Becoming an entrepreneur is the dream of every person whose creativity cannot be contained within a 9-to-5 lifestyle. Many have found success in the corporate environment. Yet, they don’t feel like they fit the mold of the typical executive. Over time, they realize that the time spent producing results for others could be used for their own benefit.
The idea of owning a business is great until it isn’t. Once your idea has manifested into a registered business; an entity that has products to sell or services to render, customers to serve, and employees to compensate, you might realize that the grass isn’t always greener outside the corporate walls.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an entrepreneur who hit a home run on his first time at the plate. The most admired and iconic entrepreneurs went through struggles before they finally achieved success.
The first few years as an entrepreneur can be very stressful. Yes, entrepreneurship can be life-changing. But change is often difficult at the start because of the learning curves to overcome and the period of adjustment.
The question you need to ask yourself:
Is all of the stress associated with becoming an entrepreneur worth it?
Why Become An Entrepreneur?
According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 45% of businesses close down within 5 years and only 25% make it to year #15. Despite the odds, more people are making the shift from employee to entrepreneur.
In 2020, the number of new business applications in the United States hit a 13-year high of 1.1 million.
Among the factors that might have contributed to the surge in entrepreneurship are as follows:
- Closure of other small businesses
- A shift in preference toward a work-from-home arrangement
- Increase in personal savings
Clearly, the pandemic was a catalyst for the change in consumer behavior and shifts in career pathing.
At the height of the lockdown, businesses were forced to close down. Those that didn’t have an online presence weren’t able to sustain the business and had to cease operations for good.
It seemed that working as a Full-Time Employee (FTE) didn’t offer stability. In comparison, when you have a business, you have complete control of the enterprise.
There are other benefits that made entrepreneurship an attractive career choice:
- You call the shots – You don’t report to anyone. There’s no need to clear your decisions to a higher-up. You are the higher up. You’re the Boss.
- Manage your work schedule – How many hours do you want to allocate for work? Sure you can retain the 9-to-5 schedule if it suits you. But you don’t have to time in at a set hour. If 4 hours a day works for you, so be it.
- Potential of achieving financial independence – If you do hit a home run, you could achieve financial independence beyond your wildest dreams. Being a career Salary Man won’t guarantee you financial independence.
- More time for non-work-related activities – One of the biggest reasons why millions of Americans didn’t return to the workforce is because the pandemic made them realize that spending time with family is more important than earning a paycheck.
You can do both as an entrepreneur. Be with your family while earning a good income at the same time.
While these benefits are realistic and attainable, success can be fleeting. Instead of those 4 to 6-hour workdays, you might end up spending more time at your business than you did at your old desk job.
Is Becoming An Entrepreneur Worth The Stress?
Entrepreneur/Author/Motivational Coach Tim Ferris said that when he started out as an entrepreneur, he spent 14-hours, seven days a week on his business – with barely anything to show for it.
Ferris recalled how stressed out he was. His physical, emotional, and mental health were at their lowest.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you can relate. If you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, take the time to talk to one. He’ll gladly share the details of his experiences over a cup of coffee – or maybe a few beers.
The entrepreneur will tell you about:
- The sleepless nights
- Having problems maintaining relationships
- Seeing more fallen hair in the shower
- Friends and family say he looks haggard
- Anxiety attacks
Yet, he’ll tell you that it’s all worth it!
Here are the reasons why:
1. You’re Building Not Just a Business but a Legacy
As an employee, you’re working to fulfill the vision of your employer. As an entrepreneur, you’re working to fulfill your vision and build a legacy in the industry.
Now, isn’t establishing a legacy a wonderful reason to get up every morning and seize the day despite the stresses you have to face?
Everyone starts out small but with perseverance and determination, you will grow bigger. Perhaps your current goal is to make enough money to support your business and family while staying profitable.
When business gets better, those goals will change. You’ll want to be among the top 100 in your industry. Then, top 10. Who knows? You might make it to Number 1!
The most successful entrepreneurs dream big because they don’t get complacent. They don’t allow success to go to their heads. Entrepreneurs are constantly updated and forward-thinking.
