I have often heard senior professionals tell entrepreneurs that they wish they had the guts to leave their jobs and start up on their own. But I have yet to hear an entrepreneur,irrespective of whether their venture is doing well or struggling, tell any professional “I wish I had your job”.
The reason is easy to understand. Entrepreneurs start ventures largely in their areas of interest or passion. It’s always a great feeling when your work is also what you love to do. A job may or may not provide that option. Entrepreneurship does. But just doing what you are passionate about is not the only reason why entrepreneurs are generally more excited about their work. In some cases, rare though, you may get to do what you really are passionate about in a job too. The big difference however is that while in a job you are living either someone else’s dream or a company’s objectives, in your own startup, you are driving your own vision, goals, dreams and aspirations. Every small step in an entrepreneurial journey feels like an accomplishment and gives you the satisfaction of having reached a new milestone.
And while the entrepreneurial journey is not always smooth and often fraught with risks, challenges and failures, the entrepreneur’s passion for the concept and the domain provides the person the patience and courage and the will to push ahead and sometimes, even if the
venture fails, gives the person a personal high of having tried something.
Most importantly, irrespective of what the outcome of an entrepreneur’s venture – whether it fails or succeeds – the entrepreneur always wins, because even the failures teach you so much about business and life. They prepare your foundation for another leap. Another shot at glory.
Most entrepreneurs make entrepreneurship a life-long journey. If one venture fails, they try another. If the entrepreneurial experience had not been a satisfying one, they would have given up and taken up a job.
Passion about what you do is a necessary ingredient for entrepreneurship. Because, without passion and commitment you are unlikely to find the will to push through challenging times. And challenges there will be many and at many different times of the venture’s life. That’s why I tell entrepreneurs – don’t start a venture because it was the first opportunity that came across, or because you saw someone else in that space do well. Don’t just think of the obvious business ideas that seem to be doing well around you. Don’t go after a fad or a sector just because it is seeing a lot of action and investor interest. Do it only if your interest lies in that sector, and in what you want to do in that sector.