People often ask me what it was that made me want to be an entrepreneur at such a young age. I usually reply with “#1: i’m not young. And #2: I have a burning, dripping, agonizing desire to do something incredible. Something that after being created, takes a life on its own and becomes bigger than you and everyone involved. Now, these top 10 reasons are clearly derived from my own personal experiences but if I were to give you any other reasons to do a startup, I would be cheating you. Without further ado:
10. You get to fail. Over and over.
- When you are running a startup, you don’t have the luxury of time. You need to be able to put your product out in the web even before your product is 100% complete. Doing so facilitates a higher rate of failure but hopefully, a higher rate of customer suggestions. and yea… even complaints. At this stage, every bit of feedback you get from your customers should be your guiding light as to how you should improve your product.
9. Sleep matters less
- The funny things about running your own startup is that, by nature, sleep becomes less important. This is probably due to the fact that if you don’t deliver your next product, you will be out on the street before your DNS can propagate. You should wake up excited knowing that you have another day to bring your product to the next level!
8. Customers get to yell at you
- To have the opportunity to have your customer tell you EXACTLY WHAT IS WRONG with your product is a gold mine. Every single problem that you listen to may feel like a razorblade slicing your company to pieces but really, it is an opportunity to fix that lagging spot of your company and really make the customer say WOW! Building up your weaknesses can be a core competency. Woody Benson calls this petri dish marketing. Sample just a few, get some feedback, then iterate.
7. You are accountable for everything that is wrong
- But then again, you are accountable for almost everything that is right. To be in the position to determine your own destiny: to succeed or fail, is one of the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur. No guts, no glory. If you really believe in what you are doing, you will throw everything that you have on the line and mean it!
6. You sometimes end up sacrificing things that matter to you
- Now I’m clearly not experienced enough in the field to truly know what I’m talking about for this one but I’ve heard various successful entrepreneurs detail their experiences as all-consuming, sometimes being to the detriment of their loved ones. While working on HaveMyShift, I went from having a normal life, with school and hanging out with friends to going to work, taking a break by working out, and then going back to work. Someone once asked me what I did for fun and I gave them a blank stare for a bit. Oh yea… I do like to have fun! I’m still working on that whole work-life balance thing.
5. People have to rely on you
- A successful company rarely comes from a single individual. The overwhelming majority of successful companies come from small, smart and skilled teams of people that require every person to be operating at 100%. Knowing that, you need to trust every single person in your company to really be executing well.
4. Increase the likelihood of getting carpal tunnel
- I never thought I could be on the computer more than I was while a developer at Metromix and working on HaveMyShift at night but wow. I surpassed even my own expectations, easily. I’m not saying this will happen to you but in my case, since I do the majority of work and communication on my laptop, it’s definitely my #1 most important physical possession at this point.
3. You sometimes forget to eat
- Mix together a bunch of excitement with a heavy dose of work and meetings, add in a helping of coffee and it is really easy to forget to eat. Now, it’s definitely not an everyday thing but just yesterday, I ate breakfast at 9 o clock. PM. Is that a priorities problem or is that normal or what?
2. Make little to no money!
- When you first start, you will not be making any money. Unless you are funded, your sole income rests in the company you are working on. The good thing is that if you can execute, you can make many multiples of what you originally thought you could ever make.
1. You have to
- Face it. Working for anyone else just makes you feel like a complete tool. Your boss gives you jobs and tasks that would never help you realize what your real potential is. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t incredible bosses that can help you grow in amazing ways but for me, if I wasn’t following my own dreams, my life would probably feel like a Starbucks Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich. An unfulfilling and mediocre substitute to the real Bacon/Sausage Sandwich. Gimmie the real deal!
There you have it. My top 10 reasons I am an entrepreneur. What are the top 10 reasons YOU are an entrepreneur?