Throughout the last 15 years or so I have started so many businesses and tried so many different entrepreneurial endeavors that I've forgotten just what the price of doing so is.
Working for a paycheck and building a business are two entirely different things and two modes of thinking. When you are working for a paycheck you are exchanging time for money. When you work for a paycheck you aren't building any equity. Working for a paycheck is a short term approach and doesn't involve any deferral of gratification.
Conversely, when you work on building a business you aren't really exchanging time for money. You are really just exchanging time for experiments that may or may not pay off. You have no clue if what you're doing will ever make money. It's all just a shot in the dark. Sure, the more things you try and the more you experiment the smarter you get and the better chance you have of something working, but nothing is for sure and there are no guarantees.
So when you're building a business as an entrepreneur you are working for free.
You may be worth $100/hr if somebody hired you, but when you're working for yourself and with partners your hourly wage is now $0/hr. And of course, most people know this which is why most people don't start businesses and instead choose to remain as employees. It's not a bad thing by any means, it is simply a choice in time preference. There are pros and cons to both paths and you don't have to be one or the other.
I know I'm stating the obvious, but sometimes it's good to remind yourself of what is really going on. If you're going to be an entrepreneur and start a business it's probably a good idea to make sure you love what you're doing since you're going to be doing a lot of it for free. You are basically volunteering your time for free for a cause you believe in.
This is what I've done for most of my adult life and while it can have its rewards, it is also counter to the way many people think. Looking in from the outside I think a lot of people see a businessman making large sums of money and say that they are lucky or privileged or some other lacking description. What people don't realize are the decades of failures and free work that the entrepreneur was doing while the other person was making a steady paycheck.
People don't immediately view the unseen cause which created the seen effect of wealth and prosperity.
Sure, while some successful entrepreneurs may be born into wealth or get lucky or what have you, the vast majority got there through good old fashioned free labor. They spent their free time working for free while others spent their free time doing other things. I know this is most certainly the case for me as well as other entrepreneurs I know. It's not magic, it's just working for free for a long time until something hits.
Welcome to the wonderful world of entrepreneurship! ??
Filed under:Business, Entrepreneurs, Work