I recently left a stable full-time job with a nonprofit I cared about, to pursue building my own venture and to help others build theirs. I wouldn’t call myself courageous by any means, but a move of this nature with no guarantees and a family to provide for is a significant risk – one many would call stupid or irresponsible.
Sometimes you have to trust your gut and go with your heart. If I were to take all of the advice, suggestions and recommendations of others, I would be working in a ‘safe’ corporate job that I would hate and regret for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be an old man reflecting back on my life wishing I had taken more risks and pursued my dreams instead of just settling. I decided to stop thinking and wishing and made the move. Courageous? Not quite, but it's not an easy decision to make, and starting a business is not the easiest route in life to take.
As Interview Editor for Under30CEO, I’ve been able to speak with some of the most passionate and influential young entrepreneurs in the world. We're currently doing a series with Hiscox Insurance called The Courageous Founder series. It got me thinking whether or not it’s appropriate to call an entrepreneur courageous. I decided to ask several entrepreneurs "Do you consider entrepreneurs to be courageous?" Here are their thoughts.
Isha Edwards, EPIC Measures Founder
Entrepreneurs are courageous people because they’re leaving the comforts of ‘home’ in a sense. When you become an entrepreneur, you leave the security of working for someone and having someone else manage your work behind, and (you) take on all of the risk.
Kevin Lavelle, Mizzen+Main Founder and CEO
Absolutely, but courageous may not be the word I would assign to it. Bold; sometimes just naive enough to commit to trying to do something. But I think there are people that are people much more courageous than entrepreneurs that deserve that word. I can take risks with my career, future, and savings, but it’s a different world when you’re truly putting your life on the line.
Michael Callahan, ONE Co-Founder and CEO
Entrepreneurs are amazing people. In general, if you meet someone who is an entrepreneur; they’ve all had so many things that they’ve gone through and worked hard at that there is a quality about entrepreneurs that distinguishes them from other individuals.
Paul Szoldra, We Are The Mighty Executive Editor, Duffel Media Founder and CEO
I would say yes. It takes some serious courage to go out and do that (start a business). It’s not for everyone. When you’re an entrepreneur and talk to someone who’s not, at least in my experience, they are like “Whoa! You don’t have a boss? How do you even manage to survive?” The vast majority of people out there are not running startups and not putting their money on the table and risking it all as so many entrepreneurs do.
Shradha Agarwal, ContextMedia Co-Founder
I think there’s an amount of courage in almost anything you pursue, but there’s probably a lot more perseverance and grit that’s required as an entrepreneur. It takes a lot of courage to launch, but it takes even more courage, persistence, and grit to keep going.
Tylar Masters, Tylar & Co. Founder
I think courageous is an understatement. It’s a huge step to take…You have to have a no-fear attitude.
Are entrepreneurs courageous? Give your thoughts in the comments below.
Tomorrow’s Post: What Makes Us Click: Clicking Off Content Part 1
The Clicking Off Content Series starts with a look at what makes us click on articles. Hear my thoughts along with insight from others on why we decide to read an article online, or at least start that process.
Interested in Why I’m Publishing 365 Times in 2015? Read the first post of 2015 here! Want to be a part of the series? Share topic ideas or volunteer for an interview in the comments below.
Michael Luchies is the Founder of TrepRep, Director of Content Programming for Pursuit, Interview Editor for Under30CEO, Entrepreneurship Lecturer at Illinois State University, TEW 2 contributor, and writer of all things entrepreneurship. Connect with Michael on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.