The Entrepreneurial Life
I’ve read a number of articles recently that basically say, “Entrepreneurial life/startup life is hard!” Entrepreneurship is challenging. As a colleague once said to me, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Yes, the entrepreneur’s existence can be lonely, isolating, depressing, frustrating, labor intensive, and all consuming.
First and foremost, entrepreneurship is a choice! Some people choose the entrepreneur’s path early in life. Others work in careers for a decade or more before embarking onto the startup lifestyle. Despite when in life the decision occurs, it’s a conscious choice.
So . . . if the entrepreneurial life is that terrible, why would anyone choose it?
“I want to help make the world a better place for children/freelancers/parents.” “There’s a better way to design/build/use . . .” “I like inventing stuff that makes it easier for people to . . “
Virtually every entrepreneur I’ve talked with over the years has made one of these statements or a close variation. They are incurable optimists, who believe that they can make difference in other people’s lives and they do it with new ideas, innovations, and inventions.
Changing how people live or work is heady stuff and definitely a compelling reason on the plus side for the startup lifestyle. However, is it enough? Are there other positive aspects to entrepreneurship — enough to overcome the (sometimes) serious disadvantages?
Here are a few of the “pluses” that I’ve encountered.
- Spending days that are full of variety (rarely are two days the same)
- Meeting people who are curious and engaged with life
- Organizing the day (most of the time) to align with my rhythm
- Receiving serendipitous gifts of attention, time, feedback, or quiet conversation from unexpected sources
- Hearing about new technology, innovations, and ideas.
Is it possible that I could enjoy any of the five "pluses" listed above in a different career? Perhaps! They’re still a large part of why I will continue my commitment to the entrepreneurial life. If you can think of advantages that I haven’t listed here, I’d enjoy hearing from you.