Everyone who works for him or herself, has an acquaintance, friend or family member that consistently moans about how unappreciated they feel at work, how incompetent their boss is, whilst seemingly earning different amounts depending on the context of the conversation.
Their salary miraculously rises as they justify their reasoning for staying in this apparent dead-end of a job, whilst it decreases just as monumentally as they whine about the injustice and inequality abound. The brand-new BMW fleet that suddenly appears in the parking space, carefully lined up in the “reserved for administrators” zone, seems to only further fuel their angst.
In my experience, real entrepreneurship is not a choice. When you have that enlightened idea that keeps you awake through the night; that when explained to family, friends and eventually strangers, triggers a concerned look that translates to perceived delusion in your part; when no one will give you the time of the day, let alone lend you anything over a cab fare; when the few most supportive of friends try to let you down gently in the hope of protecting you from yourself, and what do you then go and do?
Yes, you go ahead with the idea, full steam ahead, as if it was a guaranteed success. As if somehow you had nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s as if everyone, for some odd reason, has become paralysed in the world of opportunity and your credit card ends up bearing the brunt of it.
I don’t believe entrepreneurship is taught, though, more and more, we are seeing a few Universities, accelerators and incubators embrace the need to equip the entrepreneur, the diseased folk, with the tools and knowledge to survive the hurdles, bureaucracy and bullshit that is involved in creating your company. Depending on where you live, to open a company can be relatively easy or the biggest challenge you will ever meet.
So most “wantrapreneurs” take courses, spend their day waiting for the “right idea” or decide that the time is right and embark on a strategy based on mitigation of risk. You take a lousy part time job that “enables” you to financially survive and test the waters. You will never be great in life if you consistently compromise everything you do.
Getting your feet wet is exactly that. It’s akin to slowly entering the cold water and gasping for air as your private parts feel the brunt of the cold water. Your brain is ordering you… “retreat, retreat” and you bob up and down as the waves push the cold water further up your body. Your brain intervenes - don’t you dare put your head under that water!
The afflicted few never place their feet in a swimming pool they know is cold. They somehow have come to terms with the fact that if they just jump in, head first, they’ll survive the cold and will quickly adapt to the new temperature. They’ll swim madly across to the other end of the pool as if fleeing a tsunami, only to smile when they finally arrive at the other end as they realize that after all, it isn’t that cold.
If these aren’t symptoms of a chronic disease, with no apparent remedy, then I don’t know what is. So, if you are one of those people, with a “steady” job waiting for the perfect opportunity to switch from the “dark side” to “paradise”, think again. And now think again. And if you are still thinking, don’t give up as you could actually be cured. A little rehab will ensure you don’t take the plunge.
Sit back, look up at the sky, and enjoy the beauty of life that entrepreneurs rarely have the chance to even acknowledge exists. If you are one of the chronically ill, then don’t give up either but instead come to terms with the fact that the right medicine can save you whilst the wrong pills will surely be the death of you. Here, you do have a choice. It’s your own choice.
main image: unsplash