Why the Hell Would Anyone Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Being an entrepreneur might seem glamorous, but it isn't. Far from it. Still, the rewards are great... and not what you might expect.
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In this day and age, being an entrepreneur is truly glamorized. Stories of huge wins resonate through the different startup communities like wild fire. Successful entrepreneurs look like the Beatles when they first landed in America and, yes, it's awesome.
Although I love the positivity in the coverage of building awesome products and services, it is highly over-exaggerated. Most parts of being an entrepreneur SUCK. In most cases, you work more hours than anyone you know, you work for free (until you make or raise money), and the ups and downs are like the world's most intense roller coaster. The wins are few and far between, with more than 90 percent of startups failing. So, with that said, why the hell do we do it? The answer to this is very subjective. However, being an entrepreneur myself, and the founder of a community of entrepreneurs, I have noticed some similar reasons:
Passion. News flash: If you are starting your own business to make quick money, you are in the wrong place. In my opinion, you have a better shot at quick money by packing up your bags and heading to Vegas. Put fifty bucks on black for me. The most common trait in aspiring entrepreneurs is passion. If you are not making money, you need passion to get you through those sleepless nights. You have to want to solve an issue that you truly believe in. In order to turn an idea into a real business you need to have enough passion not only for yourself, but to build a legit team around it. You will most likely never succeed without a good team. If you have the right amount of passion, you can inspire others to believe in you and the mission. In the early stages, it's more about the mission than the business.
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Excitement. A common saying in the startup world is, "Yesterday was the best day of my life, and today is the worst." However painful the ride is, and regardless of how much we do not sleep, startup life is exciting. Every entrepreneur has a hint of gamble in them. The most successful entrepreneurs, in my opinion, are the biggest gamblers. You have to be willing to sit at the most expensive blackjack table on the planet, with all your money on one hand, and say, "HIT ME." Regardless of the outcome of the hand, you have to be willing to play again and again. This gets me super excited. If it gets your blood pumping, you may be an entrepreneur yourself!
YOLO. If you work for someone else and have a boring job, please do not continue reading this. Now that we got rid of all "those" people, we can talk sincerely. You only live once people! I, for one, want to make an impact in the world. Yes, you can do this while working with or for someone, but some of us need to have control over our own destiny. Some of us are motivated by jumping all the way off the ledge and not just shaking our foot over it. I am motivated every day by the fact that we only live once. It makes me do things and push myself far beyond conventional thought. In my experience, this is what gets things done and really moves the needle. YOLO baby!
We are NUTS. This is no secret. Most entrepreneurs are crazy. We have to be. We are doing things that, in most cases, are super unconventional. We were raised in a world where you went to school, became a lawyer, got married, and had two kids and a house with a white picket fence. We didn't hop from meeting to meeting with Powerpoint presentations trying to raise money before we couldn't make payroll. To the normal world, we are 100 percent nuts. Luckily, we have communities, like AlleyNYC, that help support our ecosystem of crazies. I love the saying, "In a room full of crazy people, we are sane." Hopefully the whole world will go bananas and we can all build things together and make the world a better place. Coo-Kooooo!
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Change. Most entrepreneurs see a problem and want to solve it. We walk through a business or use a service and automatically start thinking of how we can make things better. We are not backseat drivers -- we actually do something if the problem we see has scale and we think we can solve it. This means we like to change things. We do not fear change. We embrace it by finding the most productive way we can partake in it. The more we can change something and make it better, the more opportunity we have. Pretty simple.
Meaningful Relationships. I always say life is a series of making meaningful relationships -- the sort of relationships that propel us forward, in a positive direction. Business is a huge part of this. In my experience, those who operate to benefit only themselves live an empty life. It's like the saying, "Money can't buy you happiness." I believe money made doing good business with awesome people adds to happiness in life. I look for positive people to work with, and to create as much value for my customers. This makes the business money, and keeps me fulfilled dealing with great, positive people.
My business is my life, and I love it. To me, being an entrepreneur defines who I am. I operate my business in the way I operate most things in my life. Do I have all the answers? Absolutely NOT. Will I have fun and make money trying to figure out the answers? You bet your ass! HUSTLE ON.