Do you think being an Entrepreneur/Business Owner is worth it?

cinnabun814

Suspended
Original poster
Apr 2, 2018
111
82
I'm at the point in my life where I need to decide what I want to do. I've always wanted to start my own business and it's about all I think about I just have no idea in what. I'm also scared because I have an officially psychologist tested IQ of 80 so i'm worried i'm not capable of doing what I want to do in life. I graduated high school and did well in the little college I had. I had to leave school for severe depression unrelated to school. I'm just really debating on whether or not i'm capable of being a business owner or if I should go the traditional employee route long term. That psychologist testing has really really hurt my self esteem and confidence. It's made me feel like i'm less of a person if that makes any sense.

Basically i'm trying to get answers from employees about how their life is like, and i'm trying to get answers from business owners as to what their life is like. Everyone is welcome to answer this question. Thank you very much for your time.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
46,512
31,253
The Far Horizon
I'm at the point in my life where I need to decide what I want to do. I've always wanted to start my own business and it's about all I think about I just have no idea in what. I'm also scared because I have an officially psychologist tested IQ of 80 so i'm worried i'm not capable of doing what I want to do in life. I graduated high school and did well in the little college I had. I had to leave school for severe depression unrelated to school. I'm just really debating on whether or not i'm capable of being a business owner or if I should go the traditional employee route long term. That psychologist testing has really really hurt my self esteem and confidence. It's made me feel like i'm less of a person if that makes any sense.

Basically i'm trying to get answers from employees about how their life is like, and i'm trying to get answers from business owners as to what their life is like. Everyone is welcome to answer this question. Thank you very much for your time.
Actually, I think you are framing this question or subject entirely the wrong way around.

You are looking to be a "business owner" but are unsure of what field you would wish to ply your trade in or practice your business in.

To my mind, that is missing the point; I would recommend that you ask what interests you, find your passion, and make a business out of that.

If you like computers, or are skilled at tech, why not try a business of offering your skills in that area to others? Likewise, if you are good at photography, fascinated by food (some of the best run "businesses" I know are organic farmers who sell their produce in the local farmers' market - this is people crafting a role (and business) out of an interest of a passion.

A little over twenty years ago, the excellent juice company "Innocent" came about because a few individuals made great smoothies and juices at festivals and realised that they could make a living (and good reputation) from doing this on a permanent basis; they invited festival goers to recommend whether they should give up the day jobs they then held in order to concentrate on making excellent juice products.

Find what you like to do, are good at, and what interests you, what your passion is, and try to create a structure (a business) to make a living from what interests you.
 
Last edited:

MasterControlOp

Suspended
Mar 28, 2019
69
40
I think hard work is more important than IQ. Find something you love to do and you should be ok.

Plus those tests aren’t as accurate as people think. Be successful and prove them wrong. And good luck with your depression, I know how difficult it is to deal with.
 
  • Like
Reactions: heehee

trillionaire

macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2018
210
131
Canada
There's advantages and disadvantages to both sides. I'm at the point right now where I don't want to think about where my money is coming from 24/7. That's why I have a job and don't have a business. I also have trouble staying motivated.

With business you have to constantly think about improving and growing because the competition doesn't sleep. It's a gruelling world and the workload can be overwhelming.

On the other hand, a job forces you to do what you're told and you will always be restricted by your position and its earnings.

Obviously there's more that goes into each side but I don't want to go on a rant, just the base of both avenues.
You have to look at what drives you and if you can start a business that you can be passionate about (like others have said) then you can be successful. You can build the knowledge and continue to learn and develop, it's not rocket science, but it does take a lot of will and commitment to keep pushing forward. You have to be motivated and always strive to learn and do more; if you can do that then you should be able to make a living or maybe even more.

I would also talk it over with your close ones and look at your situation. What is the right move not just for you, but for everyone around you. The decision won't only impact you if you have a family.

Good luck and all the best!
 
  • Like
Reactions: yaxomoxay

lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,174
6,347
North Country (way upstate NY)
I've always thought that working for the sole intent of making money is crass so I need to have fun doing it.

If you can have fun starting and running a business, I'd go that route but keep in mind there likely isn't going to be much of a work/life balance.

