I admit - one reason I’m writing this post is to remind myself. I’m involved in several entrepreneurial ventures, and it’s tough at times! Being an entrepreneur is difficult by definition. You’re charting new paths, starting something new with small odds of success, trying things the average person isn’t willing to try. Plus, once you get past the startup phase and start seeing “success,” you have to handle the growth without flaming out.
What’s not to love?
There’s a lot to love, actually. The trick is remembering the good things during the hard times.
Here are 3 reasons I believe being an entrepreneur is worth it:
1. Entrepreneurship can be less risky than other sources of income
Most people associate entrepreneurship with risk, and I won’t argue with that. New businesses have low survival rates. Founders often invest their own money and pledge their personal assets to guarantee loans and leases.
However, I don’t think being an entrepreneur is any more risky than other sources of income.
Most employees are completely dependent on one employer. No matter how stable the business or non-profit or government department is, a number of factors unrelated to performance can lead to job loss.
There are at least reasons entrepreneurship can less be less risky than a job.
First, a well-developed business isn’t dependent on one customer. If it loses some customers, it still has other customers to keep the business going. An employee only has one customer.
Businesses usually decline over time, giving the managers a chance to adjust. A job can be lost in a day.
Second, the best entrepreneurs are actually risk averse. They plan their finances with the expectation of unsteady income. They build up large emergency funds during the good times, knowing they will probably need it to get through the hard times. They are careful about how they spend business funds, knowing that it ultimately comes out of their pocket.
In contrast, many employees live as if their paycheck will arrive every two weeks and grow steadily over time. They don’t think they need an emergency fund, and they maximize their debt payment to income ratio. A gap in employment while living on the edge can be devastating.
2. Entrepreneurship provides freedom
Entrepreneurs don’t have complete freedom. Ultimately, they must spend their time on what customers are willing to pay them for.
However, within that broad guideline they have a lot of freedom. They can spend time on the activities they love the most and do the best.
They can design their lifestyle. Customers aren’t watching to see if they clock in at 9 am and stay later than 5 pm because everyone else is there. As long as they get results, they don’t care where or when the work gets done.
They can choose who they work with. This is a big deal. Managers in big companies may have some control over who they hire, but they probably don’t have much say in who their peers are.
Of course, the average entrepreneur probably spends more time working than the average employee. But they generally get to choose when they work, where they work, what they work on, and who they work with.
3. Entrepreneurs do work that matters
Finding meaning in work leads to a more fulfilling life. Studies have shown that once basic needs are met, people are more motivated by finding meaning than making more money.
Of course, entrepreneurs are not the only ones who find meaning in their work. However, many employees feel like a small cog in a large wheel, dependent on their steady paycheck. There is more to life!
Entrepreneurs choose to solve problems they are most passionate about and bring the most fulfillment to their lives.
Call to Action
For you entrepreneurs out there who are struggling with extreme challenges: don’t give up! It’s hard, I know. But you have the freedom to do work that matters in a way that can be less risky than being an employee.
For you employees with an entrepreneurial bug: don’t ignore it! Don’t be afraid! Get started! If you’re not sure, read my post about knowing if it’s time to start your own business.
Being an entrepreneur right now is not for everyone. But entrepreneurship is a great way to make both a living and a difference in the world.
Question: Why else is being an entrepreneur worth it?