last updated 07/05/2022

Can entrepreneurs work for others?

Are you an entrepreneur wondering if you should take a job? If you will be able to keep it? Yes you can, but you shouldn’t always.

Let’s dig a little deeper

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An entrepreneur that has a boss? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

A lot of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs turn to entrepreneurship specifically because they hate the idea of answering to a boss.

So being an entrepreneur that works for other people seems just a tiny bit strange. The thing is, that it’s not as crazy as it seems and in some cases it can actually be the best choice of action for an entrepreneur.

To quickly answer the main question of this article, entrepreneurs can work for other people. Sometimes an entrepreneur needs to swallow their pride and take a job for someone else or collaborate with other people on a project they can’t handle by themselves.

The rest of this article breaks down and explains the topic in-depth to help you understand why it can be a good idea for entrepreneurs to work for others and why it’s sometimes a terrible idea.

Can an entrepreneur have a 9-5 job?

Yes, an entrepreneur can take on a normal, 9-5 job. In fact, a lot of people recommend that you start your business while you’re working a normal job.

There are many benefits to working a 9-5 job while you’re growing a business… but there are a few downsides as well.

Starting a business on the side is one of best ways to minimise your risks when you’re just starting out building your business.

By having a 9-5 job, you ensure that you have stable income to keep yourself afloat when your business is going through a rough patch. Having that stable income coming in every month will keep the stress away since you’ve got a way to pay your bills on time.

Another benefit of having a 9-5 job while building your business is that you can use your 9-5 income to build your business.

You can use your paycheck to grow your business faster and also avoid having to take out business loans. Once again, this minimizes the risk you take when building your business while also speeding up the business building process.

There’s another less thought of benefit that’s enjoyed by entrepreneurs that choose a 9-5 job. The experience you gain from working at your regular job can transfer directly over into your business.

The most obvious example is that if you’re a car salesman, the salesmanship skills you gain while you were working at a car dealership will directly transfer over to and benefit your business.

This benefit is really noticeable and potent if you’re working at a job that has a lot of overlap with your business.

All that said, there are downsides to having a 9-5 job as an entrepreneur. You won’t be able to completely commit yourself and focus on your business if you’re also working at a regular job. Your business will probably grow slower since you have to split your time between it and your 9-5 job.

Another downside is that you will get tired working a 9-5 job while building a business.

There’s a very high chance that you’ll suffer from burn out from all the effort that you’ll be doing at both your job and business. It’s also bad for your health to be working so much.

Overworked people have been shown to be more susceptible to sickness and that’s a problem you don’t want to be facing right now.

Also, if you’re an entrepreneur who turned to entrepreneurship because you hate having a boss… a regular 9-5 job is a regular 9-5 job.

You’re going to have to learn to deal with having to answer to bosses who are higher in the workplace hierarchy than you whether you like it or not. That’s going to be highly unpleasant.

Starting a side-business while working a 9-5 job is a great way to start off as an entrepreneur but you have to be extremely disciplined and have incredible time management skills.

Can an entrepreneur work freelance?

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Yes, an entrepreneur can freelance. In fact, this is a great way for entrepreneurs who are just starting out to have stable cash flow and keep sane when their business is doing badly.

Make no mistake, every business has stretches of time where the money just doesn’t want to come in.

Doing freelance gigs while building your business is a great compromise if you really don’t want a regular job.

If you do freelance gigs, you have much more control over your time compared to a regular 9-5.

You have a more flexible schedule which means you get to spend time on your business whenever it’s best to be working on your business.

Another advantage of working freelance is that you get to choose what you do and don’t do.

If you were working at a regular job, you’d have no say in what you’re given and need to get finished. Working freelance means that you get to turn down work you don’t want to do and you get to fire clients that you don’t like.

The other advantage of being a freelancer while building your business is that you can network effectively and efficiently. If you’re doing jobs for a client and they enjoy working with you, you can use the opportunity to network with them. If they have skills that can help you grow your business, that’s great and you should collaborate with them. If not, then they’re always a potential repeat customer for your freelance jobs or a potential new customer for your business.

The main downside of working freelance while building your business is that you still need to split your focus between your freelance work and your business.

Time you spend as a freelancer is time that you could be using to grow your business. You still need to have some decent time management skills and discipline if you choose to go down this route as an entrepreneur.

The other downside is that working freelance has less stable pay compared to working at a normal job. The big advantage of working at a 9-5 job is that you get a set paycheck every month.

When you are a freelancer, you get paid for the jobs you can find and complete. That can fluctuate heavily every month.

Working freelance for clients while you build your business is a great way to bring in extra income while keeping your schedule flexible for your business but you need to make sure that you have a way to get a steady stream of clients. 

Can entrepreneurs collaborate and work together with other people?

Yes, they can. Unless they’re completely anti-social and just can’t mix well with other human beings. In that case, they have a lot of thinking to do and problems that they need to focus on!

In all seriousness, entrepreneurs collaborating to complete projects and grow their businesses can be great for everybody if it’s all done correctly.

Entrepreneur A might be good at designing clothes but be terrible at doing marketing for their products. They then choose to work together with Entrepreneur B who’s great at marketing but can only seem to put out mediocre designs at best.

By collaborating and working together, both Entrepreneur and Entrepreneur B are able to cover for each other’s weaknesses while taking advantage of each other’s strengths. They both help grow each other’s businesses while learning from each other.

That being said, collaboration between entrepreneurs can be a mess if it’s done badly.

Two people that were headstrong and stubborn enough to start their own businesses working together. That just sounds like a lead-up to a bunch of arguments and fights about what ideas would be the best for the project that they’re working on.

This is especially true if the two people working together are still young and immature.

The problem above is actually the less serious one that we’ll be talking about.

The other problem that tends to arise when entrepreneurs collaborate is how everyone that’s working together gets paid. Do they split the profits evenly? Do they charge their regular rate without thinking about potential profits? Do they get paid based on the performance of the project?

If you do choose to collaborate with other entrepreneurs, you’d better discuss all of this in detail beforehand.

You also better have everything that you decided on put down on a written agreement. Try your best to trust in the good in people but also do your best to look after yourself and your business.

Entrepreneurs can and should collaborate with other people. This will help them achieve things that they couldn’t achieve on their own.

Is there a difference between a freelance worker and an entrepreneur?

The line between being a freelance worker and an entrepreneur is pretty blurry.

For example, if you own and run a service based business while providing the service yourself, aren’t you just a freelance worker? Or are you an entrepreneur since you own the business and don’t have a boss?

A common rule of thumb when it comes to making a distinction between a freelance worker and an entrepreneur is to check if your business can run without you.

If your business can run for at least a week without your input, then you’re a business owner and an entrepreneur. If your business can’t run without you, then you’re a freelance worker.

Another way of thinking is that being a freelance worker is the bridge between being a normal 9-5 wage worker and being an entrepreneur.

Your business starts off with just you and you’re looking for customers while also doing everything in the business.

As your business grows, you hire people to handle some of the tasks until eventually you can step away and let your business run like a well-oiled machine.

The difference between a freelance worker and an entrepreneur is basically that freelance workers exchange their time for money.

Meanwhile, an entrepreneur can start off by trading their time for money but they’ll eventually systemize and automate their business so that their profits are completely separated from their time.


Entrepreneurs can work for other people and in some situations, they definitely should look for work with or for other people.

Sometimes you just need to grit your teeth and do what needs to be done. Even if that means working under a boss for a while.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of and as long as you’re doing your best, you can hold your head high.  Hopefully this article was helpful and informative enough to clear up some of your doubts.

Whatever you choose to do next, good luck!

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