The step by step guide to being an entrepreneur: oh wait, I tripped (real life version)
Have you ever read that article that goes “Why you should quit your job” hoping that it would contain some hidden secret that would really allow you to quit your job and be happy at last? Well, I have. A million times.
Do you consider yourself and entrepreneur? Do you believe being an entrepreneur is a good thing? Odds are, if you are reading this, that you do. And I agree.
I come from a scientific background and most of my friends do not actually care. However, it really came as a surprise to find that some of them do not like to be associated with anything entrepreneurial. I even had a friend who deleted a web-based project from his LinkedIn profile in order not to “send the wrong idea”.
Entrepreneurship, I believe, is a beautiful, almost utopic idea and a lousy word.So I looked it up. The first thing that catches my eye is the related word adventurer, a person who takes risks. For synonyms, we have daredevil, explorer, pirate and even swashbuckler (I didn’t even know what that was). Such great words!
A couple weeks ago, I decided I was going to take my risks and go be an explorer. This meant I was not going back to my master’s degree. “Why?” they asked, “you have such a good plan laid out for yourself”. “I am not happy here” — I answered, in fear — “There are so many things I need to/ I’m eager to learn for myself”. “Well you can’t be happy all the time!” they insisted, “Why don’t you just finish your degree and think about that afterwards?”. “And what would be the point? Just let by another year and then do what I would’ve done now?”. This conversation happened more than once. Some of them believe that I am being reckless and lazy, that I should just suck it up. Others try to say they support me all the way, but also remind me that I will not be able to change things this easily in the future and will probably have to consider the kids and mortgages and things like that (I do not have kids or even a stable flow of income for christ sake).
So people acted like I just quit my job with no plan, even if I was not getting money out of grad school and will probably earn some now and be independent. Ok, I’m not being fair: I have a reputation among friends for not sticking to an activity too long. I get bored, they say. I’ve always been curious about new things. I believe that, when I feel I am not getting anything out of it anymore, I just shut down. I’ve been a student for almost 17 years now and I can assure you that I’ve never quit before, even though I was not always happy about it. But I did not cross my arms either; I tried to do things that would empower my life in other ways.
Even if I had other responsibilities, I would not just do nothing. People value different things in life. What I believe is wrong is when people spend 5 miserable days a week to enjoy 2 days in a hurry and then claim that “That is how life is”. It really isn’t.
The last thing I want to point out is how change scares people out. People accept being unhappy. People find unnatural to be happy. People encourage other people to go through things they don’t like in order to have a good life.. being unhappy. As they say in the movies, I am going mad or is everyone else?
My title for this article ends with “(real life version)” because, being and adventurer is about taking the risk of the unknown, hoping with all your heart it will be the right risk to take. It is not a process, it is not a series of steps, there is no guide to become this kind of pirate. What you’ll need, though, is hope.
I won’t probably dive into entrepreneurship just yet. Maybe freelancing. Maybe I’ll just travel the world. Either way, the main idea I want to pass on is that you should go for it, plan it according with your life and drop the excuses. Drop the fear. Embrace the unknown.
Forever remember that if there is something you could do to be happier, you owe it to yourself and to those around you. Even if they do not see it right away.