Archive for October, 2011
No matter if you sell scrubs or if you are an entrepreneur in some other random industry, you will likely encounter similar issues, and anytime there are standard issues there are probably some general rules to live by.
On that note, I recently read a great article by James Altucher where he laid out his 100 Rules for Entrepreneurship. It is a quick read and is certainly worth it. Heck, it inspired me to tell you all about it.
Believe it or not I actually agree with almost everything he has written. There are a few rules that I think can be very industry specific and don’t apply to scrubadoo as much as they may another company. However, of everything he writes what really sticks out?
Rule #1 – ‘It’s (entrepreneurship) not fun.”
This is obviously a bold, blanket statement that is meant to inspire conversation and people like me writing posts like this. I have gone back and forth on whether or not I agree with him on this, in the end I am pretty confident I disagree. Altucher doesn’t feel the need to justify or prove it, but I figured I would give my two cents.
My argument against him is pretty simple. If entrepreneurship isn’t fun, why would anyone ever really do it? It can’t be money, there are a lot easier ways to make money. In a traditional job people will be miserable yet continue to go to work day after day and year after year because they work to provide for the rest of their lives. They don’t “live to work” they “work to live” if you will.
Entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury to do this. Working is living and living is working. If you can’t have fun with it then you probably won’t last in the start up game very long. Am I passionate about the medical uniform industry? No. Do I love taking customer service calls every day of the week at all hours? Not always. But I am extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and building something that can be around for a long time. To me that challenge is fun. To find the fun in entrepreneurship you can not concentrate on the day to day. You have to look at the experience as a whole. That is where you find the fun.
On the flip side, the supporting argument for Altucher is also pretty simple. There are a TON of annoying day to day things that plain suck. A lot of my days are not fun at all. In fact the majority of the days are probably not very fun for me. Why isn’t every day fun? Lots of reasons; I have talked in the past about how lonely entrepreneurship is, which is probably one of the worst parts of it. In addition to this, it is tough, you have a ton of weight on your shoulders, you never have enough money, every day is a struggle to be successful, and you deal with an immense amount of the unknown to just name a few. There are an uncountable number of things that can make you want to crumble into a pile and give up. What makes it worse? They happen on a daily basis. It is a roller coaster ride.
All that being said I think the “fun factor” of entrepreneurship really probably can be compared to a roller coaster ride.
1. It is certainly not fun for everyone.
2. Even if you like roller coasters there are probably parts of the ride that suck (spending the money to get into the park, waiting in line, going up that first hill, getting knocked around, etc).
3. But if the over-all experience wasn’t fun no one would ever ride a coaster a second time.
3b. If anyone tells you they love everything about it they are a liar or crazy.
Basically, all the parts of entrepreneurship may not be fun, but the total experience has to be. Or else, you should probably get a normal job.