Realities Of Being An Entrepreneur – Pros And Cons Discussed

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"Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.” And I so relate to it. I have been an entrepreneur, and every minute has been worth it. But it hasn’t been easy. Just as finding the right job isn’t easy, starting and running a business is not easy either. Many become one briefly, and then revert to the fixed monthly pay package of a secured job. Entrepreneurship holds a lot of challenges, and those who stick to it, do get the rewards they deserve. Giving up sooner will only give you regrets.

A lot of people ask me about my experience as an entrepreneur and they’ll say, "You're so lucky," or "It must be great to be out of the rat race." Statements like this make me smile because they couldn't be less true. Luck has nothing to do with it. People generally relate entrepreneurship and successful business with luck, but, a successful entrepreneur isn’t about luck at all -- it’s all about passion instead, and commitment and hard work! Becoming an entrepreneur is something that you can achieve only if it is something that you truly want, and for the right reasons too! As for the rat race, while it’s different for an entrepreneur, it’s faster than ever.

Entrepreneurship is tough. It’s like a puzzle with too many unanswered questions. It involves a lot of stress, competition and frustration.

But, you know what? I love it. Everyday, I have the opportunity to work at something I believe in. I have managed to create something where originally there was nothing. For me, the challenge of building something on my own seemed more exciting than a 9-5 job. The satisfaction that I get in building my venture from scratch, and making it successful, is much more.

If you are looking for a way to get out of your boring job, then becoming an entrepreneur is not something for you. Entrepreneurship is all about leaving your 9 to 5 job and landing yourself in a 24 hour job, in stead!

Let me start with a few hard truths of being an entrepreneur:

  • You will not get a regular monthly salary. How much you make will depend on how good your business is and the effort you put in.

  • It is a never ending process. You will be working long hours initially. As an entrepreneur, you are supposed to do all kinds of odd jobs. One moment you are the chairman, and the other you’re the chaprasi (peon) of the company! You have to be a Jack or Jill of all trades initially. You have to understand a little about each section of your business. With all these roles, there's rarely a moment that you feel your work is "done" for the day. There's always something more you could be doing, like researching new markets, writing press releases, contacting new media, cold calling new sales outlets, developing new products and the list goes on.

  • It is stressful - you can’t pass the buck! You are responsible for every decision you make in your business, good or bad. Bad decisions can cost a lot of money. You would need to meet your own deadlines because your money is on stake. You have to be responsible for everything that goes on, as well as your employees. As a business owner, you cannot deny responsibility for things that fall outside your job description - as you perhaps would as an employee. In business, everything falls into your job description. The type of pressure entrepreneurship brings along can shake even the most laid back personalities. There is always a pressure to get your business off the ground and to pay salaries to people whom you have hired, even if you don’t draw your own salaries!/li>

So with this kind of stress, pressure to perform, and workload, why would people subject themselves to being an entrepreneur, leaving their cushy 9 to 5 job? The answer is simple: the positives of entrepreneurship outweigh the negatives:

  • Entrepreneurship is rewarding. Entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom of making their own business decisions and becoming their own bosses. In addition, they also gain the stability and control that could never be achieved as a regular employee. Creating something from scratch gives a kick which nothing can match. It's exciting to win a new client when you know it's from your own hard work. No matter what the motivation, creating something from nothing, which grows and develops through the years, is almost like raising a child; it's your baby, and you've nurtured it to its current level of success.

  • It is flexible. Once you work for yourself, it's common to feel you could never work in a conventional 9-to-5 job again. I believe it's mostly due to the flexibility. Entrepreneurship lands you in a 24 hour job, but then but you do so on your own terms. When you're the boss, you call the shots, and the new freedom can be exhilarating. There are no “Monday morning blues” so to say. The best thing about an entrepreneur is that he is in absolute control of his life. He does not have to report to anybody. He can take a vacation any time he feels he needs one.

  • Giving back to the Society. It is truly a great privilege to be given an opportunity to give back to the society in whatever small way you can. By giving back to the society, an entrepreneur experiences a sense of meaning and purpose in his life. The pleasure of creating employment opportunities and giving back to the economy is unmatchable! Money, to an entrepreneur, is merely a tool and never an end in itself.

  • Self Confidence. Entrepreneurship instills self confidence. Because an entrepreneur trusts in himself more than anything else, it unlocks the Giant that is present within him/her. With the tremendous energy that goes with the task of getting an enterprise up and running, an entrepreneur is sure of success. This success breeds more success, which, in turn, instills self confidence, and the belief that “nothing is impossible”! Every worthy venture in life is filled with obstacles. Your life, as an entrepreneur, is going to be filled with so many challenges too, and you must remember that there is always going to be something standing in your way if you let it. Stay focused on your main goal, and there is no reason why you can’t reach it.

Yes, these days, I work longer hours. And I make less money. But, I believe the possibilities are worth the price. As someone said “It's all in the state of the mind. Life's battles don't always go to the stronger and faster man. But, sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”

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Anonymous said...

Entrepreneurship is living a few years like most people won't, so u can
spend the rest of your life like most people can't...
agree with you, lovely piece

October 29, 2010 at 7:36 PM
Pooja Sharma said...

Dear Anonymous Thank you ... but why are you anonymous :-)

October 29, 2010 at 8:05 PM
Kaddu said...

Ha ha ha! Good question Pooja! :p

October 29, 2010 at 8:12 PM

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