Saturday, October 27, 2012

Employee vs. Entrepreneur

I have the privilege of being able to draw from public and private pools for income. My 9-5 is a lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario. During my free time, I operate a translation company.

The past week presented numerous challenges, which I overcame gracefully, but not without a fair amount of mental and physical hardship. I assisted a new record high of clients during a court assignment: 21. That is a lot of stories to process in an 8-hour shift! I also accepted a translation project in area outside my specializations (financial accounting) and ended up having to cancel on the client. Unfortunately, I may have lost that client for future projects.

Which brings me to my pro-con breakdown of being an employee and entrepreneur... 

1. Steady, predictable income.

2. No overhead expenses: all marketing, insurance, office supplies, membership, licensing fees etc. covered.

3. Recognition that comes with being part of an established name.
1. Unparalleled flexibility: I can work in my sweats and drink tea all day long.

2. Sense of ownership and fulfillment. 
1. Lack of flexibility: I have to be available for work at prescribed hours and must dress the part.

2. Heavy workload: I am responsible for meeting quotas and processing a high volume of clients.
1. Responsible for "rainmaking" i.e. finding and retaining clients, including following up on collection of unpaid accounts.

2. Responsible for all overhead expenses.

Both are great in their own ways yet present drawbacks. Luckily, I enjoy what I do, so the days pass quickly and I feel like my time and skills are used wisely. The learning curve has been tremendous and I'm gaining a deeper sense of what being professional really means.

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