Is It Normal to Become an Entrepreneur?

Debbie Entreprenurial Spirit

IT IS VERY COMMON to hear people say becoming an entrepreneur is just too risky, or too much work, or not secure. Yet, everyday, people have that dream in their hearts, but don’t act on it.

Let’s look at some of the things we have done in our lives that have been risky:

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  • asking someone out on a first date
  • going on a first date
  • learning to drive
  • buying a car
  • going to college or university
  • choosing a career
  • getting married
  • having a child
  • buying a home[/message][su_spacer]

These things all include taking a risk. Some cost us in terms of simply pushing through fear. Some cost us financially, and this varies in cost. For instance buying a car is less expensive than buying a home. What most don’t consider is that a car depreciates in value the moment we drive it off the lot, and a home gains value over the years. Most people accept that it’s normal to spend $30-50,000 or more on a vehicle, have a monthly car loan, and work to pay if off, only to have a car that has worn out, and you have to repeat this commitment every 5-10 years.

Learning to drive can be fearful and risky. What if you have an accident, what if you injure someone, yet look how many drivers are on the road. It’s normal to get your license.

Choosing a career path and going to higher ed to obtain the knowledge/degree to pursue that career can be considered very risky, yet most have also accepted this is normal. It is not uncommon today for young people to be carrying $50,000+ in outstanding student loans. What if after a 4, 5, 8 year program, and all the cost that goes with it, you find it doesn’t fulfill you and isn’t what you want to do for a living? What if you incur all that debt and can’t find work in your field? This is happening to many grads, there is a very high underemployment rate. Something else to consider is people who thought they would be working in a particular field their entire careers are being downsized that never thought they would be – teachers, health care professionals, etc. Again, this investment into higher ed is considered “normal”.

Making a life commitment of marriage can feel risky. Some people become very anxious at the thought, while others embrace it fully. For the most part marriage is something that a very high percentage of people accept as being a normal risk to take.

Remember buying your first home? What if you can’t keep up the payments, what if you lose your home? These are all risks that every home owner has taken, yet, like marriage, it is considered to be a normal risk to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to put a roof over your head. Add to this, that most leave that home they are paying for to work 40, 50, 60 hrs a week, just to pay the bills, and don’t have the time they want in the home they are working their butts off for. Again, this is considered normal.

Starting a family is risky. Will you be a good parent? Will it affect your relationship? Will your children be healthy? Yet everyday, new lives are brought into our world. There is also the expense of raising children, that is a lifetime commitment….again, society accepts this as normal.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself: WHY IS ALL THIS CONSIDERED “NORMAL”, AND WHY ARE PEOPLE WILLING TO TAKE THESE RISKS? It isn’t RISK that people are afraid of…people take many risks every day. It is doing something that is not considered NORMAL. If most of the population isn’t doing it, it doesn’t feel “normal” . THIS is what stops people from following their hearts…if they don’t see everyone around them doing it, they think it’s not normal and therefore too risky. This is the way we have been conditioned to think. Once you have an awareness of this, it is a wake up and you have the opportunity to actually start thinking for yourself.

Really reflect on this….how many of these “risks” have you taken? Were there challenges with any of these things? Did you push through those challenges? Why did you push through the challenges you encountered?

[bctt tweet=”We tend to push through and find solutions to challenges when our desire outweighs the challenge. ” via=”no”]

It’s amazing how creative we can be when our desire is strong enough.

100 years ago, it was “normal” to be an entrepreneur. Everyone had their own little business of some sort, and took responsibility to provide for themselves. When the industrial age started, companies started “conditioning” people that they “needed” the security of working a job, being paid a set salary, having benefits, etc. Society bought this belief and today, there are so many years of conditioning, that people have forgotten just how capable they are, and, how to think for themselves. Those that want to become entrepreneurs often talk themselves out of it, or listen to “well-meaning” people that discourage their dreams. Their fear of risk, and their conditioned belief to be normal, outweighs their desire.

The first step is to recognize it is not fear of risk that is holding you back, it is fear of not doing what society considers NORMAL. Next look at all the areas you have successfully taken risk and had success. Identify how much capital it requires to start the business you want. This can vary greatly….from a few thousand dollars to several million. Something I see on a regular basis is potential small business owners giving up on their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur because they are afraid to invest $2,000, $5,000 $10,000 into a business they want to start. A wake up for these individuals is to ask themselves “why would I invest $50,000 in a car that will only depreciate, and not invest a small amount like this into a business that will pay me over and over again. When you bring it into perspective like this, you recognize how small you are playing in life, and how you are letting fear of risk stop you from achieving your goals.


Debbie Ruston
Debbie Ruston
ENTREPRENEUR, International Trainer, Visionary Leader – Debbie has been a successful entrepreneur, since 1986 and believes in taking an active stand for true human potential. As the owner of The Success Educator, Debbie has spent her career helping individuals discover their limitations and overcome them and assists people globally in starting their own businesses. She also has a personal passion for education reform and providing youth the knowledge required to succeed in today's changed world.

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  1. Hi Anonymous

    You made some good points.
    Sometimes the new venture will require giving up a paying job, however, there are many options today that allow a person to keep their job while building their business. For instance on a very small scale, a person selling products on Etsy could maintain their job until their income with their Etsy business exceeds their full time income. This person would however, need to invest in whatever materials they require to product their product. It could be several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on what they are offering. Many would “like” to get started with something like this, yet never take the step because they believe they don’t have the money and would not consider borrowing it, just like they did to purchase a car.

    People often give more priority to traditional purchases than investing in their dreams and goals. It’s not a lack of money, it is giving another purchase more priority. People wouldn’t consider not having a car, even if that car means taking on a high monthly payment, but don’t consider giving that same priority to borrowing money to start a business.

    The underlying cause of this is mindset. It is vital to develop the mindset of entrepreneur to be successful at any venture. You cannot run a business with the mindset of an employee….however, many do, and this is a big cause of business failure.

  2. Some good points, Debbie. It isn’t just investing $5,000-$10,000 in a new venture vs. $50,000 in a car though. Often the new venture means giving up a paying job too and in those cases therein lies the greater risk.

    In my experience there is a very high rate of failure in new ventures and while there are many reasons for that there are two that are more common than others. First is significantly underestimating the amount of money that will be required, not just at the front end, but over time. Second is a failure to appreciate the many talents that are required to start a new business. Too often a person that is a expert at marketing, or tech, or some other facet of business thinks that will get the job done.

    Don’t misunderstand me though, I’m not against people being an entrepreneur. I just don’t want them jumping into the deep end of the pool before they know how to swim, and a burning desire won’t keep you from drowning.