November 19

Should YOU Be An Entrepreneur?

Tony Barrett

I don’t know.


I’d need to talk to you first.


I’d need to understand your circumstances. Your goals. Your mindset. Your WHY.


Once I have an understanding of those things, I might be able to give you some sensible guidance.


Maybe my advice would be to stick to your job. That you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. Not everyone is built for it.


But I do think that many - maybe even most - people should AT LEAST consider it.


Why?


Because job security is not what it used to be.


Because for many of us, our superannuation - or 401(k) for my US friends - won’t be enough to fund the lifestyle we want in retirement.


Because SO many people are unhappy in their “real” jobs.


The Problem of Disengagement...

Just picking up that last one…


In 2017, Gallup released a research report suggesting that that 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged with their jobs.


EIGHTY. FIVE. PERCENT.

If you have an office-based job, next time you’re in a meeting with 10 other people, look around the room.


(Or if that’s not likely to happen for a while due to COVID, maybe look around the virtual room in your next zoom meeting.)

disengaged-office-team

The odds are that 8 or 9 of those people are not engaged with their jobs.


That number is staggering to me.


Even though I used to be one of them.


Most full time workers spend at least 40 hours a week at work.


And when you add in commute time, after hours work, etc it could easily be 50+ hours for many people.


Over a year, that’s 2,500 hours.


Over a decade that’s 25,000 hours.


Surely that’s a CRAZY amount of time to spend at something you don’t even like??


But What’s The Alternative?

Well, you can try changing jobs.


That MIGHT work.


Personally, I changed jobs several times during my corporate career, and while some jobs were an improvement… some weren’t.


No guarantees there.


How about being your own boss?


Certainly many of us have had entrepreneurial dreams at one point or another.


I remember in my 20s, going out for drinks with friends and tossing around ideas for businesses.


At some level, every one of those guys had dreams of being an entrepreneur.


But now, 20 years later, how many have actually acted on that?


One.


Me.


But why?


Well I think there are a lot of reasons.


It’s not the usual path for most people… we all have teachers, parents, professors, life partners, friends and other family members telling us that we need to “get a job”.


It’s easy to talk about over a few beers… but hard to actually do.


We don’t like getting out of our comfort zones… once we have a job, it’s easier to just stay there.


We think of it as risky… our job ‘guarantees’ us regular, steady income whereas a business will not.


And then there is the prevailing ‘young entrepreneur’ culture, which tells us that if we haven’t done it by the time we’re 30, then we can’t do it.


We celebrate - rightly so - the 22yo kid who has solved some problem, built a business around it and done very well for him or herself.

successful-entrepreneur-young

Successful YOUNG entrepreneur...

But I think for many older folks, this creates a crisis of confidence when it comes to entrepreneurship.


Which is a real shame.


Look what that kid has done by the age of 30, and here I am over 40 and I haven’t done half as much.


It’s too late for me.


I have a mortgage and kids - I need to worry about keeping my job, not building a business.


You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.


So what happens? We end up working for someone else, disengaged and unhappy, until we either retire in our 60s, or we’re forced out by some youngster with half our experience and can’t get another job.


Then you spend your final years living frugally so you can survive off your superannuation - 401(k) if you’re in the US - and whatever government assistance you can qualify for.


It’s a crying shame.


There IS A Better Way

I know, because I’m doing it.


After 20 years in the corporate world, I began my entrepreneurial adventure in 2018 at the ripe old age of 45.

And I haven’t regretted a minute of it since.


This blog is my way of sharing my knowledge, insights, successes, failures, mistakes and everything else that goes along with being an entrepreneur.


I’m also hoping that by showing that it is very doable, even when you’re on the “wrong” side of 40, I can inspire a few of those unhappy and disengaged corporate warriors to do something about their situations.

successful-older-entrepreneur

A (semi) successful old entrepreneur...

Entrepreneurship has never been more accessible than it is right now.


The internet has opened up SO many opportunities to build a business that simply didn’t exist 30 years ago… and it’s still early days.


More and more of the world gets online every year. eCommerce continues to grow at a cracking pace (and has even accelerated in 2020). Business models continue to evolve and mature. Opportunities continue to arise.


It doesn’t have to be expensive.


It doesn’t have to be risky.


Yes it will take work, but so does anything worthwhile, and it doesn’t have to be 60, 80 or 100 hours a week.


You can get started while still doing your full time job, as long as you can find a few hours a week to work on it.


If you want more information on this, then sign up for my email list to get my regular ramblings about entrepreneurship, online businesses, marketing and the like.


If you would like to go a bit further and talk to me about becoming an entrepreneur, drop and comment below or email me (address in the footer).


It could be the most important conversation of your working life.


Tags

entrepreneur, entrepreneurship


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