In many ways the current beliefs and thinking around entrepreneurship seem amazing compared to previous generations. It's no longer uncommon for someone to walk away from employment opportunities, no matter how great, in order to start their own business.
Although they may be confident in their decision to forge his or her own, uncharted path to successful business ownership, prosperity is not guaranteed. The risks, roadblocks, and psychological challenges involved are enough to deter even the most confident entrepreneur with the best product offering.
Enter Patrick Bet-David. By all accounts and measures, he's a business success. He's the CEO of PHP Agency, a financial services company with over 3,000 agents across the country. He's also the creator of Valuetainment, a Youtube channel with nearly 400,000 subscribers and millions of views. He is, in my view, one of the biggest advocates of capitalism and entrepreneurship in the world.
Recently, Bet-David appeared on my Follow My Lead podcast, so I took the opportunity to ask him: What is an entrepreneur and why is it so important?
His answer was simple: "An entrepreneur is somebody that takes risk to start a business by sacrificing their salary to make money on their own and create jobs."
Then there's Mac Lackey, five-time startup founder of companies like Mountain Khakis, the Ettain Group, and Kyck. Much like Bet-David, he's passionate about entrepreneurship--but he has a slightly different perspective:
"When you read the definition of entrepreneurship, you find lots of references for taking risk, risk of loss, greater than normal risk, and so on. I fundamentally disagree. Being an entrepreneur reduces risk. You are not employed or paid at the whim of a boss. You control your destiny, your upside, your opportunities, your time and your career."
Sounds great, right? Maybe not. That amount of control comes with severe pressure. "Being an entrepreneur is primarily hard because it is on you," Lackey says. "Success is on you. Results are on you. Making the call, doing the things you don't like to do, on you."
Whether you believe entrepreneurship is taking risk or reducing risk, it's clear it's both important and hard. Here's why, even though it's hard, you should do it anyway:
You can make a positive impact.
Impact is a word that should be used alongside entrepreneurship all the time and to be more specific positive impact. Whether it's Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates, it's hard to quantify the positive impact they've made on the world by becoming entrepreneurs.
You'll get a chance to make an impact by molding and developing others, solving problems, and righting wrongs.
You'll learn valuable new skills.
Most people don't think about the professional growth that comes from being an entrepreneur. No matter if you end up a crazy success story or a failure you will learn new skills, build thick skin of resilience, and live out proactivity. So keep in mind the old quote from William Burroughs, "If you stop growing your start dying."
You can control what's important to you.
Even though control is somewhat of a facade, being a entrepreneur does allow for an increase in control over the things important to you. It could be things such as time, income, culture, or legacy.
Of course it's not easy to take an idea and turn it into a reality. Particularly one that not only creates jobs, but also pays the bills and makes a positive impact on the world. The reality of the situation is that being an entrepreneur will test you in ways you didn't think possible--but once you're ready, pursue it anyway.