The Best and Worst of Being an Entrepreneur

Last evening I read an article in Inc. titled, “We Asked, You Twittered” and subtitled, “What’s the best part of owning your business?” The submissions were as follows:

Defining success. You set the goals, and you sit on both sides of the table at the performance review.
— Elizabeth Grace Saunders, Real Life E

Making the sale. No better feeling than seeing an overjoyed customer. — Kendall Schoenrock, Larger Than Life Prints

Being able to inspire others: employees, clients, investors, partners. And to do so while in flip-flops. — Mike Mothner, Wpromote

Best part is working on me. My business is me and I am my business; there is no separating us. I can work on business from bed — Veronica Castro, Entiise Lingerie

I don’t have to worry about being “downsized.” — Tony Darnell, WideVision

Knowing what the “long view” really is. — Tom Sadler, The Middle River Group

The absolute absurd amount of hustle and how much knowledge you get from it.
— Braden Douglass, Pixel Spills Design

Calling the shots, creative freedom, managing a schedule based on my life needs, being myself and getting paid for it — Valerie Parizeault, Rose Flash Studio

The ability to be creative in pursuit of a creative goal — the best antidepressant ever. — Jeff Carter, Unison Search

Having a goal, a purpose, an income, and a destiny that’s in my own hands. — Ian Watt, Ian Watt Real Estate

Doing a video conference wearing a suit jacket and no pants. — Justin A. Schuck, L/A Events

No one yells at you when you take a day off. — Phyllis Pometta, Baby Swags

This got me thinking about my own likes and dislikes. I’ve been an entrepreneur in varying capacities since about 1997 or so when I started my own home-based consulting business, helping small local businesses with their computer needs and with their websites. This was the first spark in what has now become an entrepreneurial blaze. Interestingly enough, I find myself more than ten years later serving the same market in a very similar capacity. Well, anyway, I’m getting off track.

I thought about a few of my own items, and here they are. I’d love to hear from you, especially if you are an entrepreneur or even an aspiring one.

My 10 Favorite Things About Being an Entrepreneur

  1. Selling the vision.
  2. Watching my team work together to solve a problem entirely on their own.
  3. Seeing our customers happy.
  4. Seeing our employees happy.
  5. Hiring people.
  6. Building a company (not the same as building a business).
  7. Working towards my life goals.
  8. Knowing that I have a job tomorrow.
  9. Being a critical element in the plan.
  10. The constant change and need to adapt.

My 10 Least Favorite Things About Being an Entrepreneur

  1. Letting people go.
  2. The frauds, the poseurs, the leaches, the liars.
  3. Finances and financial matters.
  4. Being susceptible to powerful outside influences (e.g., economy).
  5. The pressure I put on myself to work harder.
  6. The consequences of working harder.
  7. Not having enough ______ to do ______.
  8. Unhappy employees.
  9. Unhappy customers.
  10. The constant change and need to adapt.

What do you think about these? Can you relate? What’s your list?

    Elizabeth Grace Saunders
    February 26, 2009 at 15:35

    Thanks for posting my quote as part of the Inc article. I truly believe that a business can allow you to decide on and live out your personal definition of success.

    For me, one of those is excelling professionally without sacrificing my personal life. That’s why I aim to run two businesses in just 40 hours a week and also take about four weeks of vacation each year.

    My blog offers time strategies that anyone can use to achieve similar success.

    To creating a brilliant life in a burnt-out world!

    Christian - Wpromote
    February 26, 2009 at 17:08

    Thanks for posting this Ben and thank you for mentioning us!

    I totally agree with your #10 post,
    “The constant change and need to adapt.”

    Often times the fun and difficult thing about about online advertising is that it’s still such a young industry and constantly evolving, which means to stay on top of the game you need to constantly innnovate.

    Great blog, we’d love to do a guest post if you are accepting any at the moment.

      Ben Saren
      February 26, 2009 at 17:17

      Hi Christian,

      Thanks for the comment! I totally agree about the market/industry “constantly evolving… stay on top of the game…. constantly innovate.” I often say that when I cash out of CitySquares I will become a plumber or landscaper – as far away from technology as I can! Then people laugh at me and suggest that I may do that, but I’d twitter from the job site! I think they have a point…

      I don’t do guest posts on this blog, but on CitySquares’ blog we do, as long as its pertinent to small business, marketing, and the challenges of being a small business etc. I’d love to have you write something for it, or even be a regular on there if you think the topics will be relevant.

    Tim Kilroy
    April 28, 2009 at 15:28

    Ben, I know that you manage the least favorite aspects of entrepreneurship well.

    The constant need to adapt and change is only on my favorites list. Part of the exercise in entrepreneurship is creating an organization that is fluid, and malleable. Fluidity in motion in an athlete is a beautiful thing. For a business, it is a needed survival skill.

    The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is always the finances. There is no easy way to birth a vision, create a company, and create valued and valuable employees, and to add the stress of financial management on top of it can often be backbreaking. But keeping in mind that the goal is to create a company that is fluid in its approach allows for a fluidity of business model that creates opportunities whereas a business that is static in its approach must have a rigid approach to funding because its needs are fixed.

    Create fluid thinkers, fluid doers, and you will create an entity that will grow beyond what one can imagine.

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