Over the past 5 years, the hype of becoming “your own boss” has circulated all around the globe and it seems that everyone is now an entrepreneur. Thank you, Gary Vaynerchuck.
Corporate workers are now trying to make their own name by building up personal websites, registering an LLC, and making up tedious business plans. Others try to develop their own startup since they definitely have the billion-dollar idea of becoming the “next Uber” or the “next Facebook.”
Ultimately, it’s boiled down to a lot of failed attempts and people feeling lost as they scour their way through the vast professional market of today’s world.
This doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to fail. To the contrary! Fail as much as you can, as fast as you can. However, there are times when you can achieve your best potential by finding an already existing startup or an established company and pouring your life’s best work into it rather than starting something of your own.
According to Robert Kiyosaki, there are different types and scales in business. Almost everyone is, at some point, an entrepreneur. The lemonade stand at the corner, the babysitter at your aunt’s house, and the freelance writer who works for a publication remotely. They are entrepreneurs because entrepreneurship means selling something of value and getting a profit in return.
Because of the popularized overnight successes of Facebook, Uber and other largely funded companies, the allure of diving into your own business has become a fad. There is nothing wrong with wanting to start your own business, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with becoming any business’ #2, #3 and so on.
What we all need to understand is the fact that entrepreneurship entails an extreme amount of hard work, mental and emotional strength and enduring hunger.
The reality is, this… is not for everyone.
It’s the same as being able to buy $300 sports shoes without being able to compete in the Olympics. You may have one of the basic skills needed for entrepreneurship, but it is not enough to put you through the nationals.
On the other hand, if you own sports shoes – high quality or not – you can train yourself. You can start jogging 2 miles every day and join local marathons. Then, you can climb up to other states and compete there. People will even begin acknowledging you, and a local shoe store even hired you as their promo guy/gal!
As your journey progresses, you will find a return on investment on those $300 shoes and discover your own path. It may not lead you to the Olympics, but it has led you to your own version of success. Ultimately, the Olympics are simply one form of recognition of your success, but not the only one.
Cheryl Sandberg, founder of the Lean In Organization and Facebook COO, did not come up with her very own code to compete with the world’s top social media network. She did not try to develop her own startup. In fact, she was working at a different tech company before she made the leap to believe in Facebook, at a time when it was not as popular a platform as it is today. Even Elon Musk is recognized to be one of the four pillars of PayPal before he left and he still ended up with an amazing legacy.
Listen to Gary Vaynerchuck. As he put it, you can be your own freelancing boss and earn $25,000 a year, or you can be a successful #11 in a top organization and earn $110K annually. Which one sounds better, hm?
There are thousands of startups, SMEs and ideas out there. You don’t need to invent one to make your mark in the world. If you want to run your own business just to protect your own ego because you don’t like “working for a boss,” you will get stuck. Get out of your comfort zone and explore #2, #3…. possibilities! The important thing is that you define your own success and you make your own mark.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.