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10 Unexpected Reasons Why Being An Entrepreneur Rocks

10 Unexpected Reasons Why Being An Entrepreneur Rocks

When I was growing up, all the cool kids wanted to be in a band.

I wasn’t cool, so I hung out in the library – probably trying to learn how to be cool (but that’s another story).

Today, all the cool kids want to be entrepreneurs. Kids dream of having a start up when they grow up and professionals leave established careers to have a shot at the entrepreneurial dream.

As someone who took an active role in launch of three businesses in the last seven years I can testify to the fact that – contrary to popular opinion – there’s no glory in being an entrepreneur whatsoever.

Having said that, I absolutely love being en entrepreneur because every day I experience perks which I believe a “real” 9 am to 5 pm office job simply can’t provide me with.

Let me share with you a few that matter most.

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1. Fight Club

I’m very competitive in nature. I like to compete with myself and others. Being an entrepreneur, by its nature, means being involved in a never-ending competition.

Showing up on top in Google search results, making profit and scaling a business are all signs of being able to out think, out strategize and out market other entrepreneurs.

It’s like being in a boxing ring during working hours; I’m always either ducking, blocking or striking. Every moment someone is trying to beat me, which makes the game of entrepreneurship intrinsically fulfilling and rewarding.

2. Living a Designed Life

Because rigid boundaries of a job description don’t limit me, I’m free to design my life the way I want it. I then implement business strategies which allow me to have amazing life experiences.

This year, for example, I’m travelling around the world with my wife; since January we’ve lived in the USA, Spain, Israel and are yet to trek through France, Italy and Switzerland. Both of us are working from our laptops until early afternoon and spend the rest of the day exploring new cultures.

3. Creating Replaces Dreaming

I used to be a desire-driven dreamer. “I wish I had this” was a very common thought in my mind. My life was centered around a need to flip through glossy brochures and dream of buying luxury items which would make me feel like I had finally “made it”.

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Becoming an entrepreneur taught me to create real results. I no longer find satisfaction in dreaming or pretending.

4. No Bureaucracy

One of the main reasons I disliked the having a “real job” was because I felt like a lot of my energy was wasted on dealing with unnecessary meetings, office politics and red tape.

It was frustrating to see bureaucracy killing off the best ideas. The bigger the company, the less I felt like I could contribute to it in a meaningful way.

In contrast, as an entrepreneur I can have a great idea in the morning, discuss it with the team an hour later and have it alter the direction of the business by the afternoon.

Each person in a start up has a direct, noticeable effect on business strategy and tactics.

5. Enjoying Work

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all travel and perfectly balanced lifestyle. I go through periods when I work every day for three or four weeks from 6 am until late into the night, without taking weekends off.

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To someone works in a regular job that can sound like a nightmare. However to me work is an opportunity to create and push myself beyond my limits, so long hours are not a problem.

I look forward to going to work. Some days I stop working only because I need to to taking care of the most basic needs, like sleeping and eating.

6. Traditional Problems Disappear

When I was growing up, I was taught that “problem” was synonymous with something bad. Good life, then, was one without problems.

For entrepreneurs, “problem” is a synonym for “challenge”. And challenges are the reason we get up in the morning. Solutions to challenges are then used to create value which can be leveraged in the business.

I design my life around the challenges I enjoy facing. For example, as tempting it may be own a venture capital backed company, I am not currently steering my businesses in that direction because spending my days pitching, reporting to investors and trying to getting traction in the marketplace before their money runs out is not my idea of fun.

7. Powerful Relationship With Money

When you work for a corporation, your pay check is your main reward. Its sole purpose is to be spent. The by-product of burning that cash is happiness (which is a lie that we’ve been sold).

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When you have a start up, your context around money changes. It becomes a resource you take smart risks with in order to grow your business. The by-product of this process is growth (and a deep, lasting sense of fulfillment).

8. No Negative Moods.

I can’t remember the last time I was bored. Similarly, I also can’t remember last time I had to “kill time” because “there was nothing to do”.

9. Sense Of Adventure

I have a solid business plan for the next year. But none of my business plans so far went even close to the plan.

There are literally a dozen business opportunities I can explore in the near future, a dozen ways I can steer my business to exploit them and probably a dozen new opportunities which I’m yet to see and will need to consider.

This abundance of possibilities washes away any sense of routine and replaces it with excitement about upcoming adventures.

10. Great Conversations With Positive People

Entrepreneurs don’t whine and complain. They rarely engage in hollow water-cooler gossip about colleagues and “thank God it’s Friday” rhetoric.

I like hanging out with people who take full ownership of their life and I find that most entrepreneurs I meet fit that mold (they have to, otherwise their businesses would not succeed).

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Traditionally, when you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you would create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion like this:

  • Intro to Visual Facilitation
    • Problem, Consequences, Solution, Benefits, Examples, Call to action
  • Structure
    • Why, What, How to, What If
  • Do It Myself?
    • Audio, Images, time-consuming, less expensive
  • Specialize Offering?
    • Built to Sell (Standard Product Offering), Options (Solving problems, Online calls, Dev projects)

This type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It obviously lacks in clarity. It also makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing.

You always have too much information to look at, and most often you only get a partial view of the information. It’s hard to zoom out, figuratively, and to see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected.

To see a fuller picture, create a mind map.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to “dump your brain”, or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using pen and paper.

The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas before your eyes. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

    Image Credit: English Central

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    By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

    3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

    The three steps are:

    1. Set a central topic
    2. Add branches of related ideas
    3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

    Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[1]

    Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

    Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

    Word it in a clear and concise manner.

      What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

        Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

        Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out next to it in the same way, using your pen.

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          You can always add more to it later, but that’s good for now.

          In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits”. Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

          Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

          Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

          Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

            I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

            In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

            Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

            You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

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            • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
            • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches. And so on.
            • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

            Branch by Branch

            Start with the central topic, add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

              Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                A branch after another, and the mind map is complete.

                  Level by Level

                  In this “Level by Level” strategy, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. So here you add elements on level 1:

                    Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                      Idem for the next level. This is level 3. You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                        Free-Flow

                        Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. No rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                          I recommend using a combination of the “Branch by Branch” and the “Free-Flow” strategies.

                          What I normally do is I add one branch at a time, and later on review the mind map and add elements in various places to finish it. I also sometimes build level 1 (the main branches) first, then use a “Branch by Branch” approach, and later finish the map in a “Free-Flow” manner.

                          Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you.

                          The Bottom Line

                          When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and have your thoughts organized.

                          If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on the phone and computer.

                          More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                          Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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