Not Everyone Wants to be an Entrepreneur

Last week I was talking with a person that I thought would make a great entrepreneur: smart, hard working, ambitious, and successful. Only, after I brought it up, there was a thoughtful response along the lines of “I’ve thought about it and I know it’s not right for me as I want to do what I do best and leave the harder choices to someone else.” Since I’m somewhat obsessed with entrepreneurship and startups, I was taken aback as this person would do a great job as an entrepreneur.

Here are a few more thoughts from the conversation about not wanting to be an entrepreneur:

  • Ambitious people can achieve great success without starting a company, in fact most successful people achieve success without starting a company
  • Joining an existing startup that already has product-market fit or is in the scaling phase can be immensely rewarding and much less stressful than the earlier phases (see 106 Career-Launching Technology Companies)
  • Playing to one’s strengths is the best strategy, and just because someone is successful doesn’t mean they want to run a company
  • Seeing a founder make incredibly hard decisions in the past, like who to lay off when things are going bad, was one example that drove home the feeling of not wanting to be an entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. Some people need to go out and try it for themselves to figure out where they stand while others are self-aware and never need to try. Just because someone seems like they could be a successful entrepreneur doesn’t mean they want the life of an entrepreneur.

What else? What are some more thoughts on people not wanting to be an entrepreneur?

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