5 Reasons Why Having a Job is Better Than Having a Business

February 17th, 2010

Table of contents for Get a Job or Start a Business

  1. 5 Reasons Why Having a Job is Better Than Having a Business
  2. 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Business

A lot of personal development gurus all agree on one thing: it’s better to own your own business than to have a job.


Are they on something?  I thought those guys all ran businesses.  You think they’d know better.

Telling people that it’s always better to have your own business than to have a job is BAD advice pure and simple.  That advice is condescending and insulting to those who find contentment in their jobs and irresponsible for those who do not have the means or the temperament to run a business.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of these so-called personal development “gurus” making people feel bad and playing into their people’s insecurities about money.  They give a big spiel about how bad it is “working for the man” and how you have to achieve “freedom” (of course, they usually have a course on how to achieve the aforementioned freedom).  And in doing so, they give people a romantic notion of having a business that does not square with reality.

Running your own business is not for everyone. Some people have the temperament to do it.

If you can do it, it can be a wonderful experience. But unlike those other gurus, I want you to go into it with both eyes open, not with rose-colored glasses on.

So, today I will 5 reasons why it’s better to have a job than running own your own business.  Tomorrow, I’ll give you reasons why you should start your own business.  Then, you can make your own decision if running a business is right for you—with eyes WIDE open.

Disclaimer: When talking about having your own business, I am referring to a real business—not the fake get-rich-quick businesses.  Also, I do not consider Amway or any MLM to be a business.

1. A job is more secure

Security is the #1 reason people have jobs.  Now, some personal development gurus will tell you there is no job security.  And in this economy (as of this writing at least), it sounds like the right advice.  I mean, you could get laid off at any time.  But does that mean starting a business is that much more secure?

Sorry to be a party-pooper, but most new businesses go under within 2 years.   Most people keep their jobs longer than 2 years.

In a direct comparison, a job provides WAY more security.  Lose your job and you can find another one.  Lose your business and you could lose your house (more on that later).

2. Jobs provide a steady income

If you cannot handle the income swings of having a business, then a job is way better.  I ran a business for 6 years and the income was never steady. Some clients think payment is optional.  Or they pay late.  Or you have to sue them to get paid.   Can you handle having NO income for months and then get a large lump sum?

If you are someone who does not have the temperament to handle financial insecurity, then having a job is right for you.

A big knock on earning income is people saying you’re a wage slave.  I’ve seen this at a lot of personal development groups and forums (and pro-Amway web sites).  And the funny thing about this is that using the term wage slave to talk about people who earn income through labor goes back a long way—all the way back to slave-owning societies.

In the slave-owning South before the American Civil War., Southerners used to argue the whole “wage slave argument” for keeping the institution of slavery “Heck, our slaves are better off than dem wage slaves up North.  It’s the same darn thing.”

But what did REAL slaves think about getting a job?  Fredrick Douglass (real slave, found in most history books) was elated at taking a job that paid him a wage for his labors.

And as someone who’s had employees before, let me just say that I wish I could have done without them. I depended on them as much as they depended on me. I wish I had known they were my “slaves” back then

3.Work Less Hours

Yep.  I bet those personal development gurus never told you that you’ll work less hours at a job than with your own business, did they?  Nope.  They tell you how they work a few hours a week and rake in the cash.

“I just sit back and watch the money flow in.”

But brothers and sisters, here’s the honest poop: if you have a business, you work ALL the time.  You are on call 24 hours a day when you run a business.  Yeah, you may set your own hours, as long as you set them to 24 hours a day.

Your boss call you at home a lot?  Well, your clients have NO PROBLEM calling you at home. And honestly, in the beginning, you cannot afford to have them NOT call you at home.

A joke all business owners like to tell is: you’ll work 80 hours a week just for the privilege of not working 40 hours for someone else.  But it’s not a joke… it’s true.

4. Fewer Headaches

You think it’s bad working for one boss?  Imagine that you have 20 bosses.  Try 100.  Try 1,000.  Well, your clients are your bosses and they tell you exactly what to do.  Sure you can choose whom you can work with, but really, how many clients do you think you will turn down when they pay?  Be your own boss? Baloney.

The self-help “employment is bad” gurus tell you that you can just choose different clients.  It’s true.  Once you’ve established your business, you can work with better clients.  But it takes time.  And wit hthe aforementioned cash flow problem, you may not have much choice.

The world doesn’t always work like that.  And we all know it.

Let me hammer this in your head: you always work for someone—whether it’s clients, customers or the government—you DO work for someone.  And then there is this worst boss ever you’ll ever have to deal with —YOU, Yourself!!!

5. You Can’t Lose Your House When You Lose Your Job

Some personal development gurus tell you having a job is sooo risky.

What the hell are they smoking!

Let’s see, how do you get money to start that business?  Either you take it from your savings or borrow it.

So, if your business goes under (most do), you wither lose your savings or default on a big loan.

You ever lose your life savings by losing a job?

You take a much bigger financial risk when you start a business than having a job.

Anyone who tells you any different is trying to sell you a get-rich-quick product.


Now, let me sum this up in plain English.  That whole spiel about “working for the man” and making the owner rich doesn’t mean squat.  All that does is make you feel bad about yourself and plays into your insecurities. You should choose to do what YOU want to do as it relates to YOUR goals.  Why should you resent the fact that others are benefitting from your efforts?  Is it such a bad thing that you are helping others achieve their goals?  If so, that’s not personal development…it’s just sour grapes.


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