He walked into the office, handed me a paper and asked me to help him go through it. Seeing the content of the paper, it was obvious that he did not just want me to go through it, he wanted to tell me of his resignation in a non verbal manner. I looked at the paper and looked at him in astonishment. I took my time to go through it, and it was not just about the title, Steve was set to go. Why? was all the question that went through my head. As far as I was concerned, he was in perfect terms with everyone in the office. Why on earth would he want to leave?

Steve was a very good guy, he knew the onions of his job, I know this first hand because I have been his supervisor for over a year and we were really close beyond office work, his job paid really well and would be the envy of many young men of his age. I raised my face to look at him and the face I saw was the face of someone who was bent on leaving. I asked “What is the matter? He looked at me and after a long pause, he asked me “Do you really want to know the truth? I nodded in affirmation then he settled in his seat, adjusted his glasses and in a calm tone he said, am tired of running errands and bowing to different bosses, at this point, I knew I had to address this part, not as his boss, but as his friend. I was trying very hard to make this boss-friend shift in a manner that would be both fast and unnoticeable in order to understand fully the angle he was coming from..

So I asked him what informed his decision, he was reluctant and then later got himself relaxed and said, There is this classmate of mine, he was close to the dumbest of people in my class when I was in school. Over the weekend, I was on a long queue in a petrol station, waiting for my turn, when a young man walked by me, stopped and called me by my old time nickname. I was shocked, because the name came with a lot of old time memories. I came out of my car, but I had a hard time recognizing him. Like he expected it, he calmly explained himself to me, and shock gripped me. This was a guy that we were so sure that he was going nowhere to happen, he was looking all chubby and well taken care of. To further shock me, he asked me to leave the queue and follow some route that seemed like a backdoor to the station, so that he could facilitate my getting petrol with ease, when we got to the place, I enquired and realized that he owned the station.

I got his contact and met with him the following day, it was through our discussion that I realized that we are all wasting time in this white collar job, slaving ourselves for our bosses and having them take all the glory, after thinking it through, I have decided to be an entrepreneur, and my friend is willing to take me through. Just like that? I thought to myself.

I heaved a long sigh, and bowed my head in pity for Steve.

Steve is just one of those naïve young people who think entrepreneurship is a rosy path for kings who are unwilling to suffer. First let me give my definition of entrepreneurship, and after you have read mine, feel free to give yours, I am pretty sure we will arrive at almost the same conclusion.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The act of identifying a need and standing out to solve it, not being discouraged by any risk involved, having an eye on the final reward regardless of the hurdles.

That’s my personal definition. If you have ever got to talk with an entrepreneur, you just know that none of them get to their goals by accident. Entrepreneurship is such that if you are not truly convinced before going into it, the hurdles on the way will single you out. You cannot bank on someone else’s motivation to be an entrepreneur, self motivation is the ultimate. There’s no fast track and there’s no shortcut. Its either you are ready to stick it out, or you are not ready.

It is not uncommon to hear that people have left their white collar jobs to be entrepreneurs, but the reason for leaving are also important. People have left their jobs because

  • They have preplanned it before getting into the job, and programmed themselves that they would leave their jobs after a certain time.
  • They feel that they do not fit into the system, so they go out and look for where they fit in.
  • They have got a better offer.
  • They have to relocate and cannot help the issue
  • They died, and could no longer continue (hilariously obvious, isn’t it?)

And of course, because they no longer want to be under some people called “bosses”. Let me clearly state that as an entrepreneur, you would have more bosses than you can count, and some would be more horrible than hell, but to grow, you have to satisfy them, because they are “customers”, and the saying has it that “customers are always right”. That is of course if your understanding of a boss is someone that places some orders that you have to follow, and I am almost sure that that’s your definition, because that is the one definition that would awaken your decision to leave your job. The truth is that pride is no reason to be an entrepreneur, In fact, Humility is an inevitable virtue that will walk you safely through the path of entrepreneurship.

So the next time you think of penning down a resignation letter, sit back, analyze your reasons, think deeply and be sure you are leaving for the right reasons.

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