Why being a start up or entrepreneur doesn't suck

Apr
27

I have been reading quite a few articles recently that talk about how difficult it is to be an entrepeneur/start up/small business owner. Recently I challenged Sarah Prevette on the fact that being an entrepeneur "sucks".

I will certainly never disagree that being a business owner is hard. And stressful. And some days thankless. It's not for everyone (and there are some days I wonder if it is even the right fit for me!)

I am fairly sure I would have more hair if I had a nice, stable predictable job. However, I would strongly disagree that it "sucks". I think if people are complaining about how much it "sucks" to run a business, they're doing the "grass is greener on the other side" thing and forgetting how much it can suck to be an employee.

Not everyone has a great boss, a great job, or works for a great company. I am sure for some people working away on the daily grind the prospect of owning your own business must look like Valhalla.

It started me thinking about the good things about owning a business and I respectfully submit the following as counter arguements to the fact that "starting up" and owning your own business "sucks":

  1. You don't have a boss or anyone to be accountable to 
  2. You get to pick your co-workers; and if you don't like a co-worker, you can actually do something about it
  3. You get to lead, show initiative, be passionate
  4. If you're not feeling good, you don't have to call in to ask permission to use a sick day
  5. If you want to watch your child's dance recital, you can go without having to worry about whether it will cost a vacation day
  6. If you don't like your job you are ultimately the one that can change it
  7. You know what the health of your company is; you'll never be laid off unexpectedly
  8. You should be in a preferable tax situation, allowing you to keep more of your money
  9. You should be able to write off several personal expenses [ if point #8 and #9 don't make sense to you - run - don't walk - to an accountant right now. Now. I'll wait ]
  10. If you don't like the way something is where you work, you change it. You. 

Most people will tell you that owning a business is rewarding when you look back at what you've built and feel pride. I agree, this is true; but I don't know that running a business should be seen as a painful along the way. I don't think that building a business should be solely on the basis of raising liquidity and selling. I think owning a business and creating a start up is about having a passion for something or seeing an opportunity to do something better than anyone else and GOING for it. 

I'll close with the old cliche - if running a business was easy everyone would be doing it; but those of us that are running a business should realize the good along with the bad, lest we turn away a new generation of entrepeneurs. 

Posted via email from David Billson's Posterous