Entrepreneurship is defined as, “the ability to create quality products or services in an expanding market. It means being creative and managing risk well.”
Succeeding in entrepreneurship takes creativity, vision, good marketing skills, great customer service skills, transparency when it comes to financials, and much more. Entrepreneurs must spend years learning their craft before they can run their own business. They learn the best practices of running a company; how to recruit talent; how to engage employees; how each trade contributes to the mission of the organization; etc. Business owners are required to make difficult decisions about everything because responsibility for everything falls on their shoulders–even if there’s no clear answer because there are ethical dilemmas involved (like in the case of refugee hiring).
A career is defined as, “a person’s employment history or most notable job(s) throughout their life.”
On the surface, entrepreneurship seems like a career path. But it really can’t be included in that category because there are no guarantees for success. If you fail to create quality products or services in an expanding market, your business will close. There are always risks involved when starting a business, which is why some people choose to go into investment banking instead–it’s much more stable and successful entrepreneurs have ways of mitigating risk (like venture capitalists investing with them). Still, many entrepreneurs find they’re simply too stressed out by having of the responsibility on their shoulders alone. Their business is their baby, but they don’t have enough of an income to provide for themselves.
More and more people are finding it necessary to get a second job/side hustle to pay the bills because wages are simply not cutting it anymore. Wages may be stagnant or on the decline , while taxes, insurance, housing costs, etc., are increasing every year . This makes entrepreneurship seem less like a career choice and more like a risky gamble with your future.
Here’s an argument some might make in favor of entrepreneurship being a career path: “I bought this new book about how I can start my own business!” If you started your own business tomorrow based on information in this book–even if you’re the most talented entrepreneur in the world–you would probably fail.
There’s a big difference between reading about entrepreneurship and actually starting one yourself. Reading about it is akin to working on your golf swing or playing scales on the piano while never attending a lesson . People can study all they want, but there’s nothing like practical experience. It takes time and effort to learn what you need to know before running a business. If you could start an incredibly successful company without ever attending college, why do we make people attend college? The same principle applies: You don’t learn how to play the piano by practicing; you learn how to play the piano by taking lessons from someone who has been doing it for years.
So what does this say about whether entrepreneurship can be a career? It seems to me that people are too eager to start their own businesses instead of focusing on building up skills in an industry they’re passionate about. People are impatient when it comes to starting a business. They want quick cash, not hard work and effort.
If you’re truly passionate about entrepreneurship then do it! Put your heart into the process without expecting anything in return at first–just work on your craft all day every day for years under the guidance of someone who knows what they’re doing, make connections with other skilled entrepreneurs, learn how to market yourself or your product, etc., but don’t see entrepreneurship as a career unless you have no better options. As Steve Jobs said , “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” What can you accomplish in your own lifetime if so? What are you working toward right now? Is it worth it?
Being an entrepreneur is not a career. It’s something anyone can try, but few will succeed at. There are no guarantees for success because there are no guides who have mapped out every step of the way–and mapping out every step means you’re playing it safe instead of taking risks! The best entrepreneurs take big risks and reap big rewards, but they fail more often than not. This puts them into debt , makes their life an overall mess , or kills them .