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R. Kay Green Headshot

Corporate America Vs. Entrepreneurship? Which Path is Right for You?

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...And we're off! The New Year has officially begun and now its time to make some very important decisions in your professional life. Where do you see yourself in say 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now? Have you taken the time to analyze your current career? That is, where you are v. where you aspire to be.

While you have achieved some of the goals you set last year, are you still on the fence about your current profession? Have you considered leaving the corporate arena for entrepreneurship? Have you considered saying "goodbye" to entrepreneurship and "hello" to Corporate America?

As we all know, some of us excel in corporate environments; while others excel in the entrepreneurial arena. Climbing the corporate ladder is not an easy task. On the corporate side, 70 percent of U.S. workers do not feel engaged or inspired at their jobs and feel that they are not reaching their full potential (CBS News, 2013). This statistic indicates that 7 out of 10 employees are not "satisfied" with their current career in the corporate arena. Entrepreneurship is certainly not the easiest task either. On the entrepreneurial side, an entrepreneur's life may be riddled with ambiguity, long hours, sacrifice, and setbacks (Forbes, 2013).

While there is no "perfect" environment, rather corporate or entrepreneurial, we must be honest with ourselves when selecting the path that works for us. In order to survive, in either arena, you must possess, or at a minimum, develop the relevant survival skills on a corporate or entrepreneurial level.

For many of us, our careers, whether corporate or entrepreneurial, imposes a chain-link effect on our personal lives as it relates to family, relationships, friends, social groups, etc. Selecting the right path for you cannot be taken lightly. Rather, this decision dictates your own personal fulfillment, pursuit of happiness, and overall satisfaction. Let's consider the following seven questions to ask yourself as you analyze your profession and select the path that works for you:

1. Are you more focused on "Who do you know?" (Corporate) or "What you know?" (Entrepreneurial)

2. Do you step up when appropriate? (Corporate) or Do you step up at all times? (Entrepreneurial)

3. Are you most concerned with achieving the Work-Life Balance? (Corporate) or Are you willing to sacrifice the Work-Life Balance? (Entrepreneurial)

4. Are you planning-oriented? (Corporate) or Are you action-oriented? (Entrepreneurial)

5. Do you prefer External Motivation? (Corporate) or Do you prefer Internal Motivation?
(Entrepreneurial)

6. Do Play the "Game"? (Corporate) or Do you Create the "Game"? (Entrepreneurial)

7. Are your more focused on doing your part? (Corporate) or Are you more focused on doing all parts? (Entrepreneurial)

If you selected most or all of the first choice for each question, chances are, the corporate arena is right for you. Oppositely, if you selected most or all of the second choice for each question; entrepreneurship maybe your niche. Corporate America or entrepreneurship are both choices; that is, you have the right to choose which path serves your best interest.

Always remember, choosing your path, whether corporate or entrepreneurial, is not a popularity contest. It is instead, a life-long decision that has a significant effect on both your personal and professional lives. In brief, think logically, strategically, and choose your path wisely.