I took the plunge and decided to be an “entrepreneur”.
Initially I was quite uncomfortable with the word, because honestly what does it mean really? I chose the path of ‘technical unemployment’ because I had an overwhelming need to get back to my creative roots and start writing again. I haven’t written properly in years, I was feeling disconnected and uninspired. I knew my soul needed to write, to create, to discuss, and I knew I needed it now.
The definition of an entrepreneur according to Google, is a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Doesn’t sound all that exciting does it? My intention wasn’t firstly to raise profit, but rather to do something I love each day and use my best skills in the process. Sure, profit is definitely on the cards, but happiness really was number one. I came across a fabulous article by Ben Botes, COO of Caban Capital PLS (whom the picture credit goes to as well) about why it’s cool all of a sudden to be an entrepreneur. It dawned on me that many peoples reaction to me telling them about my new venture was in fact, “Wow that’s so cool!”.
In reading Ben’s article and pondering upon this “coolness”, I had to analyse what was cool about starting my own business. As Ben mentions, the ‘pursuing of my passion’ and the ‘being in charge of my own destiny’ has literally made me smile from ear to ear daily – coolness for sure. Waking up with my own purpose, my own agenda, my own set of deliverables, and being the master of my own time, has been quite magical and incredibly freeing – again, quite cool I guess.
Yet the parts he mentions such as ‘changing the world’ and ‘helping the economy’ are areas that I haven’t been able to even grasp yet but, one day I hope Beyond Copywriting, certainly will. I have worked previously in the industry of Skills Development and I know the B-BEE Codes and the DTI itself are in favour of entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses. Perhaps I finally understand why. Sure, yes it’s an economic and development thing, but I also believe it’s deeper than that. It’s encouraging us, the working generation, and those to come after us, to be innovative and motivated. To use our abilities to action, own, collaborate and create. Without even knowing it perhaps they are trying to encourage us to be happier?
Of course going “on your own” comes at great risk, the risk of financial pressure or even worse, failure. And of course working for yourself is absolutely not for everyone – lack of financial security, dependence on the niche social/economic climate, isolation from peers or team work – these can all be huge deal breakers for some people.
For me though, these have been small sacrifices I have been willing to take on the chin for the reward of less stress and more happiness. So, I think I am ok with the title of Entrepreneur. In fact, I am cool with it