15 Reasons Not To Be An Entrepreneur

homeless entrepreneur

While successful entrepreneurs may tell you that starting your own business is hugely rewarding, and that everyone should pursue entrepreneurship as an ultimate goal, there are a substantial number of reasons for why entrepreneurship may not be the ideal choice for a large number of people. So before you ditch the salary, consider what it takes to be a successful and effective entrepreneur. Here are fifteen reasons why you should not be an entrepreneur.

15. Long Working Hours – Working under someone else, you can expect to work a set number of hours and very rarely any more. When you become an entrepreneur, you have to work an endless number of hours. The days stretch on and you may have trouble getting home often if at all. Work will also come home with you, becoming a focus of attention in your home life.

14. Sacrificing Quality Time – As a new entrepreneur, you will find yourself sacrificing time with your family, your friends, your favorite hobbies and past times, and many other aspects of your life. Your new business will consume you for long periods of time, likely to the point where you go from the red to the black, which could actually take a number of years.

13. Hard Work – As an entrepreneur, you will find that the work load never ceases, no matter how many hours are in the day, or how many employees you bring on for assistance. Growth always leaves room for “more” – so don’t think that success will allow you to kick back. Furthermore, the more people you bring on board to take over you own responsibilities, the more people management you have to do, thus reducing your own productivity. You’ll want to find good, passionate workers who can manage themselves.

12. Difficulty Finding Investment – In order to become an entrepreneur and open your very own business, a substantial investment will be required, and many new entrepreneurs have difficulty obtaining financing on their own. Now that we’re in the middle of an economic downturn, investment deemed high risk may be even more difficult to find.

11. Uncertainty – Simply put, entrepreneurship is an uncertain endeavor. Even if you go into the process with planning, anything can happen and you cannot be prepared for it all no matter how you try. The entire entrepreneurial process is about hoping for success, but never really knowing where things will turn. While there is some level of certainty in business, there is also a large amount of discomfort for hopeful entrepreneurs who do not know where things will lead.

10. Dealing With The Problem Of Inconsistent Income – Startups typically are backed by cash, but there isn’t a never-ending pot of gold on tap just for you and your company. The fact of the matter is that you and your bank manager will probably become quite well acquainted. If you have poor skills in dealing with the intricacies of business finance then setting up your own company is probably not such a good idea (unless your father happens to be rich and altruistic).

9. Risk Of Failure – The problem with investing capital into a new business is that if the business tanks, you will lose all that money. If you had to take out a bank loan, or a second mortgage, in order to come by the money that you required, then you will have to find a way to pay that money back without having a job or a business to assist you. But what can be even more damaging is the sense that you failed, you weren’t good enough, you’re idea was poorly received by peers. Before you set off on your journey as an entrepreneur you should seriously consider whether you are mentally resilient enough to cope with the possibility of failure.

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8. Lack Of Reward Begats Lower Motivation – When running your own business, there really is no telling when you will be rewarded or even how you will be rewarded. You may hope for a bigger bank balance or aspire to develop an industry leading product, but that can’t happen without motivation and drive. Becoming an entrepreneur essentially means taking risks in hope of receiving reward, but without ever really knowing when the reward will come. If that’s something you can’t deal with, then starting your own business is not the ideal choice.

7. Personality Problems – So much of being a successful entrepreneur relies solely on your ability to generate buzz, to garner a following, to create something out of nothing. If you are a quiet and introverted person, you’ll probably find yourself at a disadvantage compared to a seasoned and confident businessman.

6. Finding Good Staff Is A Challenge – Any budding startup is not much more than an idea backed by people. You could outsource the development of your service or product to 10 average offshore programmers, but they still won’t be as good as one excellent (and more expensive) programmer who believes in the product and can come into the office each day. The trouble is, brilliant programmers are hard to find and even more difficult to keep.

5. Dealing With The Possibility Of Failure – If your business fails, you will be losing much more than a way to pass the time. You may lose your home or other vital assets if you cannot meet repayments. Any unsecured debt that you have accrued on cards or loans will still need paying, which means your credit rating will take a beating. There’s also the potential damage to your self confidence, which will make it more difficult to start another business in the future.

4. Working With A Tight Budget – Raising the financing that you need as an entrepreneur is not simple. If you are a first time business owner, you will have difficulty convincing a lender to work with you, which can make entrepreneurship quite difficult. So when it comes to kitting out your office you’ll need to think of every possible way to save and get the most out of every single cent.

3. Managing Cashflow Is Tricky – Without knowing when your next paycheck will come, and with bills, loan repayment and other expenses looming, becoming an entrepreneur can be financially demanding.

