One of the major reasons given by people who desire to open their own businesses is that they want to be free of working for a boss. It’s a bit naive to think that by trading corporate life for entrepreneurship you will avoid working for a boss. There is always someone monitoring your performance and work.
In the corporate world a boss is there to monitor your performance, organize and criticize your work, support and provide resources or strategy, and maintain work harmony between team members. Conflicts with the boss can be broadly divided into two major groups; personal conflicts and professional conflicts.
Personal conflicts are those related to situations driven by differences in personality, jealousies, sexual harassment, race or religious differences, and insecurities of the participants.
Professional conflicts are those directly related to the work and final work output; lack of skills or ability, ethical issues, theft, absenteeism, addictions, failure to do quality work, failure to do the work on time.
If your reasons for leaving the corporate world are heavily weighted toward a history of personal conflicts with the boss, what does that mean? Are you a problem? Is your personality one that provokes or seeks conflicts? If there is a pattern here? Some strong introspection is required before you break out and open your own business.
If professional conflicts are foremost on your list, be careful. These are signs that you and your work abilities may be at fault and not the boss.
If the history of problems with the boss can be summarized as strategic, control, or decision-making conflicts, then I think you may be correct in seeking to run your own show.
Entrepreneurs love to say they are free and work for themselves. In a sense they are correct, they are 100% responsible for their success or failure, and this is exhilarating and does make one feel free. But they are now “working” for the customer, the bank or lender, the employees, and their suppliers.
Sure these are different relationships from the traditional boss-employee structure we are familiar with, but still difficult to develop and maintain, as are all human and commerical relationships. Failure to maintain them will result in a loss of income or increased costs, and ultimately business collapse.
It’s not easy to work without a “structure” and a boss for the new entrepreneur. It’s not impossible, but does require a set of different individual skills, great motivation and organizational abilities. If you are invigorated by strategy, decision-making, and taking responsibility, entrepreneurship may be a good decision.