The problem with being an entrepreneur

Following on from Matt Ogborne’s article on being an entrepreneur, I though I would give my own thoughts on the trials of entrepreneurship.  The benefits are well documented, but what are the pitfalls?

Constant mild state of agitation with everything

Entrepreneurs are by their very nature people who like to get things done and challenge the status quo.  I find it very difficult to cope with people who are doing a crap job (i.e. not getting thing done) or talking rubbish.  I think that Mat’s example of the checkout girl is a good one, if you are running your own business you care deeply about everything being done right this striving for a perfect unobtainable world, causes constant agitation.

Different view of time to ‘the employed’

I can’t cope with long meeting these days.  In running my business there are lots of things which only I can do and if I waste time, they just won’t happen.  When I was employed, time was not nearly such a precious commodity.

Obsessive behaviour

Martin Sorrell has said something to the effect of  ‘starting a business is the closest that a man can get to having a baby’.  I’m not sure that my children would really apprecate the analogy, but I do get his point.  Running your own business requires a huge degree of dedication and tenacity which does tend to get in the way of normal life.  I haven’t had many holidays in the last 5 years for example.

You can make more money doing just about anything else

Most of my friend are now earning sums of money I can only dream of and take on no, or very low risk in their careers.  Entrepreneurs on the whole are not in it for the money.  This is one of the problems with the high pay in areas such as the financial services, it pays so well that it sucks the desire out of people to do something different.


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