Entrepreneurship and Fun

by Chris Leong

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone – that is something that I always believe in. So there are times, I frowned upon programmes that encourage students to be entrepreneurs by promoting it as a cool thing to be in. While I can understand the rationale behind promoting entrepreneurship but I sometimes wish entrepreneurship was not portrayed as a cool/fun thing for someone to jump in. To me, that is not the entire picture and can be misleading.

From my time spent in the entrepreneurship scene, I had seen different types of entrepreneurs. I come to notice that there are more and more upcoming want to-be entrepreneurs that had the wrong mindset about what entrepreneurship is. I notice that a lot of these want to-be-entrepreneurs spent more time in events than spending time running the business. A true entrepreneur would rather spent each waking hour in their business rather than going to some get-together to have fun bragging about how good their idea is. And if when you are in the scene long enough, you know ideas are cheap.

Starting a company is never fun (in the conventional way). It would be fun though if you were the type of person that defines fun as spending hours everyday to train for an Iron Man competition or to climb Mt Everest. Not everyone enjoys that, so not everyone will enjoy entrepreneurship.

The life of a true entrepreneur is full of worry and sacrifice. The first thing the entrepreneur loses would most likely be the social life. Clubbing sessions, drinking session and any other non-essential activities would most likely to be the first to go. Public holidays and festivals soon won’t draw the same excitement as it used to – everyday can be a workday anyway. Delay gratification would start to become a habit, as cash flow considerations would be the priority. (Imagine saying no to the latest cool gadget you want to buy). And the list can go on and on

So is entrepreneurship fun? Yes, only to a selected few.

For an entrepreneur to thrive, there must be a deep conviction within. A conviction that regardless of the odds, they have the “special” advantage to succeed. This conviction also would allow entrepreneurs to enjoy the fun part of a start-up: The happiness of getting 1 yes after 10 rejections, the excitement of launching a product after weeks of all-nighters and the satisfaction of proving the naysayers wrong.  That’s the fun part of entrepreneurship – to assume the role of David and to try the very best to beat the hell out of a Goliath.

Entrepreneurship always reminds me of “running”. Running faster than your nearest competitor and running faster so that you are far ahead of any upcoming competitor. So entrepreneurship is all about running fast (especially for tech companies) and this quote that I read from the book “The World is Flat” sums it all up.

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Old African Proverb

And that ends my ramblings about entrepreneurship. And if you enjoy “running” welcome to the entrepreneurship world.

Image from the Boho Garden