Apr 2, 2015

Entrepreneurship: It’s The Life We Choose

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

I don’t know who said this quote, but it’s stuck with me for several years. There’s so much truth to it.

At first you might think it’s about the money — I know that’s why I originally saved the image above. But that’s not it. Most entrepreneurs make less than their peers working in salaried jobs. There are a few entrepreneurs that make it big, but they’re not the average.

Money is not what sustains entrepreneurs to do what they do. Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle and it’s ultimate reward is freedom:

  • Freedom to build
  • Freedom to develop people and teams
  • Freedom to innovate
  • Freedom to cut your own path

It’s not an easy lifestyle, but it’s a rewarding one.

Compelled To Create

I’m getting home from a whirlwind of travel over the past 3 weeks. I was developing brand strategies with clients in Norway, Canada, and the United States.

I was reflecting on my travels as I flew home last night, and I was struck by how entrepreneurs share a bond. We are compelled to create.

It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what language you speak, if you’re an entrepreneur you have this deeply ingrained feeling. It’s hard to put to words, but it’s there.

Entrepreneurs create businesses, products, and brands that didn’t exist before them. They bring together talented, like-minded people. They build teams. They invest and innovate to realize their dreams. And they work and toil, often for years at a time, to make their vision a reality.

Entrepreneurs have an internal spark and tenacity that really drives them to create.

The Lifestyle Isn’t For Everyone

I often describe the life of an entrepreneur as manic: massive highs followed by crashing lows.

Ask any entrepreneur, and they’ll agree. It’s the life we choose. Building a business and a brand is a journey fraught with obstacles and challenges, but to overcome them is a delight.

Building an idea — whether it’s a business, product, brand, or a community — is a long hard journey. We don’t have a crystal ball, and inevitably we fall down and fail over and over again. But this is all part of the process. As we try and fail, we learn and grow. And this forms the foundation to build a business.

Not everyone is cut out for this journey. There have been many days where I have dreamt of a nice salaried job with benefits — oh how glorious that must be. But I can’t imagine doing anything else.

The compulsion to create is too powerful to give up. And seeing this struggle in other entrepreneurs reinforces this is why we do what we do.

Money Is a Result

The success many people witness with entrepreneurs is years in the making. Many entrepreneurs will say, “I am a 20 year overnight success.”

Entrepreneurs are compelled to build, and are then celebrated for their accomplishments. But the journey is as important for the entrepreneur as the results.

Being an entrepreneur affords you a lifestyle that many people will never experience. You get to do things and create things that would just not be possible any other way.

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