Is being an entrepreneur as cool as it seems to be when you look at Mr. X (hypothetical) listed on a PR magazine?
What comes out of that picture on the PR article is – Glamour. It’s an exciting, attractive quality that lures the reader to follow the same path.
Most would think ‘Fame’ and ‘Money’ when they look at Mr. X. 8 months after you saw Mr. X; there are no signs of him anymore. He shut shop and slipped into oblivion.
How did Mr. X get to the cover page of a PR magazine? He had seen Mr. Y a year ago and had wished to occupy that spot. What had driven Mr. X? Fame.
Well, the opening lines might be a bit dramatic but the point I want to make through this post is not fictional and a very serious issue that continues to plague the digital industry. It’s the issue that will not help the economy, nor make better entrepreneurs, nor help them be sustainable entrepreneurs.
The issue is ‘Glamorizing Entrepreneurship’.
Now some may say, what’s wrong with glamorizing entrepreneurship? Aren’t entrepreneurs a special case of people that need to placed on a pedestal, worshipped, given a special place in society?
What for? If you say that they are the ones who bring change, innovation, new ways of doing things etc etc…haven’t there been people who’ve done just the same before the fancy word ‘entrepreneur’ came into existence?
Those who genuinely need to do something will do and they prove rightly so because they are the ones who are driven by motivations such as living to their potential, itch to create something different or feeling of restlessness in being employed.
Glamorizing something as basic as being an entrepreneur (a concept that is as old as mankind) has contributed to an increase in the rise of people who feel motivated to be an entrepreneur purely because it’s ‘glamorous’.
Now, it would be unfair to put the entire blame on those who have glamorized entrepreneurship. The responsibility is to be equally shared by those who fail to read between the lines.
I quite agree with James Altucher when he says that ‘Entrepreneurship is not fun’. And it’s even more painful when you want to be an entrepreneur just for the glam because in the process of chasing fame and quick money, you will likely:
a) Borrow redundant ideas from others
b) Fail to look at the process of entrepreneurship with some realism
c) Frantically chase funding without realizing if seeking funding makes sense for the investor and/or for you
d) Jeopardize the product/service for quick gains
You probably would have started with something but if a, b and c drove your actions, success is perhaps an illusion or extremely short-lived.
The only successful cases of entrepreneurs that I see around are the ones who started off by building something that made their own lives better or by doing something they really enjoyed doing.
When the origins of an idea are good, one is likely to make it a success because it is driven by logic, sincere passion and love for an activity. All of this contributes to quality, persistence and good decision-making all along the way subsequently leading to a great product/service.
Finally, I wouldn’t say that it’s evil to wish for fame and/or money. There’s nothing wrong but what usually makes for success is the right reasons. Fame and money follow great things and not the other way around!