It's OK to NOT Be Your Own Boss

The other day I tweeted out a thread that got a lot of traction and responses so I thought I'd expand on those thoughts a little more here and share it with those of you who might not follow me on Twitta.

Dear Millennials,

It is OKAY to not be your own boss.

I wasn't self-aware enough to give a crap about any of this in college, but it seems like in the last five years there's been a big push for individualistic careers. To be "creators" and follow the entrepreneurial "dream".

I came out of college fully expecting to go the normal career route. Find a job with a boss working for a company I liked that was making money. Move up the ladder. Eventually retire. I quickly moved through a few stages of recognizing that route is not for me. I'm too hard headed and stubborn and aggressive for that.

Becoming more self-aware is what's made all the difference in my scenario.

I didn't spend nearly enough time in college getting to know myself. I was too busy and always on the go doing other stuff. Now that I've put an emphasis on knowing myself and leveraging that I'm much better off.

All millennials need to do this. Not everyone is made to be an entrepreneur. Your unique life experiences have made you a certain way and for a lot of you that looks like a corporate job. And that's amazing.

We need role players. 

In my tweets, I used the NBA as the perfect example of this. All anyone wants to talk about is Lebron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Duran, Russell Westbrook, etc. The guys who make triple doubles look easy and common.

But what we miss in these narratives is the fact that these guys are the minority in the entire league. They make up a small fraction of each team. These guys elevate the performance of their entire team, but they cannot score 100 points per game. They need the other four guys on the court to play their roles, score points, get rebounds, and assists.

Golden State needs Shaun Livingston's rebounds and mid-range jumper.

The Cavaliers desperately need Kyle Korver to drill 3-pointers at 44%.

The Celtics have to get 15+ points in the paint from Al Horford.

Without those things it makes it much harder for their teams to succeed and win. But it only works when these guys know their roles and excel in them.

All millennials want ownership and involvement in their careers. They want to know that the work they are doing matters to the bigger picture. They want to be involved in the larger vision at hand. Unfortunately, many of them aren't sure how to find that in their cubicles so they dream of being an entrepreneur or a creator. 

They're lured in by the glamour of the success stories of the normal person who started a YouTube channel and got a million subscribers in 9 months and now makes six figures. But what they don't see is that same person sleeping on their friends couch and eating ramen for 8 of those 9 months. What they don't see is the 99 other people who had the same idea to get out of their cubicle and failed.

We see the stories of startup companies like Uber and Dropbox and Snapchat where the founders made millions. What we don't see is the absolute garbage those founders waded through to get there. The loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more) before getting ANY cash flow and subsequent painful reports to investors. The loss of family and friendships because there was no time for anything except more work. 

And those are just the companies who got funding. That doesn't even include the thousands of other entrepreneurs who tried to start a company by bootstrapping and ended up underwater on multiple mortgages and lost their family in the process.

Entrepreneurship and being your own boss is not glamorous. It's hard. It's painful at it's best.

We don't all need to be our own boss. It's okay to be a role player in a bigger picture. You CAN and WILL make a difference still. Be an individual, sure, but play in to the bigger vision and do it with excellence.

Your life will be just as fulfilling (if not more so) than many entrepreneurs.

Not everyone is made to carry the burdens of entrepreneurship on their back.

I would implore you to know all the facts and, more importantly, know YOURSELF before you make the jump into entrepreneurship.

It will make all the difference.

Daniel KosmalaComment