If that doesn't sound fun then find an organization whose goal you support and throw yourself at it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: max2

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,621
1,196
Georgia
I'm at the point in my life where I need to decide what I want to do. I've always wanted to start my own business and it's about all I think about I just have no idea in what. I'm also scared because I have an officially psychologist tested IQ of 80 so i'm worried i'm not capable of doing what I want to do in life. I graduated high school and did well in the little college I had. I had to leave school for severe depression unrelated to school. I'm just really debating on whether or not i'm capable of being a business owner or if I should go the traditional employee route long term. That psychologist testing has really really hurt my self esteem and confidence. It's made me feel like i'm less of a person if that makes any sense.

Basically i'm trying to get answers from employees about how their life is like, and i'm trying to get answers from business owners as to what their life is like. Everyone is welcome to answer this question. Thank you very much for your time.
I'd find the results of your IQ tests to be suspect. Your mood and the testing environment can affect results. Your depression could have hindered results. Same if you are on meds. Those factors can affect your ability to concentrate. Which is critical in IQ testing. Given your post history I'd suspect it is considerably higher.

I'd consider owning your own business worthwhile. There are added stressors. As success is dependent on you. You need to make the right decisions for marketing, pricing, product, employees, customer retention, insurance and so forth. If you don't make the right choices it will barely squeak by or fail. On the plus side. You are your own boss. No one can fire you. Depending on the market you can set your own hours.

The business is loyal to you. You could work for someone else for years and be the model employee. Then without so much as a by your leave. They could close your position by outsourcing it to a cheap company or your employer just merges with someone else and closes your redundant department. Your own business won't do that to you.

You'll have to make some decisions which affect liability and taxes. Such as forming a sole proprietorship, LLC or S-Corp. A sole proprietorship is easier to setup from a paperwork standpoint but leaves you wide open legally.

Even if your IQ isn't high. You can make good money with your own business. You'll never be poor if you are a hard worker in HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical or many other skilled trades. You'll have to work for somebody for a few years. But those few years pay well. Then you can take your license exam and make a very comfortable living. Ever see how much some of these guys charge for a days labor. They're right up their with dentists.

Work electrical and focus on solar panel installation. Few electricians are skilled with solar and popularity of solar is booming. You get a high tech fix and help the environment by your labors. Become a mechanic but focus on electric cars. I'll bet there will be big demand for electric conversion of classic cars when battery prices drop. If not it'll be a safe position in dealerships.
 

profmatt

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2015
1,605
1,565
UK
I think the IQ information is ******** and you should ignore it.

I was an employee for 13 years and I've been self-employed for 13 years.

I much prefer working for myself. I'm a control freak. I don't like being told what to do. I think I know best. I hate working for idiots. There's something hugely satisfying about earning your own money from a client and paying it into the bank. All of it. Not a small share of it because your employer takes the rest.

The downside is that I worry about money all the time. My income is not guaranteed. If I'm sick, I don't get paid. If I want to go on vacation I don't get paid.

On the other hand, last November I was feeling like I needed a break, so I booked a holiday and off I went. You can't do that if you work for someone else.

Find something you love and are good at — maybe by working for someone else first to grow your skills. And then go for it if your finances allow it and if your appetite for risk is sufficient.

I have zero regrets. It's so much better working for myself. Even if I do worry about money all the time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ejb190

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,286
17,089
The Misty Mountains
My impression based on no research, just visiting shopping malls, is that small business ventures have a high failure rate as a whole, or as a successful franchise, they cost big bucks to buy in. I think you really have to do serious research on something that interests you.

For myself, running a small business seems like it would be high risk, and a lot of headaches, and not that rewarding, but that is me. Contrarily, I know of individuals who have carved out very comfortable and affluent living based on their successful businesses.

Certain franchises have very good track records, if you want to be a franchise-ee but typically you are paying up front for their success, and in some cases, almost have to be wealthy to even afford their franchise purchase. A couple of decades ago, I was wandering through the Burnsville Mall, Burnsville, Mn, and we passed a Sock Market store, and I wondered how many socks must you sell, per week, just to pay your overhead? It did not last very long past when I first noticed it.
 
