of an employee in any company, organization or government includes but not limited to the following:

  1. Employees implement organization’s goals and objective
  2. They are core in the day to day running of the organization
  3. Employees are responsible for the production of goods and services of any organization
  4. Employees market goods and services
  5. Employees represent their organization’s interest in various capacities
  6. Top management employees are also key policy makers
  7. Employees carries out the policies of an organization

The list can go on endlessly as the role of employees cuts across many responsibilities. Employees are like oil that lubricates the engine of a machine. Not just as the oil, they also form the various parts of the workforce machine. Regardless of the organization and the duties one perform, being an employee can be a fulfilling experience and can adequately meet ones goals and objective.

The entrepreneur is the originator of a business idea, it goes through the following stages:

  1. The ideation stage
  2. Planning stage
  3. Feasibility studies
  4. Budget
  5. Raising the capital
  6. Implementation
  7. Risk management
  8. Business continuity plans
  9. Periodic evaluation and score card

Being an entrepreneur demands that you factor these into consideration. Most businessmen fail after some few steps, but it takes more than just being a business man to beat the completion. Having gone pass through these stages stated above, the result is either a small and medium enterprise (SME), a corporation or a multi-national corporation.

The potentials of entrepreneurship are endless, it can go either direction depending on the scale of the principal. A lot of factors can determine how big or small a business can go. The economic environment has a lot to impact. There are challenges, just like any venture, entrepreneurship have its share of challenges. But with focus and clear vision, the results can be mouthwatering.

Whatever direction one chooses in life is dependent on personal goals, objectives and the will to actualize a plan. The truth is not everyone is cut for entrepreneurship or salary earning, each of these has their dignified place in our economy and they both can live a fulfilling lifestyle.

This articles is not about taking side with any of the aforementioned, but to try as much in my own words paint a picture of what it takes in any direction we chose. Whichever we chose, all that matters is the satisfaction that comes from the dignity of labor.

As we welcome a new financial year, I hope this piece will help in making the right decision.

About Haruna Magaji 2481 Articles
Haruna Magaji is a journalist, foreign policy expert and closet musician. He is a graduate of ABU Zaria and a member of the Nigerian union of journalists. JSA, as he is fondly called, resides in Suleja, Abuja. email him at - [email protected]
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