Are you watching people who started their businesses and wondering what could be their reasons to become an entrepreneur? If yes, stay with me. I was personally seen as either a brave man or a complete idiot for leaving a well-paid job in exchange for the uncertainty of my startup in its infancy. But sometimes, the feeling of doing the job you are asked to do in exchange for money to pay your bills is not challenging enough to keep you doing this. So in this article, I am going to break down several reasons you may consider entrepreneurship and join the 582 million entrepreneurs in the world.
Reasons to become an entrepreneur
To get an income
As surprising as it seems, this is the main reason people become entrepreneurs. Indeed, most people have no other choice but to have their own business to support themselves, assuming there is little to no job available. There is a correlation between the income level and the level of entrepreneurship: the poorer the country is, the more there are entrepreneurs in it, and vice-versa. From the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (report 2019/2020), this chart shows it well. (TEA here is the total early-stage entrepreneurial activity)
Of course, if you are lucky enough to choose the kind of life you want, you would need other reasons to become an entrepreneur. So let’s look at them.
To be fully independent
By independent, I mean responsibility: you don’t need to report to anyone else but yourself; you can work whenever you want, from the place you decide, and commit to your job as much as you want. This has many advantages, but you need to establish some rules to follow if you wish for positive results. Indeed, you are not entirely independent from your customers, who are ultimately the ones you need to convince if you want to remain in this situation as long as possible.
To do something you are passionate about
Another reason to become an entrepreneur is your passion for developing your activity. Sometimes, you feel trapped in a job not challenging, repetitive, dull; it can happen. So you keep doing it because you need to have an income to afford your lifestyle, but then you become less and less motivated, and you feel more and more trapped, and so on.
On the other hand, when you are an entrepreneur, you usually have chosen a field where you can excel. This means you are more likely to be very passionate about your activity (it would be weird to start a movement in a domain you don’t like). The prospect of making a living from your passions is another way to motivate yourself and create an entrepreneurial adventure.
To be in charge
Yes, that one is easy. But let’s face it, it is one of the primary reasons to become an entrepreneur. The simple fact of being called “boss,” “CEO,” or saying you are the one to call the shots in your company always has its effect. Maybe because of the responsibilities related to these titles, duties that many people prefer avoiding.
With great power comes significant responsibilities, remember? It is certainly true when you become an entrepreneur: if things are going well, it will be thanks to you. If not, you will have no one to blame but yourself, and accept the consequences of your decisions.
To change the world
I could not write about the reasons to become an entrepreneur without mentioning that one.
Many people dream about creating the next “big thing,” the next breakthrough innovation. However, thanks to many current services that changed our habits – YouTube, the iPhone, Uber – it has never been easier to do a service that can impact many people. And if you consider you need a computer and an Internet connection to build something, that leaves startup creation within anyone’s reach.
To learn new things
Sometimes, you may want to become an entrepreneur because you want to try things that you could not try in your current professional environment. Or it can be that you have the feeling you don’t learn enough with your current job.
Learning and trying new things are two good reasons to become an entrepreneur. Indeed, as an entrepreneur, you are in charge of everything in your startup. That means you need to learn about accountability, marketing, sales, logistics, product development, raising funds, etc. So many skills to know that you would probably not need in your job as an employee.
And of course, you have the possibility of learning the hard way, by doing things and learning from your mistakes. This informal learning is probably the best experience to learn how to manage a business.
To become very rich
As good as you might be as an employee, your employer will always determine your pay. As an entrepreneur, your salary is capped by yourself and the benefits you can make. For example, suppose your company makes $1,000,000 of profit in a year. In that case, you are worth $1,000,000 theoretically (although if you achieved this number with colleagues, you should not forget to reward their performance too!). In other words, if you are terrific, you can get very substantive pay.
The typical entrepreneur qualities
As we have seen, there are many reasons to become an entrepreneur (and this list is not exhaustive, obviously). However, if you identify yourself with one of these reasons, you should consider leaping.
But before that, you should also consider whether you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. Keep in mind that at least at the beginning, you will need to continuously provide much effort for no or very little reward, continually and regularly, and overtime before earning money. So let’s look at these qualities that could be helpful in your entrepreneurial adventure.
Among all the reasons to become an entrepreneur, freedom is the reason the most frequently proposed. So try to think of what could happen when you acquire new freedom you didn’t have before?
You want to use it as much as possible to make up for the lost time. There is nothing wrong with it, except when you spend too much time in it and not enough building your business. Temptations such as holidays, nights out, or even kids should be used moderately. It is sad to say, but free time is not compatible with working in a startup.
As said before, you will need to provide a considerable amount of effort initially, with almost no result. Put it differently, how long does it take to become an entrepreneur? Not long. How long does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? Impossible to say because it depends on how you run your business. The point is not to give up too soon: success could be at the next turn, and you could miss an incredible career if you stop too early. Same thing when you get your first setbacks, inevitable for an entrepreneur: funding refused, market reaction insufficient, disputes with your partners, or even bankruptcy.
On the other hand, you should also be able to acknowledge when your efforts are not worth continuing any further, or else you will waste your time and resources. Finding a balance between perseverance and realism is not easy. It is a skill you can learn only by repeatedly trying until you get enough experience to figure out what to do.
Self-confidence is vital because the more you look sure of yourself, the more likely you will bring more people to your project: co-founders or people willing to do punctual activities to develop your startup or investors. In any case, you need to be able to promote yourself and your business to ‘shine’ a ray of optimism to your potential partners.
Again, that seems obvious, but pick a business in which you are genuinely interested. You will potentially spend several years in it; better choose something exciting for you. You would not want to feel trapped in a tedious job again, even if you are the boss of that job.
It is implausible that you are the only one in your industry unless you own a unique technology (in that case, congratulations!). However, if you have competitors, you should consider how they could respond to your arrival in the market. They would certainly not do you any favors, so the best way to beat them is to study their strategies, understand what they do right and what they do wrong, and adapt your strategy.
Whatever your reasons to become an entrepreneur, you are about to – or are already – enter a life very different from what you had known before if you were employed. You will have complete freedom and all the responsibilities: no way to hide yourself this time!
However, the rewards can be very significant if you have all the qualities discussed in this article. 96% of entrepreneurs do not want to return to a 9 to 5 job anymore. Will you be one of those?