Is Entrepreneurship For Me?

In my prior post, I asked “What is Entrepreneurship?” Such a large question cannot be answered in one blog post, but I am hoping that the discussion was helpful. Now I want to explore if entrepreneurship is the right thing for your life or not. This is the exact question I posed to my class, and I am thrilled to share our discussion with you!

The combination of my students’ wonderful minds and my ugly writing!

How is Entrepreneurship Different From a Job?

First, I asked the class to write down as many differences as they could between entrepreneurship and a normal job. As you can see in the photo above, they came up with a lot of great examples. What we found interesting is that each difference brings unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, not having a boss does offer a lot of autonomy to pursue your passions more easily. Yet, nobody watches an entrepreneur to remind them to do their job! Thus, being your own boss requires self-discipline to consistently work hard without anyone reminding you to.

Another important difference is that the sources of stress, and options for coping with them, may be different. A job may have stressors related to an unfair, uncaring, and mean boss, which the employee may have little control over changing. Entrepreneurs do not have a boss, but as a result, may deal with the loneliness of having nobody to talk to that will understand their challenges. Thankfully, entrepreneurs have more flexibility in coping: a lonely entrepreneur can dedicate some of their “work” time to building a network of entrepreneurs who can they vent to and seek advice from (see my earlier post for advice on building that network). In short, entrepreneurship is different from a job: these differences are not necessarily good or bad but do need to be understood!

Who is the Ideal Entrepreneur?

Given that entrepreneurship is different from a job, what kind of person does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur? In other words, who is the ideal entrepreneur? Patience, optimism, confidence, the list goes on and on. But, can these be developed? In short, yes. For a longer answer, I would encourage you to watch this very cool entrepreneurial story, but don’t forget to come back here afterwards!

We agreed as a class that the takeaway of this discussion was even if you don’t view yourself as an entrepreneur now (as in, you do not believe you have entrepreneurial characteristics) that does not mean you cannot become an entrepreneur. If you decide to be an entrepreneur, then: (1) many of these characteristics can be developed over time and (2) you have the autonomy to design your environment to emphasize your strengths. In other words, you can become more patient, more optimistic, and more confident, and you can structure your work in a way that facilitates that!

Thus, in closing, no matter who you are and what your background is, you can be an entrepreneur! Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this post. If you have a friend who is interested in entrepreneurship, please share this blog on your social media!