You can compare an entrepreneur to a champion athlete.
He doesn’t wake up at a time when normal people are asleep to train for second place. He doesn’t eat food that would put off most taste buds because he’s preparing for disappointment.
Companies like Starbucks, Amazon, Ali Baba, Microsoft, Facebook, Walmart, and McDonald’s wouldn’t be recognized as industry leaders if the entrepreneurs behind them weren’t visionaries.
You’re not just building a business. You’re building a legacy.
2. You’re Contributing to the Growth of the Economy
According to the Small Business Association (SBA), 99% of registered businesses in America are categorized as small businesses. However, as we shared earlier, 45% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years.
Can you imagine how powerful and robust the American economy would be if we could improve the number of successful small businesses by just 5%? The more small businesses succeed, the better the economy will be.
In addition, these small businesses employ 47.5% of Americans.
Thus, with small business success comes more job opportunities. With more salaried workers, we can expect higher spending in the local economy and better earnings for other businesses.
The name “Small Business” is not entirely true because your success will greatly contribute to the growth of the economy. You won’t only be helping your families but also your fellow citizens.
3. You Develop Talent
Think about the person who helped you become who you are today. If it wasn’t for that person, you wouldn’t have gotten far in your career and had the confidence to start a business.
You want to pay it forward so that others will have the same chance at accomplishing in their careers as you did.
Real power isn’t found in money. Real power is having the opportunity to transform the lives of others.
When you start a business, you need people to help you run it.
Even if each employee has a specialization or expertise which you aren’t familiar with, you can nurture the attributes that can help them reach the full potential of their talents.
As the entrepreneur/founder, you can also put on additional hats of “Coach”, “Counselor”, or “Teacher”.
You have the opportunity to not only nurture talent but develop future leaders; possibly new entrepreneurs who can contribute to economic growth.
Entrepreneurs aren’t just building their businesses. They’re also building talented, productive people.
4. Productivity Is Matched By Effort
Everyone looks forward to payday. But let’s get real. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve contributed to the growth of the company, your paycheck remains the same. The Boss will always make more money than you.
Sure, you’re lucky to have a job that pays the bills. But if luck is all you believe in, you’ll retire with something that will gnaw at your sunset years.
We’re not saying that money is everything. Our point is that your salary can never truly approximate your true value to the business. A company comprises different departments each one manned by people of various skills, experiences, and capabilities.
Who’s to say that your contribution to sales is more important than the contribution of IT which oversees all of the computerized processes and improves efficiency?
As the entrepreneur, department heads might draw up the plays but you make the calls for the business. The company will live or die based on the outcomes generated by the decisions you make.
You get out what you put in. Of course, the losses can be magnified. No one will share in those losses. However, if you call the right play and succeed, everyone benefits, most of all – YOU.
5. You Won’t Miss Any of Your Kids’ Milestones
Some days can be more stressful than others. There might be issues and problems that remain unresolved the second you shut off your laptop. Perhaps the meeting with the potential client didn’t work well or the deal you were looking forward to didn’t fall through.
No matter how gloomy the situation, nothing brings a smile to your face more than your kids.
As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to ask permission from anyone to take a day off or even a few hours to watch your daughter’s ballet performance or your son’s basketball game.
You can take off work early so you can hit the department store and buy your child a birthday present.
One of the best ways to overcome stress is to take your family to the nearby park or to the mall for some ice cream. Hearing how their day went will make you forget your stress.
When you see your kids happy and smiling, you know that entrepreneurship was the correct career choice. They’ll inspire and motivate you to get past the difficulties of the day and resolve them with utmost confidence and conviction the following day.
There’s more to becoming an entrepreneur than finding financial stability, managing your own time, and being the Boss. You feel more fulfilled even if you don’t earn a six-figure income every month.
As an entrepreneur, you can make a difference in the industry, society, and the lives of people who don’t have enough resources. Sometimes these accomplishments are worth more than the financial rewards of entrepreneurship.
So when you feel stressed out, find the strength to get through the difficult times by knowing that your success as an entrepreneur benefits other people as well.
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