You hear about all those glorified companies like Google and Facebook, and you think it’d be fun to start your own business, right? I hate to break it to you, but business isn’t fun.
Whether you want to admit it or not, the obvious reason why businesses are around is to make money. People start and join businesses to make money. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the New York Stock Exchange: the companies are there because of their financial performance.
If you want to have a lot of fun, you shouldn’t try to create a business. You should stick with your 9-to-5 job. Here’s why:
You’ll have less stress
Business is stressful! Imagine having to handle high amounts of stress like making payroll, firing employees, or just figuring out how to get your business to make money. Sounds pretty intense, doesn’t it?
And once you make money, the stress doesn’t go away. You’ll constantly have something that you’ll be stressed out about.
You’ll have fixed hours
When you’re running your own business, you won’t be working just from 9 am to 5 pm. You’ll easily find yourself working 10+ hours a day seven days a week. It might sound easy, but you can get burned out quickly. I’ve personally been doing it for nine years (almost ten), and I’ve never had a vacation.
It’s a lot easier for me because I don’t have a wife or kids, but if you do, it’ll be really tough on them.
You’ll have job security
The best part about having a 9-to-5 job is stable income. For most of my entrepreneurial career, I didn’t have stable income, which made things extremely difficult.
If you’re having a bad month in your business, your mortgage or car payments don’t cut you a break. Especially in the last few years, a lot of entrepreneurs found themselves moving back home with their parents.
I lived with my parents until I was 23. You might make fun of it, but it allowed me to reinvest every dollar I made back into my business, which helped me get to where I am today.
You’ll have a simple life
If you start a business and it does well, you will have financial security. However, you’ll find yourself not being able to spend the money you’re making because you’re too busy working.
And yes, you can try to hire someone to replace you so that you can just sit back and cash checks, but it is really hard to find someone that can do as good of a job as you can.
The cool part about working a 9-to-5 job is that you get vacation time and your life doesn’t get as complicated as it does with a business.
I know the 9-to-5 experience sounds a bit boring, but at least it is much simpler. The best part about it is that you only have to do a few things well instead of trying to do everything well.
I am not talking you out of starting your own business. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t start one because you think “it’s fun”.
If you want to start a business and be successful, you should only do so if you can:
- Solve a problem – a business doesn’t need to be cool. It needs to solve a problem in the market place. And the problem you are trying to solve has to be one that people are experiencing today, not something that people may experience five years from now.
- Make money – If you can’t make money, you won’t survive. I don’t care if you are changing the world to be a better place. You have to be able to make money. You have bills; you need food; and the only way you can take care of those things is with money. You need to make enough money so that you can live comfortably.
Now that I broke down the two requirements that you need to follow if you want to create a successful business, here are some of the traits that you need to have if you want to succeed:
- Scrappiness – if you don’t know how to hustle, don’t waste your time trying to be an entrepreneur. You have to learn to do whatever it takes to succeed. I don’t care if you have to walk through a landmine.
- Logic – I can’t stress this enough, but business and emotions don’t mix. With every decision you make, you need to learn to make it with logic even if that means your ego is going to get hurt.
- Hunger – one of the biggest qualities you need is hunger. If you don’t want to make money badly enough, nothing will push you to work crazy hours and pull those all-nighters.
- Efficiency – time is money, so you need to work as efficiently as possible. When you start, you won’t have a big team, which is why efficiency is so important. If you can’t learn to move fast, a competitor will crush you.
I also decided to talk about “starting your own business” because many people have been telling me that it’s their 2011 New Year’s resolution. Before you do that, take a look at whether it’s really worth your time and money or not. Not everyone is ready to start their own business. Just because it’s so simple and easy to do nowadays, it doesn’t mean you should do it.
If you love making money like I do, go for it. Just don’t do it for the fame and glamour.
Do you think businesses are fun?
* Update: By no means am I trying to make a claim that a 9-to-5 job is easy. I am just trying to prove a point that you shouldn’t go into business because you want to have more “fun” in your life. Start a business because you can solve a problem and you want to make money.