By Kirsten Doyle
As a species, human beings look for the easiest, most efficient ways to do things. Instead of walking, we take the car. Instead of putting pen to paper and writing a letter, we type an email. Instead of teaching our kids ourselves, we send them to school. The quest for these efficiencies is part of human nature, and for the most part, it helps society to move forward.
Sometimes, though, people do things that go against human nature. They run ultramarathons. They fly around the world in hot air balloons. They leave perfectly good jobs in order to start their own businesses.
ENTREPRENEURS LOVE WHAT THEY DO!
Entrepreneurship goes against the human instinct to seek the easiest solution. Almost everyone who starts their own business gives up a steady-paying job, or the potential for a steady-paying job. They trade in the regular working hours, paid vacation time and benefits for a life of working late into the night almost every day – including weekends and holidays, and cash flow that is sporadic at best.
Why would anyone voluntarily make that choice if it’s so difficult? Well, quite simply, entrepreneurs love what they do, and they love what they do because they are following their passion. In many cases it’s a trade-off: stay in a well-paying but unfulfilling job because it’s safe, or risk your financial well-being in order to do what you really love to do.
DON’T HAVE ANY REGRETS
I started my own business about a year after being laid off from a corporate job that I had been unhappy in. During that year, I flip-flopped between the security of corporate employment and the risk of going after my dreams. In the end, I chose the latter because I did not want to go through life feeling the scariest emotion of all: regret.
I can honestly say that I have not regretted my decision once. Yes, the hours are long and the responsibility is scary. No, the money is not always regular. But the fact that I am doing exactly what I want to do makes everything else worthwhile.
MAKING THAT DARING DECISION TO PURSUE YOUR DREAM
If you have been thinking of following your passion but you’re on the fence about making the leap into entrepreneurship, here are five things you should know.
- If you’re waiting for the “right time” to start your own business, you’ll be waiting forever. Your logical brain will always come up with a reason for you not to do it. Let your passion drive you and figure out a way to make this the “right time”.
- It’s OK to ask for help. In fact, entrepreneurs who do ask for help are statistically more likely to succeed than those who don’t. If you get advice in the areas that you’re not an expert in, you will be free to do what you love to do.
- Success is not an end goal, it’s a journey – and it’s not measured by money alone. If your sole ambition is to wake up one day and be swimming in cash, entrepreneurship may not be for you. True entrepreneurs find successes every single day, and the little successes build up to bigger successes. Simply having the courage to follow your passion is a sign of success.
- Accountability is both terrifying and exhilarating. As a business owner, you are responsible for everything. Every decision, every purchase, every contact. It’s scary, because if something goes wrong, you’re on the hook to fix it. But it’s thrilling to know that you have complete say over how you go after your dream.