Being an entrepreneur is about the capacity and willingness to develop, the most obvious example being that of starting a new business.
Many think this is risky.
While growing up, many risk adverse and conservative folks had us believe the usual story that going to college or university and then ending up working for a company or law firm was the way to go in terms of securing our financial futures. It was the ticket to a good life.
So we did the right thing. Many of us went to university, earned our degrees. Working in a corporate office under a superior, however, has not been what it was cracked up to be for so many of us.
Even if we have gotten that great job (which statistically continues to decrease in its likelihood), our chances of climbing the corporate ladder within that job are forever decreasing.
Additionally, we have gotten sucked in to the relentless machine of long hours, short holidays, overwhelming payments to keep our lifestyles going, and working in jobs that do not pay us what we expected or we work for bosses or companies that we find exasperating and soul destroying.
For many, we can’t stand the actual job itself either.
Despite all of this evidence (that is, that working in the corporate world sucks) many of us still believe being an entrepreneur as the risky choice. Here is the burning question: since when is not having any control over our financial futures, our happiness, and well-being not risky?
In the new millennium the corporate world is described as a corporate aristocracy or serfdom.
Remember serfdom? This is the feudal system where peasants were required to work for a specific lord who owned the land on which they worked. In exchange for turning over most everything other than bare subsistence to their lord, the peasants were allowed to work the plot of land on which they lived. Serfs were totally bound to their lords with virtually no choice. They certainly had no opportunities to change their circumstances. It was simply the way it was for the serf.
Looking at it from the perspective of the person working for the company, the leap of describing ourselves as corporate serfs is not too hard to make.
Yet, so many of us think, what other choice is there? It is not like being an entrepreneur is in the cards. Or is it?
It is time we faced the fact that the conventional position that being an entrepreneur is risky is ridiculous; it is far more sensible than what the practical will admit or believe.
First of all, being an entrepreneur does not take what it took in Henry Ford’s days. In the days of the internet and inexpensive resources, such a choice is much more accessible and doable than you think.
Nowadays, success of any sort really depends on a person’s willingness to continually learn and adapt. We can time and again create potential businesses, put our economic and personal futures in our own hands, and continually try and try again.
We also do not have to be superstar entrepreneurs like we envision Henry Ford, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. We can be a regular kind of person who likes to create and has some ideas. We want to learn in life and are willing to put in some work.
We already know we can put in some work. We already know we have some ideas. We already know that it would be a way better idea to take control of our own futures.
Not everyone is suited to start their own business it is true. At the same time, let us consider reconciling the actual realities of our economy and what is rhetoric. Maybe it is time, to think again about what represents a safe choice in our economy.
Remember that accepting that things are “simply the way they are” no longer serves anyone.
This article was written by Val Hemminger, the nonconforming professional - yes, she still works in the corporate world, yes she is still an entrepreneur, and yes she continues to ask questions about all of it