2. The Lack of Benefits – By becoming an entrepreneur you will lose out on the 401k, health benefits, life insurance and other benefits that working for a normal company would grant you. You can acquire them your own self, but usually for a much greater cost.

1. Dealing With Negative Feedback – Who will you turn to in times of stress? Who can you trust? As an entrepreneur, you have no real support system to turn to, which can spell disaster for many budding businesses. You need to create a culture where negative feedback is a good thing, in fact, it should be encouraged and fostered into acceptance. If you want your product to be taken seriously then it has to be great, so there’s absolutely no point burying your head in the sand any time someone points out a flaw.

  • Decent article.

    One point – entrepreneurs don’t work long hours because they *have* to, they work long hours because they suck at managing their time / life / work. Knocking entrepreneurship just because the majority of people who get into it do it wrong is a bit like knocking soccer because people who play it invariably turn into self-obsessed celebrities.

    Get it right, you won’t have the problems listed above.

  • Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking post.

    My experience is that entrepreneurs are rebels who want to change the world and their own lives. So there is really only one reason to be an entrepreneur which is that we don’t have a choice.

    The following is a new chapter of my book which talks about how to build team, assuming that you decide to be an entrepreneur.


  • Good list. (Neat idea, making each item a link to something that goes into more detail!)

    Interestingly, this list has solidified by belief that I made the right decision to become an entrepreneur.

    And boy does #13 strike a chord with me. Having just hired a programmer, I am discovering first hand how much extra work it is to have an employee. He’s a fast worker, and just keeping him busy is keeping me busy. :) I feel great about it, though. Making sure he has relevant work to do is a fantastic motivator for me.

  • Simply put, that is great advice right there for anyone thinking of being an entrepreneur. I’m still in the process of debating back and forth what I want to do for the rest of my life at my young age and this list helped a lot, thanks!

  • Those who are successful are so because they choose to do the things unsuccessful people can’t and won’t do….
    With that said let me cut out your lies and point out your truths
    15. TRUE
    14. TRUE but my family works with me
    13. TRUE but it is also easy at time when you put 5000.00 in net profit for a single week of work
    12. I started my business from my last jobs pack check (less than $1000.00) I am still here 4 years later.
    11. Only things certain are DEATH & TAXES
    10. I always make my bill and payroll ( live by the 90% rule)
    9. Risk of failure is inherent in everything you will ever do. I mean your boss could fire you tomorrow.
    8. People with low motivation should find a government job. YOU WILL FAIL WITH LOW MOTIVATION
    7. TRUE completely agree I sale on 99% Charisma.
    6. Good staff can be found no further than you friends and family
    5. I have no business debt and no over head … well maybe my cell phone so like $100.00
    4. HAHAHA I started with I believe 921.31
    3. Just live on 90% of your income and your be just fine
    2. 401k ask the people at enron about that. You can get your own retirement plans anywhere. Buy your own health insurance. I pay 175.00 per month for full coverage health, vision, and dental
    1.All you must remember is become magnanimous with the public and you will always win
    President of MPYRE INC

  • For the other side of this issue, I took a slightly different tack and attitude. After years of doing start ups myself, I have learned many things and here are a few of them…the 100 attributes of a successful entrepreneur. I would welcome feedback and comment.
    thanks, GL HOFFMAN, Minneapolis, MN

  • Oh boy,
    Thanks for pointing out what I’ve been living recently. I think now I worked longer than when I used to work with other people. But the fun thing is, I really enjoy it!

  • I remember the 18 hour days when I first started my business but it has all paid off and while not everyone is up to it, I believe we entrepreneur’s do it because we want something more out of life than to be an employee making someone else rich.

  • Ben

    Great ideas. I think aspiring entrepreneurs underestimate how hard running a business can be. Experiencing that daily grind, headaches, and exhaustive work hours for the first time can really open your eyes. But the sweet result from it all: you’re working on what you love (hopefully), and you’re creating in charge of your own destiny.

  • jet

    entrepreneurship is risky, but nothing can be more risky than retiring and only getting a fraction of what you actually deserve and been working for the rest of your life and active years! how about that?

  • jet

    franchising, can be safer, although you got to have investment capital-that much, the fact that you are buying a tested business system!try anyway!than being an employee forever!why not be your own boss… you can slow down anyway when it’s really a must- than being an employee.. no work -no money,unlike this job you can have people working for you.

  • jet

    how about combining being a lawyer and entrepreneurship!isn’t this great!

  • Being able to handle uncertainty can’t be stated enough. The never ending rollercoaster of up’s and downs can take a toll on a person.