Living the life of an entrepreneur is tough. You work your butt off and get paid almost nothing for years, and the chances are you will fail at the end. Living the entrepreneurial life is definitely not the “easy” life.
However, in my opinion, it is the most fulfilling one.
I believe that being an entrepreneur is the best way to make sure you live a life of passion and adventure – a life that leaves you a legacy and stories to tell your grand kids.
The corporate life story
Lets look at a regular corporate life person. This person graduates from college, finds a job, gets married, possibly gets an advanced degree, has kids, advances in her job, gets old, and then there’s goodbye. That just sounds very unfulfilling to me, especially when you are working at a job you hate like most people are.
Sure, some people love their jobs, and I’m all for that, but most people settle for a job that they don’t like just because they are afraid of change and and slowly wait for their midlife crisis.
That’s when they buy their fast car.
Even for those of you who say you love your jobs, if you suddenly had $10M in your bank account, how many of you will choose to quit your job this week?
Yes, you might say that this question is unfair as you could say that about anything. However, I can tell you as a sure fact that lots of successful entrepreneurs who HAVE over $10 Million in their bank accounts keep going back to the torturous startup life because it is just too exciting and addicting to stay away from!
Gamification Principle: Live for adventure instead of self-sustaining
Lets say you do have a six digit high-paying job. How many years can you afford to stop working and do whatever you want? Probably not that many. You have to continuously work for decades at that job until you finally saved up enough money in your 401(k) when you are 65 and retire (hopefully!). That’s when you can start to fully discover your passions and go traveling/golfing all day. In this way, you spend 40 years of your life just to sustain it for longer before doing the things that you are passionate about.
The life of an entrepreneur is more dynamic and more exciting in my opinion. When you are young, you have a dream and a passion. You gather some friends and go through tons of struggles, mistakes, disappointments and some victories together to create that world-changing business. I usually say that running a startup is not really a career. Its a lifestyle. For instance, if you were doing a Lord of the Rings journey, you wouldn’t just say “I’m just going to travel 40 hours a week and watch TV for the rest of the time.” Of course not! You will be constantly dealing with problems and evil creatures while counting the hours that you can afford to sleep.
People don’t join that LOTR journey because it is luxurious or they can get a fancy car. People join because they 1. believe in the mission (destroying the ring), and 2. they like the people they are traveling with.
I believe living a life like that is way more meaningful than just living a comfortably sustained life in The Shire. I would rather die poor doing the mission I believe in than live richly without ever pursuing the things I’m passionate about.
Being an entrepreneur creates an opportunity to truly be financially free at a young age after a great ride.
Now the other side of the story. You could be trying and failing for fives years or ten years, but WHEN you hit that big home run, you will earn enough money to do whatever you want to do for the rest of your life. This is dramatically different from a normal high paying job, because this allows you to possibly take full control of your life at a young age.
You could literally retire before 30 and live the life you want to. Yes, I agree the odds that this happening is low, but that is fine because the pursuit of your dreams is what makes life worth living, not necessarily the obtaining of it.
Also, as Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad author) says, “Nine out of ten startups fail. That just means I only need to create ten businesses and one will become successful!”
After you make it big, you can then go golfing, traveling, do philanthropy, or create more companies! Many successful entrepreneurs choose to do all of them.
Successful or not, entrepreneurs take control of their own lives.
Notice that in this case both phases of being an entrepreneur (struggle and success), you are doing what you want to do and free to choose how you want to do it, whereas in the corporate world you can only choose what makes the shareholders more profitable.
I would rather live a purposeful and adventurous life that “could” fulfill my dreams socially and financially than live a life just to sustain my existence for longer and buy cool stuff.
The best time to start a business for you just passed. The second best time to start a business is NOW.
Yea, most people want to start their own businesses, but always feel that the right time will come “later.”
Guess what? As time goes by your external responsibilities in life will only increase as your energy level decreases.
The best time is to start as early as possible (even in college!). Later on you will have a mortgage, you’ll have a family, your kids needs to go to college, and then you will need to save up for retirement while dealing with some new financial crisis. The best time to start a business will never arrive to you (actually lots of people become entrepreneurs after they get laid off so I take that back).
Just remember that you want to take the most risks when you have the least to lose. And that’s when you are young (or younger).
Every once in awhile I hear some naysayers challenge me by saying, “well if everyone becomes an entrepreneur, then there will be no employees and the world will not function!” I think this argument is bull because even though I agree with the logic, the truth is that even if I told the whole world to become entrepreneurs, only 5% will make real plans to become one, and only 0.2% will follow through and actually start a business. Of course, getting more education like getting an Gannon online MBA degree can always help you, regardless if you want to become an entrepreneur or an executive at a large firm.
So I think that’s not an issue anyone really needs to worry about. Its just a feel-good excuse to stay in the comfortable cubicles and not do anything different. All you have to worry about is to make sure you are part of that 0.2% who decides to take a leap of faith and make your life into an epic adventure.
I invite you to join the Real Life, where you actually have control over how you live it and what you do with it. It is yours completely, and the legacy is for yours to win or loss.