Several times a month, I ask myself this question. It’s usually when clients are late paying, my new bookkeeper is on me about expenses and it seems that 16 out of 17 active projects are going past deadline. But by the time I call it a stopping point for my business clock each day, I can still answer the question in the affirmative.
Yes, I am an entrepreneur.
It’s something I deluded myself into thinking wasn’t true for seventeen years. Working jobs (not careers) and collecting W-2s each year like they were tiny little porcelain dolls, wondering when I’d get up in the morning and really love what I was doing. The problem was: I was good at everything. I could give great interview like a hooker can suck the chrome off a bumper. It was a rare day I didn’t land a job I was after.
And that was it: they were just jobs.
So when the startup I was Director of Communications for told me they couldn’t afford to keep me on (or dole out the money they still owed me in back pay) in August of 2009, I found myself “jobless” six days later. The following Monday morning, the view from my sofa was a lot different than the view from my desk chair. And I had a decision to make: do what I love and make it work or go back to work for someone else.
Given that I was in a financial hole unlike any other since I’d been working for (ahem) free for 2 months, the choice was an easy one: never again would I allow someone else to be in control of my financial future. RedheadWriting LLC was made official. While that had been my freelance name for over two years, it was now my company. And it was sink or swim. Rather – it was the merry-go-round or the roller coaster ride. Guess what I signed up for?
Just over a year later, I’m sitting here writing a blog post about being an entrepreneur on Valentine’s Day. The cats are downstairs, the dogs are…somewhere…and I have a whiteboard of tasks beaming down on me from the wall over my desk. Last year was a six-figure year and I have a team of wonderful contractors who help me make it happend for our clients every day. And today, I’m not in love with my job.
I’m in love with my life. Redhead Writing is a huge part of that.
I want to buy Redhead Writing (now an S-Corp) some overpriced roses (that will be $12.99 tomorrow), a wicked expensive dinner (on the company card) and take it home, shower with it and make raunchy love to it until the wee hours of tomorrow morning.
I love my life.
But Why Am I An Entrepreneur?
It’s more than being the boss and running the show. And I’ll tell you that it’s certainly not for the headaches, late payments and projects that drag on incessantly. It’s because I can never dream of doing anything else other than what I’m doing right now – and that’s waking up each morning and being in love with everything my day holds. Client meetings, copywriting, consulting projects, social web interactions…and taking my dogs to the dog park at noon on a Tuesday. It’s knowing I need a nap at 2:32pm and taking one so I can wake up and kick the rest of the day square in the groin. And while it sounds glamorous to be in control of everything that happens in your day to day and to have wrangled your own destiny…it’s not.
And being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone.
I was recently sent an advance copy of Carol Roth’s The Entrepreneur Equation. Aside from the fact that she looks delectable on the cover and has an inner snark to rival mine, she’s in complete agreement with the fact that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. I can’t stand the bullshit-laden “everyone can do it” attitude pushed by the horde of books on the shelves today and was completely ecstatic to find Carol’s laid it out in black and white. She’ll help you figure out on multiple levels if you’re built to be an entrepreneur.
Why I Like “The Entrepreneur Equation”
Short, sweet and to the point, I’ll give you three reasons: Personality, Opportunity, Risk. Carol covers these in spades.
Personality: Are YOU cut out on the most basic of levels to handle entrepreneurship? It’s not glamorous and it sure as hell isn’t easy. Maybe you should figure out if you’re made to be an entrepreneur before you get all in a tizzy about being a business owner. In short – are you a Santa or an elf?
Opportunity: Chapter 24. My god, I want to cut out chapter 24 and wallpaper my office with it. Just because you have money and/or opportunity doesn’t mean you were designed to use it or take it. Do you really want to do this?
Risk: Holy balls, yes – there is risk in being an entrepreneur. Financial, emotional, market – the list is endless! Carol gives readers tangible tools to help evaluate risk verus reward (with a cool game show metaphor) and talks intelligently about what you give up when you leave your “day job” for Entrepreneurville.
I wish I’d had this book ten years ago, as it would have told me that I needed to leave my “jobby” for entrepreneurship. So today, on Valentine’s Day, I’m giving you the chance to fall in love with what you’re destined to do with your career.
I’m giving away two copies of The Entrepreneur Equation. No, these aren’t free copies. I’m buying them and giving them to you. Authors don’t make money by giving books away, so I’m paying for these books with entrepreneurial dollars made from our labors at Redhead Writing.
In the comments section below, just tell me why you want a copy of this book and how you think it might help you. You can be someone who’s always wanted to start their own business but curious about the next steps or a business owner well on their way looking for a bit of perspective. And of course, you’re always welcome to leave comments on other thoughts as well. But on Friday of this week, I’ll announce the winners on my Facebook Fan Page and the blog.
If you can’t wait and just want to buy a copy of The Entrepreneur Equation, use that link (not an affiliate). For each copy of the book that Carol sells this week, she’ll be donating a copy to SCORE.org (an online mentoring resource for business owners – check it out!).
It’s pretty cool that I get to love what I do each and every day. I’m hoping that you will find that for your life as well.