The Great Debate: Entrepreneurship Vs Employment Chessboard Growing Up Vs Adulting

The Great Debate: Entrepreneurship Vs Employment

In this article, an anonymous guest contributor talks about his experiences and shares his point of view on the great debate between entrepreneurship vs employment.



When I was much younger, my father used to tell me all the time that I had to improve my grades in school.

I wasn’t a bad student but I wasn’t an excellent one either, I hovered somewhere above average but that wasn’t good enough for him, I had to be the best. 

So I worked at it and I was able to improve to a respectable degree.

Then I got into university and I saw an entirely different world.

My first-year grades were unexpected for me, I made a 4.3 CGPA and I was surprised. 

It was dangerously close to a first-class and I thought my father would be pleased. 

He was, but as usual, there was always room for improvement, “First-class is the goal”, he said.

Fast forward to my third year, I made a 4.7 GPA in my second-semester exams and I was elated. 

I had finally done it! I showed my father my result and the reaction I got wasn’t what I expected. 

In my mind, I expected a new phone or at least cash to celebrate but all I got was an “I’m proud of you” text.

I should have seen it coming.

Around that time, he had started changing his tune. Grades weren’t the most important thing anymore, doing business was.

I had to have a business before I graduated because “There’s no job in Nigeria o!”. 

The goal post had shifted, now I had to have a side hustle. 

My father’s new mantra had become “Aim to be an employer of labour”.

Perhaps when this hit home was when he was talking about a friend of mine that he had met through me (oh, the irony). 

He praised her entrepreneurial skills to the high heavens, he was so impressed by her business and hustle that he said there was nothing he wouldn’t do to see her succeed. Damn.

Anyway, that left me confused and I thought to myself “What can I make into a business?”

I picked up mobile photography and I like to think that I was good at it but it was something I did just for fun. 

It was a creative outlet that I enjoyed doing in my leisure time but somehow, I felt pressured to turn this into a multimillion-dollar empire. 

My circle of friends was filled with people who had businesses so it made me feel like something was wrong with me. 

No exaggeration but every person I considered a friend had one hustle or the other to push and I was just there, paying attention only to school and reading anything that caught my interest.

It was a huge shift for me to grow up in a world where the school was seen as the only avenue to success, then to be thrust into a world where buying and selling BTC became the new B.Sc. 

Suddenly it seemed that all I heard around me was “school na scam”. 

It made me question if education – my education – was worth it, because all too often, we hear stories about how the Nigerian labour market is flooded with graduates who have no jobs.

The truth is, I highly doubt that I can run a business on my own. 

For me, the idea of contributing my skills and resources to an organization I love or believe in and getting paid handsomely for it sounds more appealing. 

And I know some people view this mindset as not thinking big enough because, you know, “If you don’t have a dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs” or however that saying goes. 

Honestly, if you’re going to pay me well enough to build your dream then hand me the shovel and show me the site because right now, that’s my idea of success. 

Because at the end of the day, isn’t that the goal? 

Isn’t money and fulfilment the reason why most people either go to school or start a business? 

So what if my way of getting there looks different from yours? 

Shouldn’t the important thing be that we all get there however we can (legally, of course) according to our various capabilities? 

And shouldn’t everyone be free to choose how they get there depending on how well they know and understand their abilities?

Fink abourrit.


What side are you on? Entrepreneurship or Employment?


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