Does entrepreneurship change people for the better?
Inc Magazine is an entrepreneurial stable. It is one of the most popular magazines in the world for entrepreneurs and people who run businesses. One of my good friends Kevin Daum, a guy that I met way back in 2002 in Sydney, Australia, is a New Yorker who submits regular articles to Inc Magazine that are read by thousands of people.
As I read the article, "I thought I knew you - Entrepreneurship changes people - and not always for the better", I reflected on my own experiences.
Has entrepreneurship changed me? Is it for the better?
I don't know how to answer that but I know that being an entrepreneur has done a couple of things for me; given me confidence, challenged me at every single corner, made me look at my reflection in the mirror more than once, ensured that I have more sleepless nights than I care to remember and has given me moments of excitement that I have not experienced elsewhere.
If I was to look a bit deeper, I am sure that there are moments when my friends had wished that I went back to the old me. The one that was a little shyer, more hesitant, travelled less and didn't lose sight of what's important in life and that is family and friends.
As I have mentioned before, I have missed weddings, funerals and special occasions of friends and family on more occasions than I remember. I am not proud of this and its only when I look back that I really regret the fact that I have put a business meeting or deadline as a higher priority than what is really important.
In the story, the writer comments on "Entrepreneurship frequently evokes profound psychic responses: Elation and depression can succeed each other so rapidly as to induce emotional whiplash".
I definitely experienced that more than once. Gosh, is this story really about me?
Fortunately, it is not but there are some areas I can easily identify with.
If I look around myself and think of some of my friends who have become entrepreneurs, there are many pros and cons.
- Shared experiences
- Celebration of successes
- Wealth creation
- Openness to new experiences
- Moments of being proud of accomplishments
- Learning about people and employees
- Openness to innovation and creation
- Acquisition of knowledge and skills
- Moments of you being jealous of others accomplishments when you haven't quite made it
- Winning at all levels
- Living and working in places that blow my mind
- Highs and lows of business
- Long hours and often little reward
- Crippling fear of the unknown
- Slaps in the face
- Addiction to smart phones
- The moments of losing sight of what really is important
- Moments of other people being jealous of your accomplishments
- Times when other people celebrate your disasters
Can you identify with any of this? What is your pros and cons as an entrepreneur?