Why Entrepreneurship is Not For Everyone

Entrepreneurship

Given how long I have been working in business, it’s safe to say that I consider myself to have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. I’ve got a lot of experience to showcase. I’ve made my mark on a lot of businesses, in various capacities, large and small. Look at Inc & Co, it’s an undeniably successful company and I held a key entrepreneurship role. This is by no means a brag. It’s to show that entrepreneurship is clearly the right career path for me. But, that’s not to say it’s for everyone. If you ask me, entrepreneurship is more than just starting a business.

There is a common misconception that everyone can make it big in business if they have a good idea or the financial backing. The dream of being an entrepreneur is sold to millions, but it’s not one that I completely buy into. Being an entrepreneur is more than being a business owner. It’s more than having a good idea, an innovative product or a much-needed service. 

Surprisingly, unlike a lot of people, I’m actually going to argue against the idea that entrepreneurship is a viable career path for everyone. You really do have to have what it takes to succeed, and not everyone does.

The Social Pressure to Pursue Entrepreneurship

There has been a growing social pressure for people to pursue entrepreneurship as a career path in recent years. This is reflected by the number of people that have started businesses and side hustles, and the increasing number of people that have transitioned to freelance working. The rise of startups and the tech industry’s successes have fueled the hype around entrepreneurship, attracting people who want to do something similar. This social pressure is largely driven by entrepreneurial success stories. There’s always a story about an entrepreneur who has made millions by starting a business. This makes it feel as though entrepreneurship is something that anyone can do. 

Media and popular culture also glamorise entrepreneurship, portraying it as an exciting and desirable lifestyle, one that works around travel and family life. Though this is true, it’s also time consuming, stressful and risky. It’s not uncommon for people to crave autonomy and independence in their careers, and entrepreneurship is often associated with being your own boss and setting your own schedule. People hear about someone having a fantastic work-life balance because of entrepreneurship and they want the same.

The Potential Downsides of Starting a Business

Everyone knows the benefits of starting a business. You can enjoy the freedom of managing your own workload, and there’s no one to answer to. If the business is a success, you are the first person to benefit financially. However, there are a number of downsides of starting a business. 

Potential Failure – Entrepreneurship involves inherent risks and uncertainties. Starting and running a business can be risky, and success is not guaranteed.

Long Working Hours – As a business owner, you will often work long hours, especially in the early stages of starting a business. This often ruins the work-life balance that many people desire.

Emotional and Mental Strain – The journey of entrepreneurship can be emotionally and mentally challenging. You have to deal with setbacks, failures and the pressure to succeed. These are all things that you don’t have to worry about if you work for someone else.

Financial Risk – One of the main downsides of starting a business is the financial risk. Starting a business usually requires a significant financial investment, which can be a risk if the business doesn’t end up being a success. 

Entrepreneurship Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Responsibility and Decision Making – As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for your business’s success. The weight of decision making and problem solving can be overwhelming at times, especially if there’s a lot riding on it. 

Lack of Job Security – Unlike traditional employment, entrepreneurship does not offer the same level of job security. Business performance directly impacts your livelihood. A lot of people find that they prefer the stability and predictability of traditional employment, rather than the unpredictable nature of entrepreneurship.

Networking and Sales – Successful entrepreneurship usually requires you to network and make connections in your industry. You need to build relationships, attract customers and secure partnerships. This can be stressful, time consuming and daunting aspects of an entrepreneurial career path.

Be Realistic About Being an Entrepreneur

While pursuing entrepreneurship can be a fulfilling and rewarding career path, it’s important to remember that it is not the right fit for everyone. The social pressure to pursue entrepreneurship can lead to unrealistic expectations and unprepared ventures. Dreams are quickly dashed when an entrepreneur isn’t an overnight success. It is crucial to carefully assess your passions, skills, risk tolerance and motivations before deciding to become an entrepreneur.

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Written by
Scott Dylan
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Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan

I’m Scott Dylan, Inc & Co Co-Founder and Partner. I oversee the company's strategic direction and work to acquire and invest in distressed and viable companies, helping businesses improve their business processes and setting strategic directions.

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