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?

The Economy: An Opportunity

Serial Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis who recently retired from blogging and started, instead, an email newsletter has always been straight-talker. His candor and quick tongue are traits I find in myself that often, like Jason, get me into trouble. If you subscribe to Jason’s newsletter you certainly received his latest. If not, you can find it here on Alley Insider.

Jason’s email has a “focus on the entrepreneurial and startup depression and economic downturns/depressions–and how you can deal with them.” He suggests that the economic downturns we’re seeing right now will kill 50-80% of startups within the next 18 months, and that entrepreneurs need to be prepared to take certain steps to fortify, but also to monitor and address their own “entrepreneurial depression and anxiety.”

I love this topic. I’ve stated many times on this blog, and otherwise, that one of the biggest defining characteristics of an entrepreneur is his/her perseverence and resiliency. Those characteristics are to an entrepreneur like water to a fish. These are traits that an entrepreneur just requires 100% of the time. Jason states,

“Depending on your DNA, getting your ass kicked is either complete torture or deviantly rewarding. Truth be told, I like getting my ass kicked because it makes me angry, motivated and focused.” Continue reading The Economy: An Opportunity