Is Being an Entrepreneur Worth It? Pros and Cons Explored

They say the grass is always greener on the other side.

Some employees get jealous of entrepreneurs because it seems like we have our –ish together, have the luxury of time, and we can dictate our income and work hours!

On the flipside, biz owners also find that being an employee is a lot easier, because when you’re clocked out, you can set solid boundaries, easily switch off, and for some—the predictability feels safe and comfortable.

It all depends on your priorities and your life goals. I’ve met people who’d rather stick it out with a 9 to 5, and I’ve also met others who are dying to quit their jobs and jump into entrepreneurship.

I’ve seen the pros and cons of either career choice because I’ve worked at both.

I was a Senior Branch Manager at Gartner, Partner Marketing Manager at Microsoft, and a Senior Account Executive at Walton Isaacson, before I became a full time CMO entrepreneur at StandOut Authority.

instagram snapshot

A snapshot of my Instagram video from June 4th, 2021, the day I closed my computer and left corporate.

So, is entrepreneurship worth it and everything people make it out to be? Or is employment tons better? Let’s dive in 👇🏽

Financial Rewards: Which One’s Worth It?

Let’s face it: this is probably the number one consideration on your mind. Do you stick to a job with a paycheck that arrives like clockwork? Or do you risk the safety net, and dive into running a business that fluctuates when it comes to income?

As of July 2023, Glassdoor reports the average annual salary of positions in the marketing industry (I’ll use this example, since I’m in the marketing niche anyway):

coursera course
Sourced via Coursera – All salaries listed reflect the average base pay for US roles according to Glassdoor as of July 2023.)

The average monthly income ranges between $4K-$7K/month (that’s before taxes 😉). If you’re looking at living comfortably with your family and depending on which state in the U.S., you’re in, entrepreneurship may be worth considering.

In contrast to what a business owner could be earning in a month, Zip Recruiter reports an average annual salary of an entrepreneur at $109,537/year, which sums up to $9K/month.

My personal take: It really boils down to how much you’re willing to risk, and how hard (and smart!) you’re willing to WERK it.

If you desire to make $150K+ as an employee, then you’ll need to be in upper management rising to C-suite. That may be totally possible at the company you’re at…or it may not be. The beauty of being a biz owner is that your earning potential is never capped, and you’re not limited to just running one business.

Harmony or Hustle: What Does Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs Look Like?

A big theme for me with entrepreneurship vs employment is the balance you can (or can’t create). I can’t just tap out like you can do as an employee. When it’s your business, it starts and ends with you, which is why the lines between my personal and professional life are a blur. And to be honest, I love that now! I honestly, hate the ‘work/life’ balance conversation because to me it’s all about INTEGRATION.

I gave birth to baby Ava 4 months ago, and I created my maternity leave. That wasn’t something given to me by anyone else other than me (and Josh). I literally had to zip through TONS of work before I went on maternity leave, and even had to end it early due to some big changes I had to address in the business.

B. Lee Family Photo

Rachel with her husband, Joshua B. Lee and baby Ava.

Would I have liked having a bit longer in my maternity leave (like 5 months that Microsoft gives 🤯?! Yes of course! If I had given birth back then, I could have totally clocked out of work. But I’m a biz owner + full-time mom. So, a ladyboss has to do what a ladyboss has to do!

That said, I have no regrets. It may be a challenge to hit that sweet spot with work and motherhood, but I get to create my schedule. Now, I make sure my calls are between 10am-3pm so that I have time for Ava in the mornings and afternoons. That’s just not possible as a full-time employee!

Being a mompreneur also means asking for lots of support. I have an entire village of SUPPORT who helps me every day, including my love and business partner, Joshua B. Lee. I also joined CEO Mama founded by Natalie Elizabeth Ellis, founder of bossbabe, so I could be supported by a community of like-minded women. I don’t know if I’d be able to fully commit to my family and work while still working in corporate.

Your Reputation (Personal Brand) = Always on the Line

When it comes to entrepreneurship, your reputation and personal brand IS your business—so there’s HUGE pressure and responsibility to stay on top of your game. While job seekers rely on your resume and employee recommendations, your reputation as an entrepreneur is how you make money and pay for the bills.

Look at Emma Watson, aka Hermione from Harry Potter. While she’s taken a break from acting, she co-founded a gin brand, Renais Spirits, with her brother Alex, and seems to be doing well, thanks to her stellar reputation. I mean, honestly—have you read a single NEGATIVE review about her? I tried to find one.

Emma Watson & Ye

Emma Watson and Ye

On the flipside, here’s a perfect example of what could happen when your reputation takes a nosedive.

The Adidas-Ye debacle is a prime example of how your rep is always on the line! Ye’s partnership with adidas was a game-changer, skyrocketing his Yeezys to global fame and making him a certified billionaire. But when Ye started spouting antisemitic nonsense, Adidas had to drop him like a hot potato.

Why? Because their values of diversity and inclusion are non-negotiable.    This move by Adidas shows that they’re serious about integrity and won’t tolerate hate speech. Neither do I as a Jewish woman. And guess what? It’s affecting their bottom line. Reputation is not just about personal success—it impacts the organizations we align ourselves with.

Your reputation is your personal brand. It’s what people think of you when your name is mentioned. Uphold it with respect, fairness, and a whole lotta kindness. Stay true to your values, and you’ll build a reputation (personal brand) that stands the test of time.

If you think you’re made to run a business, go for it! While it might seem scary to go big and make sure your reputation remains squeaky clean, the fulfillment that comes with seeing what you create—and knowing it came from you- is priceless.

Your Purpose and Passion Will Fuel Your Success

While there ARE many perks of being an employee, I’d choose the entrepreneur life every single day. I’m able to share my authentic voice and serve the world in a way that makes me feel purposeful and impactful.

Whether you decide to stay employed or go out on your own, what matters is that you find purpose and fulfillment in whatever you’re doing. That you’re able to be YOU 100% of the time and craft a life that you love.

Rachel B. Lee & new daughter, Ava

Life looks different now, but it sure beats being in an office reporting to someone.

And for those of you ladybosses reading this, did you know that women represented 47% of startups in the U.S? (Source Gusto)

Get ready for this, McKinsey Global Institute reported that experts are predicting that between 40 to 160 million women in the workplace may need to change their occupation by 2030. 🤔

So you’ve been thinking about writing the next chapter in your book of life, and entrepreneurship has been on your mind, maybe your time is coming! And I’m here for you… shoot me a DM or leave a comment with what’s happening on your career switch.

What do you think? What would be your pros and cons, and does entrepreneur life work for you or 9-5?

Did you know I have a LinkedIn LIVE Event every month? I interview incredible leaders who give valuable wisdom and share stories that make you feel like you’re having a one-on-one conversation.

I had a dynamic conversation with the globally renowned legal expert, Robert Hanna.

In this LIVE session, we dug into crucial topics:

💜 Strategies for building a standout personal brand

💜 The art of networking and building connections

💜 Navigating the legal landscape in a rapidly evolving world

Check it out here!

Live Event with Robert Hanna

My latest LIVE EVENT with Guest, Robert Hanna