Why Entrepreneurship? And is it for Everyone?

We are in a day and age where it’s not uncommon to hear of new entrepreneurs launching a business or employees leaving the stability or volatility of corporate infrastructure to do something new and different. But why?

Gone are the days when you spend your entire career in one job, at one company, in one industry.  With each passing generation we are continuing to see passionate and mission-driven individuals who are more concerned with a company’s mission than staying at a company just because it’s a good job.  Employees are expecting to see action from their corporations, not just lip service to things that matter most to them.  You can no longer just check the boxes for diversity, equity, inclusivity, belonging (DEIB), environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and other current issues. Employees are ensuring that there is tangible evidence that these things really matter and must emanate throughout the organization.  Employees want to have work-life-family integration, flexible working hours, benefits that are meaningful to them in their life’s current chapter, not necessarily the future, a healthy culture, and flexibility in their working location.  If they can’t find even a few of these things, they are quickly exiting in pursuit of their own entrepreneurial goals.  

Is starting a company that easy, though? 

Advancements in technology, simplification of products and services such as legal, branding and marketing, website development, and even product platforms have put the power of doing it yourself in the hands of the people.  No longer do you have to hire expensive lawyers, and full-suite marketing firms, including web designers, graphic artists, copy editors, or even product development teams. We are now in the age of DIY and/or utilizing templates.  

Now the question becomes, “Does the more accessible path of entrepreneurship mean that entrepreneurship is for everyone?”

Welcome to your new generation of entrepreneurs. 

It takes a special type of person with a specific mindset to create a vision for something and then actually implement that vision.  It’s not just anyone who says yes to exploring all the possibilities that are out there and turning the impossible into possible.  It’s an individual who lives and breathes their confident assertiveness that says, “I’m not satisfied until I’ve done things with my fingerprints.”  It’s a person saying, “ I want to be my own boss, define my own rules, follow them or not follow them, but I want to be free to do as I choose.  I want the freedom to sacrifice and do something on my own terms, at my own pace, how I want, when I want.”  

It’s innovative solutionists who challenge the status quo that says just because something was designed to function a certain way means it’s functioning at its full capability. These people dream big, bigger than the box; they embody square peg in round hole energy.  They are constantly exercising their inquisitive muscles to challenge and make things faster, better, stronger. 

But entrepreneurship is not meant for everyone. Because even though there are many positives to the entrepreneurial journey, there are many negatives.  Having the right mindset to keep trying, failing fast, failing forward, trailblazing, and pivoting pushes us past our comfort zones.  There is a level of vulnerability that you reach, and there are days that you question if this was the right move or not.  It’s not the easiest path, but with resiliency and confidence, it will be the most rewarding.

In the past few years, we have seen a huge wave of women in the workforce for a multitude of reasons.  Many of these women embarked on their own entrepreneurial journey because it integrated with the new normal of home and family.  They are continuing to enjoy the new freedoms and successes that entrepreneurial life has brought them.  There has been some progress made on equity in corporate America for women, but it may not be enough when you evaluate the pros and cons of returning to the corporate world, where you will more than likely make less than your counterparts as opposed to having full autonomy and more control of your income and future as an entrepreneur. 

We have seen such an uptick in entrepreneurial activity these last few years between COVID-19, the great resignation, and a high number of layoffs in certain industries.  I think another big contributor is the important awareness and education around mental health.  Mental health, for so long, carried a negative stigma, and previous generations rarely, if ever, raised their hands about burnout, discrimination, or hostile work environments.  For this current workforce, they have been equipped with the right words and actionable steps to seek help or get someone to listen moreso than before.  If employees do not feel heard, or their organization is not proactive in addressing issues, they will seek employment elsewhere, be it at another company or through entrepreneurship, instead of sticking it out in silence.  

 The individual who has the confidence and resiliency to say entrepreneurship is the option for them is automatically influential because others see them and say yes to their new company or yes to their own endeavor.  It’s becoming contagious, especially for those who are hitting barriers and glass ceilings.  Let’s keep getting sh*t done, entrepreneurs!