Hardcore entrepreneurs are unemployable.
Whilst that assertion may make your stomach churn, this is the salacious truth of true entrepreneurs. The interesting thing about many startup journeys, like my own is this: My first company went bust, and I was in serious debt; but somehow I always made ends meet. Through the good, bad, and the ugly I most definitely agree with, and relate to, the sentiment of being ‘unemployable’.
Before I continue, let me clarify this statement. Unemployable is not the same as being unemployed. It is not that an entrepreneur cannot find a job. Instead, it is that we are far too useful and productive in the world to do the same repetitive work … day in, day out, over, and over again.
Breaking Traditional Work Rules
Entrepreneurship is the only form of beating the system (i.e., to get what you want without following traditional rules). In this example, the system is being an employee. Clocking in, dressed in a suit (and tie), assigning yourself to a cubicle life sentence, forced interactions with dull and boring co-workers, moments of excitement that include giggling like children around the water cooler… You get the drift.
In this same system you may think (or have previously thought) you are incredibly cool because you have a job and someone else doesn’t (poor them). This system dictates when you wake up, when you sleep, what you wear, when you eat, how long you use the restroom, and oh yes!, how much vacation time you can take … and the real kicker – how much you earn.
Entrepreneurship is an entirely different ball game. It gives you a sense of freedom, nothing else on the planet gives you. It is fiery, fierce, and a wild roller coaster ride. It will bestow upon you a sense of incredible highs and lows; from broke to millions, co-dependence to independence, and unbridled happiness, all in the same breath.
As entrepreneur Kurk Frankenberg explains in a StartupBros article, “I became unemployable at nineteen when my ideas got used by a big corporation, while someone else got the promotion and pay raise. [So I] decided I would crack the code and become an entrepreneur… Lots of times along the way I could have sold out and become a wage-slave… but I just can’t see going back.”
The Truth About Being ‘Unemployable’
In retrospect, at 21 years old, working for someone else was out of the question for me. I could hardly imagine someone giving me orders, telling me when to wake up, eat, etc.
As a budding entrepreneur I was often broke, indebted, and sobbed at night wondering how I would make ends meet. I’ll even admit there were times I envied the ‘steady paycheck’ of my peers. But when I thought about what it would cost me … trading my time for predetermined dollars … I thought to myself, “Not a chance!”
Time is a gift. I refused to trade in my life for pennies and live in constant fear. So much so that, when my first company went bust, I launched my second company when I was still struggling in the trenches of mounting debt. I did this whilst working for someone else to put food on the table. Today, I reap the benefit from my hard work. No paycheck could ever amount to the rewards of owning a successful business that I enjoy today.
Entrepreneurs are risk takers. We do not take kindly to playing by other people’s rules. We challenge the status quo. Some of our employee counterparts are scared to comprehend this truth. And many never will.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Nadia Arain is the founder and CEO of The Spapreneur Consulting. Arain is a spiritually conscious entrepreneur who acts as a dynamic growth partner for spas and salons using spa Marketing and strategy for client attraction. She is a previous day spa owner, published author, business mentor and copywriter. Her published titles include ‘The 21st Century Spartanite’, ‘Spa Marketing Success’, and ‘His Commitment Blueprint’. Discover more of her magic for your spa at www.the-spapreneur.com. Connect with @buttonland on Twitter.
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