Observations on changing hats from being an organization man to being an entrepreneurial man. Hats courtesy of The Attic. Photo by Binky Ragon.
Bureaucrats vs Entrepreneurs
by Phil Houseal
Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
After 20 years of working in the public education sector, I am stepping back into entrepreneurial mode, pursuing writing and public relations full time once again.
Over my career, I have hopped back and forth and back between self-employment, government employment, private sector employment, and even a few bouts of non-employment. They all have their upsides and downsides. But as I venture out into the scary and exciting world of business once again, I am acutely aware of the differences between “working for someone else” and “working for yourself.”
Here are some of the simplistic differences I have observed while being a bureaucrat and being an entrepreneur:
As a bureaucrat, you wake up every morning wondering what problems will find you.
As a bureaucrat, sitting in meetings is considered doing your work.
As a bureaucrat, your day ends at 5 p.m.
As a bureaucrat, working harder has no relation to compensation.
As a bureaucrat, everyone fights over who gets credit.
As a bureaucrat, hours are something to fill.
As a bureaucrat, you go to conferences with titles like Risk Management.
As a bureaucrat, you stop doing something when it’s good enough.
As a bureaucrat, you get rewarded with fancier titles.
As a bureaucrat, I had a wall covered with 50 awards and certificates.
As a bureaucrat, writing was my hobby.
As a bureaucrat, you have to answer to a boss.
There is a saying that when you are self-employed, you only work half time: It’s up to you which 12 hours of the day you choose. I’m still trying to keep it down to 12 hours.
But so far it’s a great adventure. So to my fellow bureaucrats, here’s a tip of the hat for all the unrecognized work you do.
And to all of my new entrepreneurial friends and associates: Call me!