Entrepreneurship Is Not For Everyone

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It’s no doubt that entrepreneurs are the rock stars of our decade. They are considered to be the coolest, richest, most courageous people defeating all odds to put their products in the market. People seem to talk about Steve Jobs more than Stephen Harper!

Now, ‘entrepreneur’ is a pretty broad term. I mean, even those working at Multi-Level Marketing companies call themselves entrepreneurs. In this article, when I say ‘entrepreneur’ I’m really talking about being a founder in a (tech) startup.

At Ryerson, we’re constantly being offered seed funding opportunities on silver platters. Take for example, the annual $50,000 Slaight Business Plan Competition, the $10,000 MAKO Product Innovation Award, the $48,000 Norman Esch Engineering Award or the 50 annual $3000 Summer Company scholarships. It’s clear to say – if you want funding, you can get it.

I think that entrepreneurs (especially students) that want to start their own businesses because they want to achieve massive fortune or fame are misguided. This is because, statistically speaking, most startups fail, so it’s not exactly a winning formula to either of those goals. However, if you’re passionate about solving a problem in the world and you think you’re the best person to do so, then I believe you’re in it for the right reasons.

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone – but I”m not embarrassed to say I don’t think it’s for me. That’s because I think I”ll reach higher levels of success and have a greater contribution by working for an existing company.

But, you never know. As Innovation Expert (also Professor at Ryerson) Rafik Loutfy says, “the best business ideas come from those who go to the best companies, learn all they can, then leverage that knowledge to start their own businesses the right way.” To demonstrate that, here’s a list of successful startups launched by ex-Googlers. That might be the path I follow.

Parting thoughts:

  1. If you want to earn a lot of money – pick a high paying job
  2. If you want to be famous – ‘become so good that they can’t ignore you’. Master your craft and show your work to the public.
  3. If you want to be passionate about your work – find your dream job and dream company to work for.

That being said, you can surely do all three of these things – but I don’t think you need to start your own business to do so.

– Ryan

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