So, how hard is it to be an entrepreneur?
I was actually asked this not as a direct question. It was more like, “how hard is it to do this?”
And the truth is… it’s harder than a lot of people think.
I think a lot of that’s to do with the way the media kind of portrays it. They portray entrepreneurs as driving around in fast cars and living in large suits.
I actually look forward to the day when the media stops romanticizing what it means to be an entrepreneur.
The reality is a lot of us, in those early stages, were huddled over a laptop.
It’s like 1:00 AM in the morning and we’re trying to figure out a problem.
I think that this is an important point. The media makes being an entrepreneur look like the dream life, but they never show how hard it is to get there.
In a way being an entrepreneur is actually dead easy to start; because by just starting you are already ahead of 99% of the people out there just talking about it.
If you don’t actually get ahead and launch the company, all you’re doing is talking about it.
And I do see that a lot. There’s a lot of talk about businesses. There’s a lot of advice about how to be an entrepreneur. But, if you don’t actually do it then that’s all it is…just talk.
So, the easy part about being an entrepreneur is just starting! However, I have to say that is the only easy part.
I genuinely believe that being an entrepreneur is actually the hardest thing out there in terms of job positions.
There are very few jobs where your decisions could ultimately influence and affect hundreds if not thousands of people.
Even in a small company with a team of 10 or 20 people, you’ll make decisions on a daily basis.
That is something you’ll notice about entrepreneurs – we are always making big decisions.
We’re making them constantly because we’re trying to drive things forward.
You make it wrong…
And that could end up costing the entire team their job because the business collapses. Then you’ve got all the people, all the suppliers, and all the other businesses that are connected to yours in terms of supply and services suffering the consequences.
That is a very real pressure that exists.
And I don’t think it’s fully appreciated.
What really makes a true entrepreneur is we understand how to take actionable steps. We don’t just see the end goal, we actually see the pathway to it. We see all the steps we are going to have to take and all the connections between those steps. We foresee all the outcomes and all the problems that we might run into.
When it comes down to how hard it is to be an entrepreneur, it is one of the hardest things that you will ever, ever do in your life.
However, the rewards (and I’m not just talking about from the money aspect) are second to none. Creating your own business and being able to watch it succeed and grow is spectacular.
Here is a great article I wrote on how to defeat your competitors when you start your own business.
I would recommend it to anybody interested, but I would definitely advise not to kid yourself that it will be easy.
Steve Goodall is a full-time digital nomad and an Iron Maiden fan who has spent the last 30 years working with business owners in driving company growth, restructuring internal operations and providing full consultancy on all platforms including branding, outreach, and marketing. Talking business is his THING… so connect with him on LinkedIn.