I remember when I started out my career as a designer I never had the intention to follow the path of an entrepreneur.
Working for a big Company and making an impact for millions was my dream.
First I wanted to work for Apple when smartphones were on the rise in 2008. Then Samsung. Then Sony. Then Google…the list could go on.
Whenever a company became too successful, I wanted to work for its competitors.
I just love healthy competition and pushing the boundaries.
As young designers we all dream about changing the world and making an impact. This is what distinguishes us from artist. We just don’t want to make things beautiful. We want to solve bigger problems that creates greater social impact. That’s a designers DNA.
Today I don’t really care about working for a big name company anymore.
My mission hasn’t changed.
But what has changed is my mindset: I realized that I cannot make an impact by working for a big company.
Simply because big companies move too slow, have too many hierarchies and dependencies, too many approval processes and discussions that gets in the way.
It is just freaking annoying.
In order to make big changes in a big company, you probably need to stay for decades until you reach an executive level so you have any influence.
As a small designer? You only end up as a small cog wheel in a big machine. It is just not worth my time!
I never dreamed of owning my own business before.
And I know that many designers out there don’t care about becoming an entrepreneur. And that’s fine!
Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur and not everyone should become an entrepreneur.
But I believe that every designer who is dead serious about his craft should at least give it a consideration.
Here are my top 5 reasons why designers should become entrepreneurs and start minding their own businesses:
You can create impact much faster
As mentioned before, big companies have the incredible downside of speed. Which is natural. The bigger a company gets, the slower it moves because decisions needs to be carefully thought through in order not to hurt the business (The Innovators Dilemma).
As a small independent business owner you have more flexibility. You have an awesome idea that helps many people? Screw it just do it!
That is why startups are disrupting markets that move slow (Uber vs. Taxi, AirBnb vs. Housing).
You have the freedom to choose
If you work for Apple, you will make apple products. If you work for Samsung you will make Samsung products. And if you work for Google you will end up working on Google products.
You will end up working on products that have to stay in the limitations of the companies product vision and roadmap.
Big companies have great resources and working for a big company you can work on projects that might shape our future. But if you have a product idea that doesn’t go along with the vision of the company? Forget about it! You will unlikely redesign a grocery shopping experience when working at Apple.
As an entrepreneur, you can design and build any product you want. You can get into any market you want. Once you created a successful business you can move on to the next one. Freedom of creativity is your most powerful weapon.
You can create much better security for yourself and your family
A topic that many people misunderstand because it goes against their believe system. A job is not your safest option. Period!
We live in times where designers are much appreciated and companies are relying on us to transform their businesses. Never before in history had design such an impact on business.
You would think that you don’t need to worry about job security because there are plenty of jobs out there.
Unfortunately, the era where big companies take care of you until retirement are over and you need to start thinking about yourself first.
Our economy is moving in cycles and in bad times, it doesn’t matter if you’re a designer or not. Up and downs are natural in business. Lay offs are natural.
You never know when it’s gonna hit you. If you get laid off, your so called secure job will become your biggest problem because you lose a steady income stream.
Becoming an entrepreneur will allow you to build multiple income streams where you don’t have to exchange time for money anymore. YOU are in control of your future and not someone else in the management level who just look are you as a resource.
You can write your own price tag
Do you think it is possible to make a million a year as an employee? If you look at those who do what pattern do you see? Most of them are mid 50s probably almost retired and stressed out to death.
For the rest of us, a million a year is very unlikely. Even 200k is out of reach for many. As employee there is a limit of how much you can earn. Why?
Because you exchange time for money. And because there are only 24h a day, your time is limited to 168h a week or 672h a month.
The only way you can raise your income is by raising your hourly rate, aka getting promoted.
As entrepreneur you can write your own price tag. You can create as many assets as you want that generate more income than you ever can imagine and the sky is the limit.
Time is independent from money and the only thing that matters are the number of lives you change.
You can live life on your own terms
Making more money and more freedom will allow you to live the life on our own terms because you own 100% of your time.
No 9-5 every day. No boss who tells you what to do. You don’t need to ask for permission to take time off if you feel exhausted.
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you are lazy. You just learn how to use your time more wisely.
In fact, as an entrepreneur you will most likely work more hours than any other person working in a corporate job.
But you will have the freedom to choose. To choose if you want to work on a project or spend time with your family and see your kids grow.
You don’t need to ask anyone, you just do it. Freedom means flexibility and this is what matters.
The flexibility to choose yourself and live life to the fullest.Sounds good, right? What steps can you take to get started?
First, understand that entrepreneurship is not a job title. Something you can turn on and off.
It is a mindset. A mindset that you need to develop and that doesn’t require much of monetary investment from you. Also it doesn’t require to leave your job right away and jump into the blue.
Learn if the path of entrepreneurship is the right one for you first. A great way with low risk is to start a side hustle. I will create extensive guides about that topic in the future because I have done this myself already.
But for now here is a list of things you can get started with:Choose Yourself by James Altucher
A great book that teaches why YOU are YOUR most precious asset.
Born For This by Chris Guillebeau
This book contains methods and tools that helps you to find the work you supposed to do.The 100$ Dollar Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Another great classic that teaches how to build micro businesses. Very inspiring books with loads of stories about small business owners.
The Sidehustle School
You don’t need to quit your job. Start a side hustle. This Podcast will help you.The Side Hustle Show
Also a great podcast about people who got successful with side gigs.