I often consider the work required to build my own saas or freelance company further vs the requirements to get a high paying job at faang or pre ipo startup job. For context, I already work in freelance as a side hustle and earned about 35k in 2020. Most clients came from my network and it wasn't too hard to get started.
For faang, I would probably need to work 6-12 months re-learning algorithm skills (that probably won't have compounding benefits) to be comfortable interviewing.
From there, I actually have to perfect the resume and get interviews. I then actually practice interviewing. I do believe interviewing could have some compounding benefit, ie for problem solving, communication and handling stressful situations .
Say I land the job. I have arrived. Likely building small features at scale, managing a large workload, getting paid well. I'm specialized and focused on software engineering. I'm not certain I would feel fulfilled doing that.
Overall it depends on aptitudes and interests. For me it might be easier to build a sustainable high paying freelance/consulting/saas business than trying to crack faang. Easier probably because I'm more excited for one than the other.
I'm more interested in stretching myself learning other skills like marketing/sales/distribution rather than software engineering alone. I don't expect to become a pro at any of them, 10k hours would be nearly impossible to hit in each category, but the pursuit is worthwhile.