I have been struggling to answer this question since the final few days at university. And I have probably been thinking whether I should consider being one since I understood what this ‘buzzword of the decade’ even means.
This concept of ‘working for yourself’ was introduced to me from the very beginning. All of my family, immediate or extended, decided to open up their own shops (probably because they weren’t qualified enough to get well-paying jobs). So everywhere I looked, I would see self-made businessmen. These are people who put all of their money where their mouth is. So, yes I learnt what it meant. Just not very literally.
How do you start something from scratch? How do you build it up brick by brick? How do you convince people to believe in your vision? How do you invest & sacrifice all your savings, time, resources, safety cushion of a secure job, social life, your future (even your family’s for those with one to support) – and basically a bit of you every single day to something that almost has a negative ROI, at least at the very start?
My encounters and dialogues with these ‘insane creatures’ make me believe they all have different motivations. Some are lucky enough to be born with that risk appetite, some are born leaders when working autonomously, some detest the painfully long journey on the corporate ladder, some blindly start believing in an idea they had at a bar or a coffee shop and are determined to implement and some just can’t perform with a boss around.
They all have one thing in common though. They are all willing to take that scary leap of faith to the unknown. It probably all boils down to whether you can push yourself over the edge, take your chances and hope for a parachute. At some point in human history , these ‘mad men’ would be called explorers.
Still makes little sense.
But right about then, I argue about how my work will probably account for at least 70% of my life. I then ask myself, “How do you want to fill it?” And somehow, the soft answer at the back of my head has always been, “Work for yourself.”
No, I haven’t found my niche yet. I have no idea what I want to build. I get ideas now and then, but they tend to just remain either on my mind or on a tissue paper where I try to explain it to a friend over dinner.
Given this aimlessness and lack of direction, I guess it’s only natural to think it won’t be my cup of tea. Because as they say, “entrepreneurs are doers not dreamers.”
That being said, I somehow feel I am a little less scared than yesterday. I believe a little more that I will take that leap of faith. That I will cross over. I now look for opportunities with wide open eyes. I read about the best of them, their stories, their start all the time. I have switched over to working with entrepreneurs directly from a corporate job. I surround myself with these ideas and conversations. I somehow envision it everyday now as if it were to happen tomorrow. And it’s probably why I even considered writing this at 3 am.
Maybe I am living those few moments before the jump when one preps himself. Even if he doesn’t know what the jump would be like.
And that’s at least a start. Right?