Yesterday morning, I came across a video that opened with the line, “As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be an entrepreneur.” I was, of course, hooked immediately because I never wanted to be an entrepreneur.
I had to see what this guy had to say. I always start watching videos like these feeling like there just might be something really interesting or insightful hidden a few minutes in. Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t anything that exciting to me; though I’m sure it could be for other types of people.
It was the same story arc as so many “serial entrepreneurs”.
Feel free to do “the voice” as you read; I can’t help but hear it.
Started hustlin’ when I was six. Drove all the lemonade stand losers out of town by building efficiences of scale and killing them on price. Got my MBA like a boss, networked like a mad man, landed a job firm XYZ. Power-moved my way into the executive suites. Grew the company and got it sold to the highest bidder. Cashed my baller check and started it all over. WHAT CAN I SAY? That’s just my serial entreprenuer life, yo.
— Motivational Dude-Bro*
* And obviously, his life’s mission is now to help you crush it just as hard; just purchase his course.
Nope. Never Wanted This.
The two or three minutes that I spent watching that video got me thinking about how I never wanted to start my own company or call myself an “entrepreneur”. I’m not sure whether or not this comes as a surprise to anyone, but I have no intrinsic drive to crush it in business or to hustle. In fact, putting in more than 40 hours in the office in a week exhausts me and makes me hate life.
The one reason that I’m an entrepreneur today is simple:
Becoming one was my only option to live and work the way that I wanted to.
My ideal life involves spending about 6 hours each weekday doing fun things on a computer (whether that’s writing, doing SEO, coding, optimizing workflows, or building new skill sets) and spending the rest of my time doing whatever I want with my wife and our dogs (and, someday, kids). Oh, and I’d also like to schedule those six hours whenever I want during the day and rarely leave the house (to meet people) to boot.
Presented with the various career options that someone with my skillset has, becoming an entrepreneur and founding my own company was the one thing that would get me the closest to that goal.
I’m Not Cashing Out; I’m Already Where I Want To Be
A candidate for one of UpBuild’s open positions asked me a great question — “who is NOT a good fit for the company?”.
The first thing I was able to think of was, “Someone who’s looking to join a startup in the hopes that they’re going on a rocket ship ride to a payout. UpBuild’s never going to sell, IPO, or otherwise set you up for a financially rewarding exit event.” I suppose I shouldn’t rule any of those things out, but I’d say they are extremely unlikely.
Why? Because pursuing any of those paths gets me further away from my goal; not closer to it. I suppose one could argue that cashing out for a few million by selling my company would allow me to live the life I wanted (see above), but what would it take to get to that point? At least five years of operating far from my ideal state. This also presupposes that my current reality isn’t fast approaching a state in which I could happily spend all of my remaining working years — the fact is, it is.
I know I’m not alone in feeling like I never wanted to be an entrepreneur (let alone a “CEO”), but sometimes it sure feels that way.