Aunty, are you telling us tall stories about entrepreneurship?

Dear Aunty B,

My business is two-years-old and it’s been struggle-town all the way. What keeps me going are the great stories on SmartComapny and elsewhere about making it. And then I read this article and noticed the comments by one of your readers – johncoxon. 

This is what he wrote:

“Why would anyone want to work for themselves in today’s world? Only a very small percentage of the self-employed actually ‘make it’ – this being where they earn more than they would in regular employment and still have holidays and a superannuation fund. The very large majority barely make wages each year.

In today’s workplace there is no shortage of opportunities and options. No one has to remain doing the same thing over and over again. There are pathways among pathways of unimaginable riches. If you work for ‘the man’ then you get paid holidays, sick leave, benefits, superannuation, regular salary increases, regular hours. It’s a great package – a damn sight better than the majority of the self-employed will ever have, no matter what tall story they regale you with.

The key is to find yourself a good boss, one that will engage you in the decision-making process, that will help you develop and be the best you can be, that will bring out your creativity for their benefit as well as your own and for others. When you find that person start crafting your own job – the perfect job for you, where you are doing all the things you enjoy doing and then do it to the best of your ability.

In return you will get to sleep at night, spend time with your family, have a ‘non-working’ holiday (if you turn off your Blackberry), save for the things you want in life, give your kids a decent education, be healthier, suffer less stress and have access to a vast range of resources that you benefit from.

If you play Poker, then start your own business. If you do not, then create your own business inside your employer – at their expense.”

Aunty, who is right? Him or you?


Dear Luke,

Him? You even ask me why he is right?? Huh! I can spot his type from a mile away. He is a closet entrepreneur who will always be too scared to jump. Every night while he struggles with the desire to start his own business, he invents a list of rational reasons why not. He ticks them off on his fingers instead of counting sheep and falls asleep in his snug little bed feeling vindicated, secure and relieved. See how hard he argues the point? And what is he doing anyway reading SmartCompany? Why isn’t he reading “Happily Employed” or “Searching for the right boss”?

All I can say is thank god the nation is not made up of these people. If it were you would employ them? In fact, the happiest people I know run their own business. Take moi. I earn far more than when I was a wage slave. And it is beyond me why John says I would not get holidays, sick leave, benefits, superannuation, regular salary increases, regular hours, etc. There is nothing like giving yourself a pay rise, patting yourself on the back while sipping on your Moet!

As for health and stress: I am healthier than I have ever been and my children are doing very nicely thank you very much at their private school.

One last thing: we all love Poker! Cards anyone?

Good luck!
Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

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