I won’t ever worry about telling anyone a business idea of mine because of the work it takes to get it off the ground. Entrepreneurship may be sexy, but it’s a hell of a lot of work (I’m talking about a startup as a new business idea — restaurants, services companies, and solo entrepreneurs – although entrepreneurial – aren’t exactly startups, think of Facebook, PayPal, and companies that require a massive amount of resources). You have to live, breathe, talk, think, and again live your business.
Every startup is a billion-dollar business. (If you don’t believe me, ask founder of a startup 😉 .) I had this discussion this morning with a friend, Shaun. He’s the quintessential corporate-guy-turned-entrepreneur. It’s sexy, but you eventually realize that ideas are cheap and that it’s perfect execution, with being at the right place at the right time. Persistence matters, too (we’ve probably heard of the guy going to a million banks before getting approved for a loan). Shaun’s advice regarding startups? “Don’t do it!” I say go for it, but there’s a reason or two we have so few billionaires, yet so many “billion dollar ideas”.
What makes startups so difficult? Everything. I mean, everything. Family life, personal life, first customers/early adopters, lack of focus, lack of capital, lack of persistence, wrong place at the wrong time, bad idea, bad execution of good idea, etc., etc. Why do people need to be “passionate” about it when they start? Because otherwise they won’t have the follow through, drive, and persistence when things aren’t going their way .
The “easiest” way of being an entrepreneur is creating a business offering a service someone can use today. A lawyer, photographer, and accountants are entrepreneurs. They get a glimpse of that life, but it’s a lot easier when you’re not trying to find startup capital or early adopters. They can show their license or portfolio and get work. They have the hustle for new clients, without all of the rest.
Startups can make billions. That’s why they’re “a thing”. It’s like hitting the lottery, but a lot harder. Although the odds are the same, you have to do more than ask the gas station clerk for a ticket. Who knows — a determined person can always beat the odds. Just know that the odds will always be against you.