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.
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”.
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.
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).
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).