What does entrepreneurship give you?

You’re at the cusp of becoming an entrepreneur.  You have an idea and have validated the customer gap, to the best of your knowledge.  It’s a real opportunity.  It seems to be a go.

You still see yourself plagued by the implications of the prospect of moving into a world of uncertainty.  It’s a good time to recognise what it is that entrepreneurship gives you, since we often tend to forget what we have when we onlimg_0330y focus on what we don’t.

The greatest privilege that entrepreneurship affords you is the opportunity to create something that’s bigger than yourself.  Steve Jobs called it the opportunity to make a dent in the universe.  While most of us simply live lives based on structures created by others, being an entrepreneur enable you to create some of these structures.  I call it the opportunity to create the future based on your vision.

The journey of entrepreneurship is the journey into the unknown, since you’re charting a
path that has not been trod before.  But this uncertainty is on your own terms and your success or failure are directly related to your own effort, with a modicum of luck thrown in.  This is unlike working in a big organisation, where you’re working to fulfil the vision of the entrepreneur who started that company.

In my own journey as an entrepreneur, I recognised that there was a great deal of uncertainty relating to my work schedule, since this was driven by investor-discussions.  I would spend time waiting for investors to revert with questions after sending them the information.  Conversely, I realised that these same investors would send a brief request for information on a Friday afternoon, effectively putting paid to my weekend.  I decided to maximise on this time by spending an incredible amount of quality time with my very young children, something unfathomable for my peers in banking or consulting.

Another element that entrepreneurship provides is the freedom to build on your dream.  Most of us simply work to fit into a box created by a big company and do what’s required to meet its objectives.  It is rare indeed that you have the opportunity to dream about the future and mould it into your own image.  Being an entrepreneur means you imagine how the future of humanity will be and begin building it, brick by brick.

As mortals, we are all limited in our time.  Entrepreneurship is one of the few things that can enable you to reach the closest you can to immortality.  At some point in each of our lives, we all realise that more than half the sand in our own hourglass has passed.  When we look back at what we leave behind that may remain once we are gone, most of us don’t have an easy answer.  Entrepreneurship is the opportunity to create something that institutionalises our vision and enables us to create something in our image that can live beyond us.

If the measure of our lives is not simply the money we have made but what we have created that lives beyond us, it’s entrepreneurship.

As you begin your own journey of entrepreneurship, I wish you comfortable shoes.