Guy I Had Coffee With Yesterday (GIHCWY): What about the risk? I’d like to do it some day too, but lots of new businesses fail, so it’s not like it’s a sure thing.
Me: Lots of people with jobs fail too. You can get fired, or laid off, or your entire company can go out of business. So I agree there’s risk in going solo, but you’ve got risk anyway when you have a job. It’s just not as obvious.
GIHCWY: So what’s the advantage?
Me: Two things. One is that as a solo, the risk is viewable and understandable. I know how many clients I have, I know how much money I need, etc. I can see how I’m doing. When you work for a company, on the other hand, you’re not always privy to all of the discussions and information related to how well it’s doing, let alone who’s about to get laid off, fired, etc.
The second thing is that as a solo, you have much more control over the outcome. You can work harder or smarter or differently, as you figure out how to improve. In a company — especially a large one — there’s much less you can do. Personally, and particularly in a risky situation, I’d rather drive my own boat than count on someone else to do it for me.
GIHCWY: I think I’ll go get another cup of coffee.
Me: It sure beats waiting around for someone behind the counter to realize you’re thirsty.
(Okay, I made up that last bit of dialogue.)