Let’s face it. It’s cool but tough to be an entrepreneur. Jeffrey Paine previously shared with us that entrepreneurship is not about making money because you can do that better at a job and reach home by 7. He further explained that an entrepreneur is required to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days in a year (24/7/365).
Even with all the hard work, most entrepreneurs do not make much money. He urged those who wish to follow the entrepreneurial path to find a right reason to do so. To explore this deeper, we have gathered several founders and partners to share with us their reasons on why they want to be an entrepreneur.
GoodStuph // Patricia Law
Sometimes you don’t really have a choice – do or die, Patricia’s answer is “do” and do it really well. It’s true that entrepreneurs don’t necessarily earn a lot but for Patricia Law, founder of GoodStuph, being an entrepreneur is the best way to go, at least in her situation.
“For me, being an entrepreneur is rather accidental to be honest. My dad’s ill and while my previous job paid well, medical bills aren’t cheap when insurance is non-existent. I can only have my dad in the hospital for so many days before my fixed salary gets wiped out.” said Patricia.
“In the most unromantic of all ways – the only way to be financially comfortable fast was to be an entrepreneur. The risks are high, no doubt, but hey, grab life by the balls and have a bit of common sense. ”
Young Upstarts previously interviewed Pat Law here.
SimpliFlying // Shashank Nigam
If you have 8 hours to spare each day, why not spend it on yourself. Shashank Nigam, founder and CEO of SimpliFlying feels he could be more successful if he works for himself.
He once told me that his internship experience in Accenture (although rewarding) had made him promise not to work for someone else.
“I feel if I were to work for myself rather than for some else, I’d make more money. I can also follow my passion and it’s the best learning opportunity in life!” said Shashank Nigam, Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying.
Manga Castle // Sylvia Yao
You could read all the books you want about entrepreneurship but nothing beats doing it in actual. Sylvia Yeo, co-founder of Manga Castle finds learning as her key motivation to build the business. Despite juggling business and school work, she seems to be doing pretty well.
“As an entrepreneur, I am free to pursue my passion and be in control of my life. I enjoy working with and learning from the best people. I learn something new everyday!”, Sylvia Yeo, Co-founder of Manga Castle told us.
Sylvia also feels that Singapore has a good ecosystem for entrepreneurs and also warned others that the life of an entrepreneur isn’t as glamorous as it seems to be.
“I’m glad that Singapore’s entrepreneurial scene is getting more vibrant and the ecosystem is getting better. Energy is rising. People are helping and supporting each other. Little things such as a pat on the back or a chillout drink can bring you out of the darkest times. Mentorships, networks and funding are also strengthening the ecosystem.”
“Yes, being an entrepreneur is tough, sometimes lonely, sometimes worrying, sometimes tiring. It’s not as glamorous as it might seem. But the experience, the exposure, the learning is invaluable.”
Young Upstarts previously featured Manga Castle here.
Invsble Studio // Tania Chew
Being an entrepreneur is a tough and scary task, especially when you have bills to pay. Tania Chew, Partner at Invsble Studio felt exactly that. Tania used to be an unsatisfied 9 to 6 worker but her life changed for the better ever since she has embarked on her entrepreneur journey.
“The word ‘entrepreneur’ actually scares me, because it takes helluva lotta guts, self-belief (and a little bit of stupidity) to go out there on your own…and I did it with rent, a mortgage and car payments hanging over my head,” said Tania.
“I always thought I’d be happy to remain as a 9am-6pm employee, drawing a safe, regular salary and grabbing at rungs on the same corporate ladder as most others, but one day it just hit me that I wanted more out of work in order to feel more fulfilled and be truly happy.”
Tania added that freedom and happiness are two key factors which pushed her to be an entrepreneur. Her advice to budding entrepreneurs are: (1) Don’t do everything yourself and (2) A good partner will help a long way.
“I wanted the freedom to do things my way and not have to kowtow to the dictates of some higher power. And I was inspired by a few good friends that I’d met along the way who were all doing their own thing and seemed much happier.”
“Almost a year (and a very interesting roller coaster of learning) later, I’m working as hard as ever but enjoying it a whole lot more. There were a few sacrifices in the early stages, but they were all worth it. What you must remember is that you can’t do everything by yourself or you’ll burn out very quickly. It’s always useful to have a good partner who’s there chugging alongside you.”
In my opinion, those who have at least tried it deserve respect. It’s hard to step out of the crowd to build something from scratch. The risk is huge and entrepreneurs are always bombarded with self-sabotaging ‘what if’ questions. Being able to rise from all these psychological stresses is already something to be proud of. But we all know it takes far more than that to succeed.
If I may, I will summarize all the above in a word. That word is ‘happiness’. Without a doubt, being happy in life is most important. So what if you can’t earn much money as an entrepreneur. As long as you’re happy doing it, I think that’s the best god damn reason you can ever think of.
Like what Patricia said, “grab life by the balls” and there is a reason why she included a happy smiley face.