The Plight of the Wantrepreneur
I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about my online business, and where it fits into the context of the rest of my life.
People often stress out about not having enough opportunity, but I’ve found that sometimes having too much opportunity can be just as overwhelming. Time is forever a limiting factor, and it’s this limitation that creates wantrepreneurs instead of entrepreneurs.
As I reflect on my past 3+ years working online, I thought it would be interesting to write it all out in a blog post. Warning: This post is a lot of rambling, but I promise to keep it fairly brief and concise.
A lot has changed since I started this blog more than three years ago. I started with nothing more than a desire to quit my day job after having just read The 4-Hour Workweek, with many ideas running through my head.
Working a “9 to 5 job” left a bad taste in my mouth – it was restrictive, and I lacked the ability to work independently, held back by the shackles of a biweekly paycheck and a job that demanded a lot of time and energy. So, I started this blog with the hopes that I would document my journey from being a traditional “9 to 5” worker, to someone who could make a living online and have more flexibility in life. Spoiler alert: This hasn’t happened yet.
I started my career at one of the largest public accounting firms in the world, and after 3 years of burning myself out (routinely working 60-90 hour weeks), the last thing I ever thought was that I actually wanted to be a CPA. The truth is, I like being a CPA – I like solving problems for businesses through my accounting and tax knowledge.
All it took was a little time away from the profession (I spent a year as an executive recruiter) to realize that. And so, I got my accounting career back on track and now face a new challenge ahead – starting a new job this week as a CPA at a private company (instead of working in public accounting).
With all of that said, the entrepreneurial fire inside of me continues to burn, but I continue to inadvertently put the fire out. How can you fully act as an entrepreneur when you’re focused on your career working for someone else? I know it’s doable, but I think most people find themselves as wantrepreneurs.
I’ve tasted success on my own – if you’ve read my income reports, you’ve seen that there were times when I consistently earned $1,500-2,000/month. But I admit that I didn’t work hard enough, and that level of income dropped quickly as certain successful projects died out.
Sadly, I still don’t work hard enough today. As much as I’d like to drop everything and really work to build up my own business, I enjoy the way everything is right now. My career, my family, and my leisure time – it’s all more than enough for me.
So how do you let out that entrepreneurial fire that burns from within? Some people are forced into it – they get fired or laid off from their job, or perhaps they have a financial crisis that pushes them to greater heights. Other people thrust themselves into it by taking great risks. And then there are some who can do it “on the side”, while they work around other obligations in life.
I guess the moral of this rambling post is that if you really want something to happen, you have to jump on every opportunity. Results tend to happen exponentially – in other words, putting in 20 hours of work will probably yield more than twice the result of only putting in 10 hours. Simply wanting it isn’t enough – you have to aggressively go after it. You have to need it. And I’m unhappy about the fact that I don’t need it.
This is the plight of the wantrepreneur. I’m sure many of you feel the same way about your own lives – feel free to leave a comment below.