Last edited:

ejb190

macrumors 65816
Having been involved in 3 small business startups (one failed) and thinking about a 4th, let me lay a few things out.
1) Start small. Taking on debt is one of the surefire ways to sink you, especially early on.
2) Small business is more about grit, determination, and networking than intelligence. I remember a businessman tell me he could be successful in any business - because he knew how to run a business. He could hire the technical people to make it work.
3) That brings me to a big point. Notice how all the small doctors offices are joining up with large medical organizations? There's a reason for that. Doctors want to treat people, not spend all their time mired in paperwork and managing financials. If you get into horse training because you love horses, don't forget that you still have to RUN THE BUSINESS! And as a business grows, you spend more time managing and less doing what gets most people to start the business in the first place.
4) People are smart in different ways. I knew a guy who was a post-doc in Material Science Engineering. His research was brilliant. But he had ZERO common sense. Smartest dumb guy I ever met. Check out the books below for more on this.
5) The best way to be successful is to surround yourself with people who have done what you want to do and do what they have done. If you want to get into franchises, get yourself in as a manager for a franchisee and learn everything you can from them!

I'm going to suggest a couple books - most of them are older.
Duct Tape Marketing - there's a lot about networking in here
Entreleadership - Dave Ramsey - Teaches a lot about managing expectations
How to Think Like Leonardo di Vinci - Michael Gelb - It's about Multiple Intelligences. If nothing else, it will show you that people are "smart" in different ways.

Keep us posted here. I'm interested in how you do!
 

smirking

macrumors 68020
Aug 31, 2003
2,182
1,592
Silicon Valley
I come from a family of small business owners. I'm self employed myself. The only person in my family with an MBA is someone who doesn't own a business and never has. He got his MBA because he felt it was his calling to own his own business like everyone else in the family. He got his MBA. He still hasn't gone off on his own.

Wanting to be a business owner and having the traits that make you successful as a business owner are not the same thing. All the training and desire in the world is useless if you aren't fundamentally driven to do a certain something and do it the way you want to do it.

If you read between the lines of a lot of the responses above, you'll see that the people who are business owners have a deep drive for something other than that they wanted to own their own business. That's because in a lot of ways owning your own business sucks. All the benefits of owning your own business can easily be flipped upside down if the thing you are doing is not its own reward to you. The excitement of being your own boss and flexibility it affords you could just as easily be felt as the 24/7 stress and the burden of instability.

For a while I was on the path to having a Web development company. The advice I got was to move out of development work, farm out my projects or hire people, stop coding, move into management, and make money in my sleep.

I started doing that, but didn't get far because it made me miserable. I got into Web Development because I like building stuff and work on projects even when I'm not being paid to do so. When I switched to the managerial track, I immediately realized that the reason why I wanted to go off on my own wasn't necessarily so I could be a business owner, but so that I could ply my craft in a way that made me happy.

I didn't enjoy managing people so I reversed course and committed myself to being the best craftsperson I could be. That was the best decision I ever made. Without the joy, the only thing you'll get from owning a typical small business is stress and poverty. It is very risky to have a small business. I've met many people along the way who have lost their shorts.

Find something you're good at and that you enjoy and only then decide if you have the appetite for risk and adventure to use your skill and passion to build something on your own. If you have it, you won't be satisfied with just collecting a paycheck. If you don't, no kind of training or IQ test result will save you from failure.

Also, ignore your IQ score. Even if it's spot on accurate about your abilities, you don't need to have a high IQ to be good at something. If you do something like crafting amazing woodwork, nobody's going to care if your IQ was 5.
 
Last edited:

Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
4,059
9,252
In my view it’s unrealistic to expect success from deciding to be a business owner then search for a business to start or to buy. If you have the capital or a family investor you’re ahead of the game, but without the skills it’s going to be difficult learning them as you go.

1. What are your skills?
2. Is there a demand and market for them in your area to support a start up?

If you don’t have a marketable skill, then now is the time to develop them.

A community college in your area is a good resource to start your research.
There’s no shame learning or honing skills working for someone, then spin off to your own niche when you feel it’s right.
 

Illuminated

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2008
1,000
251
Denver
You mean the undying stress, virtually no income at the start, and pumping blood, sweat, and tears into your passion?

Is it worth it? Depends on you.