Be an Entrepreneur and Employee at the Same Time—Are You Game?

November 15, 2013 2 mins read
Be an Entrepreneur and Employee at the Same Time—Are You Game?

Many of the candidates I run into at interviews work in sales or in the service industry—many are also prospective bosses trying to start their own businesses.

Sales and service workers are better equipped to understand the needs of clients, and are thus able to offer feasible ways of catering to them.

Most people make decent employees, but very few make good entrepreneurs or bosses. Pursuing entrepreneurial projects while working for someone else is even more difficult. What exactly is required for those looking to make the transition?

Your business mentality will have a big effect on your business projects. ‘Business mentality’ doesn’t just refer to your individual likes and judgment criteria concerning markets and products. To put it simply, the soul of business is profits. So-called market selections, products, projects and operating methods are just processes and tools—they should all work towards the ultimate goal of making profits. Most people want to earn money, but as a prospective boss, what is more important are the methods and strategies you will use to earn money. The core of this is business mentality.

In the early stages of entrepreneurship, every step in the process—including timing, costs, market surveys, product storage and shipping, client development, backdoor operations, paperwork and registration—depends on your personal relations and human capital. This is crucial for guaranteeing stability and success as your business takes its initial steps.

At most companies, only business or marketing staff have a good excuse to always be out and about instead of at their desk, and thus use the opportunity to work on their own entrepreneurial projects. Don’t underestimate the advantages of being able to be out and about during working hours—this can make the key difference when it comes to managing the details of your entrepreneurial projects, or your reaction time in response to the market.

Marketing or sales staff are more suited to pursuing their own entrepreneurial projects while working for someone else, though this is only one factor. Although there is a certain difference between prospective bosses and real bosses, the distance between prospective bosses and employees is even greater. Yet many people simplify this point—they think as long they can snatch opportunities as they come along they will be able to turn a profit.

There are definite obstacles and thresholds to overcome when starting your own business. Before starting, there are a few fundamental points to thoroughly consider. If you can’t work them out clearly in your mind before starting, the chances of success are that much smaller.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China