At a time when nearly half of the workforce is struggling to land a full time career with a company that values commitment to long-term employees, the temptation to jump the corporate ship and seek asylum in “Entrepreneurial Utopia” is as strong as it has ever been at other times. The feeling is nothing new. As the saying goes, “what comes around will go and come around again later,” or something like that. Keeping one’s head when making a well informed decision about when and if to become a member of the self-employed class is difficult no matter the circumstances. It doesn’t help that mainstream media’s have fallen head over heels for those really savvy hipsters who casually quit their former life, school, job and move back home to start a business in Mom and Dad’s garage only to become instant billionaires.
Let’s face it; no matter how deficient one may be in the “handsome department” being an entrepreneur today is seen as being really sexy! Who wouldn’t jump at a chance to become independently wealthy, set their own work and play schedule, be their own boss and bask in the glamourous life-style of the rich and famous. After all it seems so easy, right?
Well. You might want to ask the couple that bought that historic Bed and Breakfast with visions of reliving the past among antique treasures’, sharing a glass of fine wine and engaging conversations with multi-cultured guests only to realize that the old barn of a house constantly needed fixing and it costs a gazillion dollars to heat; the guests always want to visit on those holiday’s you were planning to get away; and when the maid and maintenance guys didn’t show up for work (guaranteed to be more often than anyone could imagine), the person whose name is found on the bottom right-hand corner of the checks makes the beds, does the laundry, washes the dishes and mows the lawn. How’s that for sexy?
True, not every business venture is a bed and breakfast, fast food restaurant or oil changing franchise but every business venture, whether it involves a new high-tech gadget, software app or heal-all potion, has a challenging, dirty side to it. And the price of being the recipient of the entrepreneurial spirit is that the visionary gets to experience it all. Here are a few more entrepreneurial myths to ponder before striking out on your E-mission:
It’s a great way to get rich. There’s simply no data or logic or factual data to support the premise that anyone will make more money running their own business than working for someone else. Most independent business endeavors require the commitment of significant personal wealth with no assurance of respectable returns.
It’s not about the money it’s about following the passion. Warning! If following the passion doesn’t generate enough money to support the passion part, you’re going to go passionately broke.
You’re going to be your own boss. It’s the biggest myth of all. The truth is your customers, the regulators, the creditors and the tax collectors are the boss.
The self-employed control their schedule. This myth is correct. The 24 hour/7 day a week schedule.
You’ll be certain to find personal fulfillment. It has been said, “Find a job doing what you love to do and you will never work a day in your life.” Please note: The vast majority of things that must be done to secure success in business are often those things that many entrepreneurs do not love to do, but have to do. If your journey to fulfillment includes practicing management and leadership skills every minute of every day, than you will have plenty of opportunity to experience personal fulfillment.
The most successful entrepreneurs are those willing to just step out on faith. Before you run out and invest the life-savings in a chain of cupcake shops it would be prudent to determine how many cupcakes will need to be sold just to pay the rent. Reality: The best decision is one that is all about doing due diligence and the math, thoroughly and correctly.
Entrepreneurship is not about glamour or about being sexy; it’s about hard work, tenacity, passion, tolerance, self-confidence and having a clear vision and strong sense of purpose and mission. If it looks easy from the outside it is most likely because the subject of the complement is very good at doing the routine little acts of continuous improvements every day, day in and day out.
So, if you are thinking about joining the entrepreneurial ranks don’t do it because you think it will make you sexy because it won’t. It will be all about customers; about experiencing the best and the worst of all things; about surviving your mistakes; about being proud of your successes and sensing the true joy of accomplishment.
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