Big Surprise. Entrepreneurs Are Happier Than Employees

If you're one of these, you probably already know this. But a new study has shown that entrepreneurs are happier.

According to, individuals who build their own businesses tend to have higher senses of well-being than those who are employed by others. Duh.  I left corporate life over 20 years ago, and though there have been certainly been ups and downs (in a down right now), I've loved just about every minute.

I loved the projects I got, so satisfied to create an end product like a news story or speech or talking points instead of having to sit in endless meetings where nothing much was every accomplished except some vice president flaunting her power.

Not surprisingly, the study showed that involvement in entrepreneurial activity can be linked to higher levels of satisfaction and contentment.  At times I made a lot of money but that meant less than the thrill I felt creating work that was mine, all mine, and when the clients really liked it, well, I've never really felt so high.

I've worked less since my son was born almost 13 years ago, and I miss it.  I, of course, can no longer work the 18-hour days (sometimes even overnight) that I did years ago, but I miss the excitement of being part of a project (even turning lights on and off in a skyscraper in Chicago to spell out "IBM," the source of my overnighter), of feeling that I made a real contribution, that my contribution counted, and let's face it, that it was mine.

So all you unhappy corporate types out there, know this: being an entrepreneur is harder than being an employee.  Although you have to satisfy difficult bosses, difficult clients are worse. 

You can see your whole year's work -- and payment -- disappear overnight.  I've been lucky.  I've mostly had good clients (except for the one who fired me for standing up to him about not getting paid).

Willing to go out on your own is for people who feel comfortable risking, and living with uncertainty.  But if you can stomach all that, you're in for the ride of your life.


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