Part of the American Dream is to own your own business and call your own shots. I’ve always taken that to mean working by yourself and not having the headache of managing people. I was surprised by much of what I read in “Employing Others Is Linked to Wealth and Wellbeing.” The post begins:

A view long held in American political philosophy is that working for oneself is a more desirable state than working for others.

New research on entrepreneurial insights from Gallup, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, finds empirical evidence to support such ideals about entrepreneurship. Adults who employ others score higher than other groups, including employees and non-employer owners, on a variety of measures — income, wealth, life evaluation and work engagement.

Okay, but when I read further, I learned that this group only comprises 2.4% of the workforce! Which makes this information helpful – or not? 

Business owners with employees (hereafter referred to as owner-employers) only comprise an estimated 2.4% of all working adults in the U.S. Yet, other forms of business ownership are somewhat common. In addition to owner-employers, 15.3% of the workforce earns some money from self-employment but primarily works for an employer. Another 11.3% are mostly self-employed, and 6.9% are non-employer owners, meaning they are not independent contractors but business owners who do not have employees. Just under two-thirds of workers (64.2%) work entirely for others.

I was surprised at the breakout of the entrepreneur segments vs. the total workforce. Only 6.9% are non-employer owners like me. 

This finding surprised me:

Owner-employers consistently enjoy the highest levels of subjective wellbeing among workers of all different types of work arrangements. Self-employed adults tend to have the lowest scores, whereas non-employer owners and employees have similar scores.

The person with the side hustle who is “crushing it” (hypothetically) scored the lowest in happiness and wellbeing. And me, a non-employer owner, scored similarly to an employee – the situation I fled from to improve my happiness and wellbeing. (!)

The financial comparisons were even bleaker. 

Regarding financial wellbeing, 58.4% of owner-employers say they live comfortably on their present income, compared with 36.0% of non-employer owners and employees. Likewise, only 15.2% of owner-employers indicate having had some level of financial hardship in the past year, compared with 25.6% of non-employer owners and 27.3% of employees.

What the heck? Solo isn’t looking quite so rosy now. 

This definitely left me scratching my head, but I do recommend checking out the rest of the article here

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash