Why Be An Entrepreneur?
Are you going to make a difference?
Let’s not kid ourselves. Being an entrepreneur is hard. How hard? This hard, as Marc Andreessen says:
‘First, and most importantly, realize that a start-up puts you on an emotional rollercoaster unlike anything you have ever experienced.
You will flip rapidly from a day in which you are euphorically convinced you are going to own the world, to a day in which doom seems only weeks away and you feel completely ruined, and back again.
Over and over and over.
And I'm talking about what happens to stable entrepreneurs.
Some days things will go really well and some things will go really poorly. And the level of stress that you're under generally will magnify those transient data points into incredible highs and unbelievable lows at whiplash speed and huge magnitude.'
Sound like fun?
Don’t Do It
So that doesn’t sound like fun does it? Why put yourself through all that? When, instead you could…do what? Honestly, realistically, look at the world of work. You can work for 40 years or more, rising steadily up the ladders of promotion and success. Then you can retire for a well-earned rest, go on a cruise and play with the grandkids.
Sound like fun?
No that doesn’t sound like fun does it? And the truth these days is that you can’t even if you wanted to. That world has gone. Companies will demand loyalty from you but they will show you none. None. And Covid has made that a whole lot worse.
In the USA workers stay with a company not for life but for an average of only four years. One reason was shown by Forbes: ‘Multiple studies have suggested that full-time workers that stick with their employers for more than two years on average get paid 50% less.’
Jobs for life – gone. Career security – gone. Industry security – gone. Some experts reckon you’ll need to retrain at least twice over your career, not counting whatever it was that got you into the job market. You’re on your own.
Serial entrepreneur James Altucher wrote an excellent book called Choose Yourself. In it he has a series of headings highlighting the reality of the modern workplace.
Here is a list of some of them:
- The middle class is dead
- You’ve been replaced
- Corporations don’t like you
- Money is not happiness
- Abundance will never come from your job
Maybe you are thinking or have thought about university. The debt, the lack of real face-to-face tuition, the degree that doesn’t bring you a job or a higher pay grade. Yes, that university.
Or becoming an apprentice. Now that’s a much better idea – learn a skill that people need, get paid while you learn and gradually gain experience and responsibility. An absolutely useful, practical, sensible plan, we’re not knocking it. The only downside is that you’re working for someone else, at their beck and call, doing things how they want them done not how you can see they should be done. They’re making money out of you.
So, as James Altucher put it, the best solution is to ‘choose yourself’.
If you can be anything – be yourself. You’ve had some practice and experience at it. You should know yourself better than you know anyone else. You know your strengths and talents, but you also know your terrible inadequacies, weaknesses, fears and failings. That’s perfect. If you’re going to pick up and use a piece of equipment it makes sense for you to know it inside out. That’s you.
You can learn, invest in yourself, grow your skills, your confidence, your talents, your world knowledge your people skills, everything. Every step forward improves you. And wherever you go – there you are.
An entrepreneur is simply someone who has ideas, who can make those ideas real, who can sell those ideas, who can be resilient and who can fail, learn and keep on trying. They’re not superskills are they? They’re not secrets that you learn only at some public school with fancy brickwork. They don’t even require a brilliant education do they?
There is no barrier to entry. You can easily become an entrepreneur. Whatever your background, educational achievements, gender, race, class, whatever. The world of entrepreneurship is open to anyone. That’s you.
Weakness Is Strength
Weaknesses can become strengths with entrepreneurs. Take someone who did badly at school, never really fitted in and seemed to have ideas that weren’t like others. That’s quite possibly someone who is dyslexic. And there are double the number of dyslexic entrepreneurs compared to their proportion of the population. A weakness becomes a power.
So what is your strength, what is your weakness? It’s all fuel to the entrepreneur fire. Burn it up. Be an entrepreneur. After all, what other real choices do you have for a happy, fulfilled life?