The other side of the Entrepreneurship gospel


Firstly, not everybody will be entrepreneurs in the popular sense of the word. Secondly, you can live a happy, successful and fulfilled life as an employee. Yes, you can.

You know, part of the frailties of our humanity is our inability to always find balance in the way we meddle with ideas. We are very prone to using a one-size fits all model to situations. And it’s unfortunate and even smacks of, a kind of laziness, I would say.

Since the emergence of the entrepreneurship gospel, as the magic wand for solving global unemployment problems…and also since the spread of the philosophy that entrepreneurship is the ultimate pathway to “freedom”, we have had people (mostly younger folks) make very unwise decisions in the area of their life’s work. Some people, in the excitement of “starting something” or “building the next big thing” have landed themselves in very murky waters…decisions that they have come to regret. And a lot of times, we find that most of these victims were motivated to follow the path of entrepreneurship, for all the wrong reasons.

You hear things like, “I want to be my own boss…or I want to be free”. But that’s a wrong foundation for entrepreneurship. Very wrong. And entrepreneurship is not so much a title as much as it is an attitude – an attitude for solving problems. Small problems. Big problems. Local problems. Global problems. Problems everywhere. And it’s not a walk in the park.

Also, entrepreneurship is not a job and we make a big mistake when we say someone is an entrepreneur, when we should be saying that they are acting like an entrepreneur. Because, it’s in fact a verb or an action, if you will. It’s the desire for a kind of journey that solves problems…demonstrable problems that elicits gratitude from society. Period!

Now, since we are clear that it is chiefly about problem solving, that should tell us that entrepreneurship is for the strong – it’s for those with mental soundness, with emotional stamina, tenacity, grit and perseverance…and not just for everyone. Such that if someone cannot succeed as an employee, he will most likely fail as an entrepreneur. That should be a no-brainer. If you cannot succeed in a 9-to-5, how are you then going to succeed as someone that works round the clock, from “when your eyes opens to when it shuts for the day”. The thing is, you can afford to hide when you are an employee within a system and not do so much other than coming to work at 9am and leaving by 5pm, but you cannot hide as an entrepreneur because if you aren’t getting real stuff done in the form of rewardable value, you are already screwed.

So, when next you say you “want to be an entrepreneur”, I hope you understand what you are talking about.

Ps: Late last year, news had it that the new Uber CEO earned as much as $200mn in salary and benefits for joining the company (if you are from Nigeria, that’s over 72bn annually or 6bn monthly….the valuation of numerous start-ups put together). Hmmmm….maybe growing a career isn’t that bad afterall.

Your mileage may vary!

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