I try to avoid writing too much about being an online entrepreneur. For one, there are plenty of people writing about it who are much better than I am. Even after being at this game for nine years, I still feel like a newbie most the time.
I also try to avoid hyping entrepreneurship too much. It’s incredibly hard work to get established, there are no guarantees of success and you’ll face tons of discouragement. There are many less dramatic professions which nobody hypes, but many people would be happy in.
Those caveats aside, I can be honest: the decision to start my own business was easily the best decision I’ve made in my life. No other decision really even comes close.
I loved building it when it was just an idea, and I love running it now that it is my reality. I’d like to write more, but it would end up sounding like a Hollywood cliché, so I’ll leave it at that.
No, my experience isn’t universal. I was successful; many aren’t. It’s a virtue of the selection bias that I get to tell you I’m happy with my choice, but the disillusioned former entrepreneurs don’t have a soapbox to balance my rhetoric.
I can’t tell you to start a business, or even whether you should. But if you feel the uncontrollable urge to go out and create something in the world, you should at least be serious about that desire. That means being aggressive about learning as much as you can about what makes it possible for some people to succeed at it.
The $100 Startup
My friends Adam Baker and Karol Gajda have put together an amazing package of resources for entrepreneurs, in support of Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The $100 Startup. It’s been a frenzied discussion all over the blogosphere, so you’ve probably already read about it.
The book is included, and it takes an extremely pragmatic approach to running a business. Chris actually went out and selected over 2000 actual lifestyle entrepreneurs to interview about their success. It’s about actual people, not abstract theory.
I’m already biased on this issue, so I decided to affiliate with Chris, Adam and Karol to help promote the package here. If you buy the package through my link and email me the receipt, I’ll forward you a copy of my book—Think Outside the Cubicle, which is aimed at productivity for entrepreneurs.
The offer is time-limited since an unfortunate artifact of the book publishing process is that the lifetime sales of a book depend heavily on its initial promotion. If you want to get the offer you should take advantage of it now, since the discount is incredibly steep for only a short time window.
I can’t tell you what your experience will be. But as I look out from my window onto one of the most beautiful cities in the world, working only on projects of my own desire and having nearly complete freedom, I realize how different my life could have been if I hadn’t taken that chance.