It’s great to be your own boss, but don’t need to rush the process
“If you can’t buy the building, at least stock the shelf (word)
Then keep on stacking ’til you stocking for yourself, uh” — Jay-Z, “Entrepreneur”
Talk to me, maaaan! We back at it with another installment of your soon-to-be-favorite Medium column, “What Would Hov Do?,” where I guide you through the pitfalls of life with the help of Jay-Z’s discography. The feedback has been love. I’m throwing up the Roc sign as we speak.
Another week, another question. Our anonymous reader asks:
“I resigned from my job in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic because I wasn’t feeling it. Now what do I do — look for another job or start my own business?”
This is a really good and fair question. The pandemic has forced many of us to re-evaluate the systems that we’ve adopted as normative, right? Before the whole globe shut down, getting your boss to approve remote work (if you’re even in a privileged enough space and industry to do so) was like battling them dragon-vampire-dogs on Lovecraft Country. We’re all looking at how we can be less reliant on the corporate machine to provide for ourselves and our families, including our rescue dogs. But with that, some of us have opted not to wait for that deluxe apartment in the sky from a brand, a company, or a pyramid scheme. We are venturing out on our own.
Hov knows all about this. But what’s interesting is on the Pharrell-produced “Entrepreneur,” the man who once told us boldly, “I am not a businessman, I’m a business, man” tells us that it’s okay to work for the man while working to become the man (or woman, or just becoming). I bring up the example of The Infatuation a lot, the restaurant recommendation and messaging site started by two former music execs. They worked on the platform while holding down their jobs. They didn’t leave their 9 to 5 until they felt comfortable enough financially to leap into being full-time entrepreneurs leading the company, which recently bought out Zagat and is now estimated at $33.3M in funding.
All that to say — you don’t need to make your major decision now. You can actually do both, homie. Seek another job, and maybe find one that allows you to somehow leverage whatever work you will eventually put into your own company. It’s a lot more work, but I will always advocate for getting grounded enough so that your company has a solid foundation to build. Who’s to say your next gig won’t connect you with the folks who will be able to help your company in some way? You can still work for someone else while working on and for yourself. And then, when it’s time to dip, you chuck the deuces in a way that is more viable and healthy for you.
Bet on yourself, but don’t gamble it all to reap the fruits of your labor — Hov’s orders.