Why you chose the entrepreneur life

by Peter Shallard

Why you chose the entrepreneur life

You’re reading this because you’re curious. You’re an entrepreneur and some Shrink on the internet is offering to explain why you signed up for the life you did.

You’re curious because sometimes you don’t even know. Your entrepreneurial friends all make the same joke: “Sometimes I miss being an employee.” But it’s only ever a joke.

You’re committed. Even when things get really tough, you don’t think seriously about giving up and signing up for a cubical. Even if the thought crosses your mind.

I wrote this article for one reason. Knowing why you signed up for this life will give you the power to focus on what’s most important. Understanding the reason, beyond the promise of riches and freedom, will make you truly rich and free.

Seriously considering doing something else is… unthinkable. Let me tell you why. When the entrepreneur life chooses you, you can look forward to some delightful experiences. These will start to show up with alarming regularity.

Uncertainty

You’ll get real familiar with this guy. It’s such a big deal that Jonathan Fields wrote a book titled just that. As an entrepreneur, uncertainty will heap upon you and it’s your job to learn to cope with it. Or in fact, flourish under it.

Leadership/Power

Next up, you’ll need to learn to lead. A vacuum of power, as you start to do bigger and badder things will require someone to take the captain’s seat. Even the smallest, most stay-at-home internet entrepreneur has to lead in some capacity.

Leadership can be about inspiring hundreds of people, or just yourself. It’s mainly about making decisions that no one else can make

Infinite Possibilities

Get ready to drown in options. When you put Uncertainty and Leadership in a blender, the resulting smoothie tastes like infinite possibilities. This is a good thing until you realize that the freedom to do anything means it’s very hard to much at all.

You feel the Uncertainty, Leadership and Infinite Possibility settle onto your shoulders every morning when you sit down at your desk and ask yourself “What do I do next?”

Suddenly entrepreneurship isn’t sounding very sexy, so it’s time to reveal the reason you do this to yourself.

Entrepreneurship is for growing humans. 

As business owners, we really just go to school. It’s a special school – we take the classroom with us wherever we go and there is always a pop quiz.

Entrepreneurship forces you to grow. Specifically, it requires that you become a self soothing, self actualized, self assured individual.

It’s all about you. Your business is a finishing academy that takes the hot mess that your family and schooling created, and polishes the shit out of it. Sometimes with an angle grinder.

The result is a fully transformed, self actualized human. Someone who has found Victor Frankl’s search for meaning. Who’s rocketing through Professor Clare Graves spiral of human development. Who’s summiting Maslow’s pyramid.

If constraints inspire creativity, then your market is the ultimate constraint. You brainstorm and scheme, hitting up against all the walls until you find a way to bust through them. Or you turn into such a Jedi that you will those walls out of existence.

When I moved away from clinical psychotherapy with depressed and anxious civilians, I wondered why entrepreneurs were so much fun to work with. The answer is clear to me now, after several years in the game: It’s because they grow faster than anyone else. 

Entrepreneurialism is personal development.

You could read a Tony Robbins book and grow. You could attend a weekend seminar and grow even more.

Or, imagine if you could attend a camp where you were forced to work on yourself for almost every waking hour. Where countless challenges (never the same twice) are lined up in front of you, daily. Instead of Tony Robbins, you can compile your own dream team of authors, coaches, gurus, friends and family to give you advice.

Imagine what people would pay to attend a camp like that, just for a week.

My offer to you is this: You can attend, for free. It’ll cost you your life but you won’t lose it, you’ll merely spend it.

Your self is what you get in return.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan February 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Thanks for putting a big, broad smile across my face Peter! Just the other day I heard myself say (verbatim), “Sometimes I miss being an employee.” Then quickly followed it up with, “But I would never give up working for myself!”. What was I thinking? Even with the specter of uncertainty lurking in the corner, and the road blocks that are self-created not to mention the unending pop quizzes, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity to grow up for the uncertainty of working for someone else!

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Chris Wandell February 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Hi Peter,

I’m a huge fan of your work, it’s certainly helped me out and it was my pleasure to link to this post on my new niche site (it’s in the category sidebar under ‘being a productive writer).

Your posts are exactly measured to deliver excellent value at a frequency which keeps me looking forward to the next one and lets me get on with my day. They are just so damn enlightening!

All the best

Chris

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Financial Samurai March 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Fun and creativity. If money comes, great. But that’s what spending the past 13 years of my career was for, making and saving money to be able to do what I want.

It’s important entrepreneurs be reasonable. After 3 years of trying, if you are failing, I’d say get a job. Don’t want to end up alone and broke!

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