Entrepreneurs vs. People with Ideas

I have a lot of friends and colleagues who have great ideas and are very talented people. They will often ask how my ventures are going and will make comments about how great I have it to be my own boss, make my own schedule and take vacation whenever I want. They usually mention something at their work that is awful and they just want to leave and do their own thing like me because it would be so much better.  They even have this great idea for a business, BUT…

We are trying for a baby.

We are looking to move homes

The economy isn’t great for it now

yada yada yada

I just smile…

It has been 5 years since I started my entrepreneurial journey growing from a table and some resistance bands on a driving range to a state of the art 6000 sq foot performance facility with a team of 5 as well as interns.  To some who haven’t been through this, that line above is read as:

  • he doesn’t have a boss
  • he makes his own hours
  • he can give himself a raise whenever
  • he can take off whenever
  • wow, that’s awesome, I wish I could do that

What they and others who have not started a business fail to realize is that in a month, an entrepreneur has probably worked more hours than they will in the next three.  When an entrepreneur reads the above paragraph, they think “wow, that’s awesome, good for him, I WILL do that or I AM doing that.”  They are doers, they act on their ideas and pursue them relentlessly.

When you talk to “people with ideas”, they don’t understand leaving the safety of a full time job for one with no guarantees or time off.  Work more than 40 hours and not get overtime?  Come on now…that’s illegal isn’t it?  The grass isn’t always greener if PTO and overtime is what you’re looking for.  Entrepreneurship is not for everyone.

To an entrepreneur, working hard and not having the comforts of a full time job is everything.  I am not sure if there is a screw loose in us, but we crave not having PTO or any of the comforts of working for someone else as much as we need oxygen to live.

To me, it signifies doing something with my life that so many people don’t do; actually pursuing my dream and living with a satisfaction that everything I have, I built.  I am proud I am doing things for myself, my own way and improving it every day…In my opinion, this is the American dream that has been forgotten in our culture of entitlement.

So are you an entrepreneur or a person with ideas?  If you have that great idea, are you willing to take the leap of working 70+ hours per week for what turns out to be less than minimum wage without PTO or a retirement plan to realize it?

If you are, I promise you will not be disappointed by the overwhelming pride and sense of accomplishment you feel whenever you step back, look at what you have done and think, “Wow, I built this.”  This is my greatest hope for my son and daughter…that they will one day be able to say those exact words.

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