The longer I am an entrepreneur, the more difficult it becomes to tell people what I do. Inevitably the "So what do you do?" question does come around. I have tried some interesting answers in the past.
- "I rob banks."
- "I am unemployed."
- "Haha - it's actually a funny story."
- "I used to be an engineer" (this one usually comes up, when I am feeling a bit down - more on that later)
After answering this initial question, the conversation usually leads to how they wish they could be an entrepreneur and how lucky I am to be an entrepreneur. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE being an entrepreneur, but there is a small caveat.
The grass is always greener on the other side
We humans always want what we don't have; the grass always looks greener on the other side. This is also the case with entrepreneurship.
Most people want to be their own boss because:
- They don't like (hate) their boss
- They want more freedom
- They want to do inspired work
And yes, you will have all of these things when you become an entrepreneur. But you will also invariably end up getting some other things. This leads me to the...
The rollercoaster of being an entrepreneur
Let's be honest. Being an entrepreneur is damn hard. Shortly after becoming one, you will find yourself with only 2 emotions.
These two emotions are on completely different ends of the spectrum, but you will constantly oscillate between the two of them. On top of the world in the morning - doubting everything in the evening.
Add in extreme amounts of caffeine and these emotions feel even more intense.
Recently I heard a quote on the Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which illustrated it perfectly:
And we haven't even started talking about MONEY
Another common reason people want to become their own boss is the money.
While it is true that the potential upside of being your own boss is massive. The potential downside is often just as big.
Most people spend their whole life, never knowing what it feels like to not know if there will be enough money at the end of the month to pay their own salary.
Especially in early-stage businesses, this is often the case. Every cent you make, you pour back into the business for more growth.
Compared to working for someone else. All you need to do is:
- Show up every day
- Perform reasonably well
And then at the end of the month, your salary is deposited into your account. Easy. Consistent.
Next to money, the second cited reason for becoming an entrepreneur is "I want to have more time to do what I want".
Contrary to popular belief - working for yourself often means working MORE not less.
The weird thing is, it's often much easier to work 12 hours a day when you know you are doing it for yourself.
And yes you will have more time and freedom. If you want to take Friday off and go on a long weekend - GREAT! If you want to start the day easy and have breakfast with a friend - AWESOME!
You can do all of the above things, but they come at an opportunity cost.
Each second of every day could be used to grow your business. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for a balanced life (not that I am sure it exists).
In the end, though, the choice is yours. Which is great. That's real-time wealth.
Then why do it?
After reading my rant - you are probably asking yourself - why do it at all? It does not sound that romantic after all.
That is exactly what I wanted to achieve. While I was working as an employee, with aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur I looked judged other people for not having the same aspirations.
The longer I am an entrepreneur I realised - it's NOT for everyone.
If you cannot handle:
- Making high-risk decisions every day
- The emotional roller-coaster
- The uncertainty of not knowing where your next paycheck comes from
- It all comes down to YOU
Then would advise NOT doing it.
But if you have nerves of steel, you want to do inspired work and you want to be in control of your time and money. GO FOR IT AND NEVER LOOK BACK.
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