When Being an Entrepreneur can backfire

Being an entrepreneur is generally seen as a positive thing in our culture, at least much more so than it used to be. I definitely take pride in the fact that I am an entrepreneur because I know it comes with a lot of advantages, one of which is the creativity to think outside of the 9-5 culture.

In fact, yesterday I was able to take a walk with my dog in the middle of the afternoon. I could enjoy the warmest part of the day and still get everything nearly everything on my to-do list accomplished. (Is anyone every 100% caught up? I never seem to be.)

That said, sometimes being an entrepreneur can backfire on you as being an entrepreneur does have some serious disadvantages. Here are 3 times being an entrepreneur can backfire.

You’re a Workaholic

One way that having an entrepreneurial mindset can backfire is if you become a workaholic. I’ve always had some workaholic tendencies, but they were definitely multiplied several times over when I decided to start my own business as a freelance writer and virtual assistant.

I definitely still work longer and harder now, even after quitting my full-time job, than I did before I started my business last year. I still struggle to maintain a work-life balance and sometimes I put myself last on my priority list. I know this isn’t healthy, especially over the long-term, but when my entrepreneurial mind is whirring with ideas it’s pretty hard to sleep or focus on anything else anyway. I know Grayson struggles with this as well with his business.

You Shoulder all the Responsibility

When you are an entrepreneur running your own small business, you have all the responsibility for that success, or failure, of that business. When times with your business are good, you are ultimately responsible and can feel proud of this success.But when things are not so great with your business you still have to take responsibility for it. This is not something to take lightly, especially if the success of your business determines the success of your personal financial situation too.

You Have Many Shoes to Fill

Until your business is big enough that you can outsource tasks to others or take on an employee, you alone must fill all the essential roles of your business. This means that some days I’m a marketing expert, some days I focus on accounting and payroll (here’s a free trial of Freshbooks!), and other days I’m able to do the things I love and actually signed up to do, like writing.

Having lots of roles to fill in your business isn’t all bad. It challenges you to learn and practice new skills, and you might find out that you enjoy parts of your business that you didn’t expect to enjoy at all.

How to Know if Entrepreneurship is Right for You

In the end, if you enjoy the benefits of entrepreneurship, like making your own schedule, being in charge of your own success, and not having anyone to answer to, and you can deal with the potential negatives of having your own business, perhaps being an entrepreneur is right for you.

Be aware though, being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. There are plenty of people who try it and decide they are better off with the structure and stability of a more traditional job and that’s ok too.

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8 Comments

  1. You can always try entrepreneurship part-time to see if it’s right for you. It’s not an all or nothing thing, so try building something on the side and see how the process fits your personality, tendencies, and your existing patterns… you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.

    1. Great idea, Jim! I did build up my business outside of my regular job and I learned a lot about myself and my dedication to my business. If it wasn’t something I wanted I wouldn’t have kept working at it that hard when I already had a day job.

  2. Entrepreneurship is a big responsibility to handle. I agree with Jim that it should be practised first as a part time and then in full time. A hefty research is required. This will be successful only when you learn practically from it. Thanks for sharing

  3. Interesting read! It’s definitely t the safest choice, but it can have the highest pay-off. I’m taking the less risky approach and doing it in my spare time as a side hustle, like said above.

  4. All of these are huge advantages to me. Yes, it sounds weird, but I LOVE to be fully in charge. I have to take the blame, when something doesn’t work, but I can also be the master of everything that comes off my hands and not have to worry about others messing up with my stuff. Having to learn and do everything is also great, it keeps me in top shape and I never get bored. Being a web designer, I have to keep up with everything new in the industry, I need to research on many things related (SEO, content marketing, productivity etc.). I love to learn new stuff, so all of this does keep me entertained. Yes, I tend to be a workaholic myself, but, after having a baby, I was able to better prioritize, do some work and spend all the time I want with my daughter.

  5. Being a entrepreneur is definitely what I want to do, I have read many many pro’s and con’s of it and still I am looking forward to becoming one. I think the workaholic is going to be very true in my case because when I’m excited for something I put my all into it. I’m also looking forward to failing (let me explain please keep reading). I listen to podcasts and read blogs all the time and they all say the same thing YOU WILL FAIL, and when you do you will learn from it and keep going till your successful. That’s what I want, I fully intend to fail at first but I’m going to keep pushing through until I reach my goals. Thanks for such a great article