Abstract: Nine of every ten new businesses fail, which makes the choice of being an entrepreneur absolutely irrational.
Entrepreneurs are more likely to achieve success by setting crystal clear goals and working towards them with a crazy determination.
CrazyLister’s offices are located in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Like many “Tel-Avivans”, realizing I was wasting a chunk of my life on constant, desperate parking seeking, I gave up owning a car and switched to public transportation.
In order to catch the bus from the office back home, I need to cross a major (and very busy) intersection, containing whole six pedestrian crossings!
From the start point of my pedestrian crosswalk, I can see if the bus is coming my way. This means that if a bus is coming and I’m not able to cross in time, I have to miserably walk that crosswalk with a sad look on my face, knowing that the next bus only arrives in another 40 minutes.
A few weeks ago, while I was about half way at the crossing – I suddenly saw the bus approaching. My light was red and there was no way for me to cross as there was heavy traffic.
I had to hopelessly watch the bus arriving to the station while I was waiting on the other side of the road.
At this point of deep despair, a crazy idea suddenly possessed me – I’m going to run like hell and catch that bus at the next station!
And I started running….
This is the place to mention, I’m not a runner. In fact I’m much more of a “Sit in front of a computer” kind of guy.
But I decided to run, stopped to catch a breath and then continued to run. I started to feel that annoying pain on my side that you get when you run as a “non-runner”.
A few seconds before I arrived to the next bus station, I saw the bus pass right by me, take its passengers, close its doors and drive away. “Oh f@%#!,” I thought to myself, “I made it this far, I’m going to keep chasing this f$#&er until I get him!” And so I ran.
I don’t know how it happened, I didn’t have enough oxygen in my brain to grasp the details of what just happened, but I made it to the second bus station and saw the last few passengers on-board the bus and made it to the line!
I was sweating like a pig, my head was spinning, I could barely reach for my wallet to pay for the ride, but damn! I said I’d catch this bus and g-d damn I did!
While sitting on the bus, catching my breath, I remembered a similar situation from my childhood where I caught a bus in time, despite being told that I’ll never make it.
Entrepreneurs are bus chasers
The next thought that came to my mind was that this is exactly what it means to be an entrepreneur and a business owner. We chase the bus against all odds, constantly being told by friends, family, investors etc. that we are wrong and crazy to do so. We’re told we’d better save the effort and settle for the safe option – waiting for 40 minutes for the next bus.
Chasing a bus: Dangerous and chances are you will lose, so it’s against common logic.
Building your own business: Chances are you will fail, so it’s illogical to even try.
Let’s say you’re crazy and driven enough to decide that you’re going to chase the bus until the last station no matter what it takes.
Chances are you will have to run or walk all the way to your destination, you will arrive even later than if you would have waited for the next bus at the first stop, you will be sweating, short of air and in pain.
If you work for the next 7-10 years at stable 5 days a week 9-5 job, your total income will very highly likely be significantly higher than trying to build your own business; burning through your savings, taking loans from FF&F (Friends, family and fools). Chances are, you’ll eventually fail.
Here’s a paradox for you – if you’re smart enough to start your own business, you should be smart enough to do the math and conclude that the expected value from a stable work is significantly higher than from your own business, but the satisfaction of succeeding on your own has no monetary worth.
I’m just saying…
If you’re building your own eBay or any other kind of business, you belong to a group of irrational, somewhat crazy people.
Enjoy the journey 😉