There is a lot of discussion about entrepreneurial start-ups going from zero to billions in a few short years. In many ways there is an expectation that all entrepreneurs should be building an empire. But what if that isn't what you want? What if you are happy to keep your business small and enjoy the lifestyle that comes with it? Does this make you any less of an entrepreneur?
Obviously not, yet there is without a doubt a sense that if you aren't building an empire, you're not a serious entrepreneur? In my view, entrepreneurs that don't want to build an empire need to give themselves permission to build exactly the kind of business they want, not what everyone else expects of them.
Success means aspiring to achieve something and actually achieving it. What you want to achieve is up to you. Build an empire or don't, both are significant achievements.
The moral to this story is that you get to define what success means for you. You get to set the goals, the dreams and the aspirations and you also get to give yourself a pat on the back when you achieve them. If success means building a small business, that you can run from home, that generates enough income for you and the family to have a holiday once a year, that is fantastic.
Often as we get older we get a little clearer about what we don't want in our life, perhaps more clear than we are about the things we do want. Think about this before you decide on the kind of business you want. There are many pros and cons with both kinds of business, making it vitally important that we are clear on what we want our life to look like with a business slap bang in the middle of it.
Big or small, empire or not, I think we should acknowledge anyone who is brave enough to venture out and into the wide and challenging entrepreneurial world for doing something pretty darn cool.