You are an Entrepreneur, be Proud of It!

It was a crowded Friday afternoon in a local coffee shop in my hometown. While I was waiting for someone, It started to seem as a bad idea having a (sort of) business meeting there because there was an event in the nearby place, and people decided to just fill up the place with sea of people. But I was too lazy to find another place, and my friend did not mind with the situation.

In case you are wondering, not long ago I graduated from a reputable university in Jakarta,Indonesia. However my path did not come easy with the background of good grades, good university, and high participation in campus activity. Yeah, I was that kind of student. Instead, I was still grasping what I wanted to do, applying job here and there, work for a company for a while and then here I am. I became an entrepreneur a.k.a self employed, gave up my stable life from certain amount of salary and chose face my life in extra hard mode.

what a bright smile of proud young entrepreneur (a.k.a my life goal)

But the point of this story is not to see me complaining about my life. I want to tell you a story, about me as an entrepreneur, about how people like me should be proud, but how fucked up society in judging our existence as an entrepreneur.

My adventure started around 3 months ago, when I decided to quit my job and went back into my family business. Honestly it was a hard decision, since I was not into the business nature but the time had come when I was really needed back into my company. Starting out, I have very few idea what to do and got me grasping my day-to-day task. But in the end, I tuned in and started to enjoy my work. Surprisingly, I enjoyed being a self-employed more rather than work for a company or other people. Because… I have total control of my life, target, work, & activity.

Got excited, I started to reach out all of my friends which happens to be at the same position as me. Those who had just graduated, and started out their own business. I was expecting to see my friends, catching up, and most importantly seeking the business opportunity we could do together. But then I was wrong… I met 3 of my friends at the beginning, and 2 of them saying that they would leave their business behind because their parent asked them to just be professional worker and have a decent salary.

I feel bad for their situation, because they worked hard to build up their business and then their parents forced them to leave it just like that. But when I thought their situation is pretty bad, same thing happen to me. Suddenly my mom said that it was pretty ok now, I had contributed enough, fixed the problem here and there, and now she asked me to find another job again. huh? wtf………. To make it even worse, the reason behind that was just because she was confused when her friends asked her where I work. Because maybe she could not answer that with fancy title, in a multinational company. Just maybe…. I don’t really know.

Here is the thing, I really hate that people making standard of what successful is. They can think that being successful is working in a multinational company, have a decent salary, and working in a fancy office in a business district. I’m not saying if that’s wrong, If you are one of them and you are enjoying it then congrats! But forcing such standard to everyone, especially those fresh graduate who forced to enter the steep slope of adulthood, and facing reality that may hits you like a truck, is not cool.

And because of that, many of people at my ages are not confidence saying that they own a business, that they are an entrepreneur. That may become the reason when people ask what a person do, and that person will timidly answer, “I owned a small pizza store. No biggie.”

As a business owner, we should be proud of our our business, we should be proud of ourselves.

Why? Why a person who own a company or a business should be shy of it? As a business owner, we should be proud of our our business, we should be proud of ourselves. Hence what that person should answer is, “I own a pizza store. It’s small, but we serve really tasty pizza and other Italian food, here is my business card, you should come over sometime!”

There, be proud, invite people to know more, to try, to purchase. Because when you could not speak out, and be proud of your own business, no one will do.

But yet again, our society (or at least many people around me) are so attached by the the standard of being successful which I mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, I am not saying that everyone should be an entrepreneur. Being entrepreneur is hard, you have to be a leader, come with great ideas, and be responsible to people who work for you. There are also challenges from your daily work, and the society.

The definition of success itself varies from a person to another. It can be a professional worker, it can be an entrepreneur, or totally not business related and just be happy with the life you are living (that’s also successful, FYI). Which ever choice you made, I hope you do it wholeheartedly, and for parents out there… I know many of you have managed to raise your kids well. But in the end, these kids will determine their own path and live without you, so I believe it would be a great choice to support on what they love to do, what their passion is, while still giving advice before letting them go 100%. Last but not least, I wish that we all can achieve our success regardless the choice we take. Cheers!