The biggest barrier to entrepreneurial comfort

I’m stuck.

I started a business while I was still studying, got the diploma and pushed as hard as possible to make it a success.

After 2 years of effort, I had to face reality (ok ok ok I was not making a single euro, had to live on my parents donations and my girlfriend’s salary), and found a job, I mean a real job, a job with a salary. (and with weekends off, vacations, company car, etc etc….)

That was brutal, and the first one who tells me that it’s easy to give up is a liar. Cost was huge, not talking about money, I had none, but social cost. I’m sure I’m not an isolated case: when you give up, you wake up, and your social life that was on autopilot before becomes a problem.

Anyway, this job led to many experiences, the big advantage of big companies, learning curve progressing, yummy, all the stuff I’ll need to be successful next time. Kept pushing, not that much on the ladder, but hard on getting more and more competencies.

That’s great but it can’t last forever, after many years in a very comfy environment, the entrepreneurial devil is back, and he’s knocking at the door more and more frequently.


I have settled in the meantime. I was a student, lucky enough to get some love money for the basics, low maintenance. I’m now married, wife with an “ok” income but not stable, invested in real estate (ie with long term debt to pay monthly), and I’m higher maintenance now.

I could give up on the higher maintenance, but I’m married now… My personnal risk management is now telling me: You’re the man who is in charge, you need a safe bet, or you’ll may put your relationship in danger. Why the hell do you want to stop getting this nice pay check every month?

So the only current option is to find a project to work on in my free time, that’s reducing significantly the possible options, but better than nothing when the devil is bouncing in my head.

I must confess, comfort is killing entrepreneurism, and I’m a very good example.

  • Don’t ditch the check or you’ll seriously regret what it does to your family in short order.

    Carve out the time like so many others have done. Stop striving for new skills at work and become super efficient at what you have to do. Anyone in a large corporation who’s not answering phones should be able to get the meat of their job done in half the standard day or less (just spread out completion to cover yourself). Be a model employee, but in half the time.

    There you go: 4 hours a day to work on your own stuff, plus an hour in the morning every morning.

    Then choose a pursuit that will fit this approach. Maybe it’s not classic entrepreneur such as you did before, launching the next Uber or whatever. But you can always start an online business of some sort.

    I’m a 51 year old guy. Kids are gone (but not off the payroll totally) in just the last couple of years, so more time now. But I started my business in 2010 with zero knowledge of anything online. It’s profitable and paying some household expenses for the last year (phones, internet, computers, home office expenses) and therefore providing real expense and tax savings that help the family.

    It has not been a skyrocket to success, but my wife and I are set to live off of it within the next year (we’ve worked on lowering the family expenses at the same time). And I’m launching my next business as we speak.

    And yes, I have a very comfortable job with a really nice salary. But I still despise working for corporate America and can’t wait to leave… not in a dumb way, but when I’m ready.

    So the bottom line is: If you want to be an entrepreneur, you’ll find some way to do it, even if it doesn’t involve venture capital, and even if it takes several years.

    Think how much progress you could have made already if you had been doing rather than dreaming?

  • Every year across the globe, the Founder Institute assists entrepreneurs in this same situation make the leap into entrepreneurship. To get your idea to market will always require some level of sacrifice in time and money, but it can me managed within your current life situation. In 14 weeks, you will know how viable your business idea is and build the relationships to get off the ground.

    I’d also encourage you to check out a website on quintessential careers. It discusses the transition occurring in the workforce (from employee to contract worker) and the various ways people are creating multiple sources of income to get away from “putting all your eggs in one basket (the employer basket).”

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