We are in a day and age where it is not uncommon to hear of new entrepreneurs launching a business or employees leaving the stability or volatility of corporate infrastructure to do something new and different, but why?
Gone are the days where you spend your entire career in one job, at one company, in one industry. With each passing generation we are continuing to see passion and mission-driven individuals who are more concerned with a company’s mission than staying at a company just because it’s a good job. Employees are expecting to see action from their corporations, not just lip service to things that matter most to them. You can no longer just check the boxes for diversity, equity, inclusivity, belonging (DEIB), environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and other current issues. Employees are ensuring that there is tangible evidence that these things really matter and must emanate throughout the organization. Employees want to have work-life-family integration, flexible working hours, benefits that are meaningful to them in their life’s current chapter, not necessarily the future, a healthy culture, and flexibility in their working location. If they can’t find even a few of these things, they are quickly exiting in pursuit of their own entrepreneurial goals. Is starting a company that easy, though?
Advancements in technology, simplification of products and services such as legal, branding and marketing, website development and even product platforms have put the power of doing it yourself in the hands of the people. No longer do you have to hire expensive lawyers, full suite marketing firms including web designers, graphic artists, copy editors, or even product development teams, but now we are in the age of DIY and/or utilizing templates. Now the question is does the more accessible path of entrepreneurship mean it’s for everyone?
Welcome to your new generation of entrepreneurs.
It takes a special type of person to create a vision for something and then actually implement that vision. It’s not just anyone that says yes to exploring all the possibilities that are out there and turning the impossible into possible. It’s an individual that lives and breathes their confident assertiveness that says I’m not satisfied until I’ve done things with my fingerprints. It’s a person saying I want to be my own boss, define my own rules, follow them or not follow them, but I want to be free to do as I choose. I want the freedom to do something on my own terms, at my own pace, how I want, when I want. It’s innovating solutionists that challenge the status quo that says just because something was designed to function a certain way, that doesn’t mean that function is its full capability. These people dream big, bigger than the box; they embody square peg in round hole energy. They are constantly exercising their inquisitive muscles to challenge and make things faster, better, stronger.
COVID19 saw a huge wave of women in the workforce leaving to care for the family at home, and industries have not yet recovered. Many of these women embarked on their own entrepreneurial journey because it integrated with the new normal of home and family. As our country has been slowly rebounding to life as we once knew it, albeit different, many of these women are enjoying the new freedoms and successes that entrepreneurial life has brought them. There has been some progress made on equity in corporate America for women, but it may not be enough when you evaluate the pros and cons of returning to the corporate world where you will more than likely make less than your counterparts as opposed to having full autonomy and control of your income and future as an entrepreneur.
We have seen such an uptick in entrepreneurial activity these last few years between COVID19, the great resignation, and high number of layoffs in certain industries. I think the other thing that has been a big contributor is the important awareness and education around mental health. Mental health for so long carried a negative stigma, and previous generations rarely, if ever raised their hand about burnout, discrimination or hostile work environments. For this current workforce, they have been equipped with the right words and actionable steps to seek help or get someone to listen more so than before. If an employee does not feel heard, or their organization is not proactive in addressing issues, employees will seek employment elsewhere, be it at another company or through entrepreneurship instead of sticking it out in silence. The individual that has the confidence and tenacity to say entrepreneurship is the option for me is automatically influential because others see him/her and say yes to their new company or yes to their own endeavor. It’s becoming contagious, especially for those that are hitting barriers and glass ceilings.
That brings us back to why entrepreneurs quit their jobs to launch a business? There’s not just one answer to this complicated question, but we have touched on a lot of matters that carry a lot more weight for employees with the JOB than before.
Advancement in society means that access to entrepreneurship is much more attainable than it has been previously.