Skip to content

Is It Better to Be an Employee or Entrepreneur?

employee or entrepreneurThe percentage of freelancers and entrepreneurs in the workforce in 2016 was 34%. That number is expected to increase to at least half the workforce in a decade with 50% of millennials already active in the “gig economy”. But that begs a question of “Is it better to be an employee or entrepreneur?”.

Is It Better to Be an Employee or Entrepreneur?

This post has been written by our talented staff writer, Kimberly Studdard!

If you’ve been wondering whether it’s better to be an employee or entrepreneur, here are the pros and cons to both, and which one may be the better option for you.

Work the 9-to-5

What’s so wrong with having a 9-to-5 job (which typically means 8-6…) anyways? Being an employee has its benefits and it even offers benefits that you wouldn’t receive as a full-time entrepreneur. For example, working a 9-to-5 offers you the ability to clock out at a certain time, and not have to take work home with you (in some cases).

You also get benefits such as:

  • paid vacation,
  • sick days,
  • options like maternity leave and FMLA,
  • investing in a 401k,
  • getting health insurance through your company,
  • and being a part of a workforce where you get to socialize and interact with people.

Many people also love that they are able to grow in a company, and utilize their degrees if they specialized in a certain field in college (such as law, marketing, etc.). As an employee, your job takes on the responsibility of training you and building up your skills. It also offers you a way to “get your foot in the door”, build your network, and start off your career with a steady paycheck.

Related: 9 Reasons I Love Being Able to Make My Own Hours

However, there are a few cons to the traditional 9-to-5 job…

You will only have one type of income coming in, which means losing your job means you lose the steady paycheck. Even with an emergency fund, you may find yourself looking for a job more quickly so you can stay afloat. You also can’t just stop what you’re doing to go to an appointment or grocery shopping in the middle of the day. You will most likely have to call off from work or go during your lunch break.

This doesn’t mean everyone is unhappy while being an employee. In fact, 42% of workers are happy with their workplace, and there are many other benefits to companies when they foster happiness within their walls. When thinking about whether it’s better to be an employee or entrepreneur, happiness while working is typically a requirement for many people.

Be An Entrepreneur

Do you like going against the grain? Waking up when you feel like it? Working as much or as little as you want, as long as you get whatever you need to get done? You may just be better off as an entrepreneur.

Some common pros with becoming an entrepreneur include:

  • The flexibility of working, whether that be the time or place that you work.
  • With so many options to start a business or become an entrepreneur, you can also choose the work you are good at and can make you a decent amount of money.
  • You could also have multiple streams of income coming in at the same time, without having to worry about an extra time commitment task.
  • Research has also shown that many entrepreneurs are happier and healthier than those that are working the 9-to-5.

With anything, being an entrepreneur doesn’t come without its cons.

For example, many entrepreneurs have costs associated with business that an employee wouldn’t, like paying for insurance at a higher premium. They also don’t get the luxury of paid vacation or sick days. It’s also worth noting that you’d have to pay your own taxes (most likely every quarter), and pay for startup costs (like those post its and pens that a job would otherwise supply for you).

Some people don’t realize the cons when first going into business, and that can be a recipe for disaster. However, with a little planning, lots of hard work, and some money smarts, it’s possible to be a successful entrepreneur. Plus, becoming an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to boost the economy.

Related: Day Job or Full-Time Job (Derek was asking himself this question years ago!)

Should You Be An Employee or Entrepreneur?

So, should you be an employee or entrepreneur? The choice is up to you! In fact, you can even dabble in both if you want to expand your horizon and earn some more income. There is nothing wrong with being a part-time entrepreneur and getting your feet wet, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep a steady paycheck and health insurance benefits either!

The choice of whether to be an employee or entrepreneur is going to look different for everyone, but no matter what, I would suggest to always have the opportunity to earn money from multiple streams, follow your passions, and not be afraid to take leaps into the unknown.

What about you? Which do your prefer?? Employee or entrepreneur?

Battle of the Mind


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. It does really depend on what you are after. If you don’t want ultimate responsibility or need a steady paycheck and a structured environment in order to get things done, then you probably should be an employee. But if you are creative, ambitious, independently hard working and willing to take some risk, being self-employed can provide more emotional satisfaction. Ultimately, if you are successful, it can also provide more financial rewards, as well as flexibility.

    • I always find myself riding the fence. Some days I really wish I worked for myself, other days I’m super happy with my corporate work and the amazing benefits.

      For now, I’m just keeping the full-time job and the side gig, and investing heavily into real estate. After about 5 rental properties that cash flow a total of $50k a year, I could decide to bag the full-time job and try to turn my side-gig into a full-time income without the major risk. Sounds like a good option to me right now!

  2. Running a startup means you’re always working. I learned that immediately when I made the jump to entrepreneurship. However, the long hours feel different when the business is yours.

  3. I suppose a lot of it has to do with how much you let work define you — for me, that’s the biggest difference between entrepreneur and employee. Obviously, you should be about a lot more than what you do to make a living, but it certainly plays a role.

    • Do you think employees or entrepreneurs are more susceptible to having work define them? Which is it better to be in this regard?

Comments are closed for this article!

Related posts