Why doesn't everyone just become entrepreneurs, provided they have the drive and vision to make it all the way? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Karen Arluck, Clinical Psychotherapist in private practice, on Quora:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

When children are asked this question, they usually just blurt out the first exciting career choice they can think of. "Astronaut!" "Ballerina!" "Fireman!" However, as we grow up, our personality continues to evolve, we gain more life experience, we become consciously, (and unconsciously), influenced by our family of origin, friends, peer group, positive and negative life experiences, emotions like fear or anxiety, and of course, current societal norms.

Pleasure Pain Principle:

Humans tend to follow Freud's "Pleasure Pain principle". Meaning, they will move towards things that bring them pleasure, and try to move away from whatever brings them pain. For many people, they are conditioned to believe that they are safer going to college and working at jobs that will give them a steady paycheck and benefits, rather than trying to start their own business, which could cause them tremendous anxiety that they want to avoid (pain), even if they don't like their job.

While other people are so motivated to have their own business (pleasure), that they would stop at nothing to earn money on their own, and will do whatever it takes to get there. For this person, the pleasure far outweighs the pain it may take to get there.

How do you know they hate their job?

There are people who taste the herb cilantro, and think it tastes heavenly in guacamole, or any other dish for that matter. Other people despise the flavor, as they say it tastes just like soap. It's important to remember that just because you may enjoy a particular flavor or career choice, does not mean that everyone will feel exactly as you do, have the same threshold for the anxiety and responsibility involved, as well as the time and financial freedom involved in building one's own business. Humans are very subjective thinkers, and often have difficulty imagining that anyone else would feel differently than we do about anything, including career choices.

Sexy Career Choice:

It's also important to remember, that while being an entrepreneur is the "sexy" career choice of the moment, this was not always the case. For many years, it was being a doctor, lawyer, investment banker, or even real estate. Just like anything else, career choices are influenced by trends, current societal norms, economic status, cultural influences, and many other factors that lead one career to be the hot career of the moment.

Complaining vs. Real unhappiness:

Often people confuse a person complaining about their job, with imagining that this person actually wants a different career path. In many cases, no matter how much they may complain about their job, they may not actually have any real desire to make changes to it. This can lead someone wonder why a person would stay in a job that made them so unhappy. The answer is that people are in their career of choice for a reason (even if you do not agree with them). Of course, other people may not feel they are in a position to make a leap to entrepreneurship based on their life circumstances, and do not even view that option as a rational "choice".

The point is...

Just because entrepreneurship feels right for one person, does not mean that it is a good fit for another person.

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Published on: Feb 23, 2018