I worked for large law firms for many years before I started my law firm, so essentially, I was working in corporate America. I believe the feel of a large law firm environment is not much different from a Fortune 500 company. Very systematized. Very procedure-oriented. You’re given a role and responsibility.
What I found is that the roles and responsibilities I had in the large law firms didn’t fully fit my personality. I love practicing law. I love helping clients. I love doing those things, but it wasn’t truly me. There was a piece missing. I couldn’t creatively express myself. I couldn’t connect with people in the same way that I wanted to, and I felt that missing energy.
Eventually, I started my own business. What I found was a very interesting compare and contrast. I’ve had my business since 2012, and I’ve seen a lot along the way. The multiple years of the journey have taught me great lessons. Corporate America wants you to specialize and to fill a very particular niche. There’s typically not a lot of flexibility for you to be you. In your own business, you can be you. You can use that flexibility to show your greatness and to show who you are. You can capitalize and help others by being yourself. This is a wonderful advantage of having your own business.
Corporate America does it all for you. You just have to do what you’ve been inserted to do, and many of the other details are taken care of. You have departments. You have colleagues. You have other people all working together to achieve goals. You just stay focused on your thing. When you have your own business, particularly in the early years, your job is to do everything, and there is nobody there to hand things off to, so you need to be more of a jack-of-all-trades for a period.
Corporate America provides you a lot more security than having your own business. Having your own business, you’re always hunting. You’re always looking for that next opportunity. You’re looking for where your money is going to come from. But in corporate America, usually, at least for a period, you have some degree of stability. You are provided a steady stream of work. You can work on those items. There is no right or wrong. There are stark differences in the two, and a lot depends on your personality. If you’re a creative person, even if you have hidden creativity you may benefit from having your own business. If you like others taking care of things and you just want to come in and come out of your job, Corporate America probably is a much stronger option for you.
What are your thoughts? Have you compared and contrasted the two? What has been your experience? Join us in the comments below and let us know your thoughts.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Kaliyoda.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.
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