The Voluntary Life: 140 A World Of Entrepreneurs

18 January 2014

140 A World Of Entrepreneurs

This episode provides some thoughts on common objections to entrepreneurship. Topics covered include:

  • The myth of an entrepreneur "personality type".
  • Entrepreneurship as a personal development programme that can benefit anyone
  • The possibility of a world where everyone is an entrepreneur


  1. Jake, I agree with you that everyone would benefit from being an entrepreneur, but many people find the idea of getting started to be very scary. Mostly it's the fear that they will run out of money before they start turning a profit.

    It's especially scary for people to start out if they have a dependent spouse or children. I first became an entrepreneur before I started a family, which is fortunate because it took a couple of years for the business to become profitable. After you've started one business it is much easier to start subsequent ones.

    There are some great half-way steps that people can take if they are scared of starting up their own business. They can become a franchisee for a chain (such as a Subway restaurant or a branded coffee shop) where they are technically an independent entrepreneur yet the company will train them and guide them all the way to success (in exchange for a big chunk of the profits of course). With the experience of having run a franchise, it will be much easier for them to launch their next business completely independently.

    Another alternative to "jumping in at the deep end" is to choose the type of business which you would like to start. Then get a job with a similar business. Choose the smallest such business that you can find, so that you end up working closely with the owner. After a few years, you will have learned enough about business that you can start a similar business of your own. You may be asked to sign a non-compete agreement which will stop you opening a competing business in the same area within a certain time, so just be aware of the consequences if you sign this.

    Yet another approach, for someone who already has a job, is to reduce the number of hours they work to half-time. By living reasonably frugally, a half-time job will provide plenty of income to start up a business during the other half of the working week. This is a comfortable low-risk way of starting out, for those who prefer it that way, because there's a steady baseline income all the way.

    Finally, I'd like to point to this blog post at Mr Money Mustache:

    The author lists 50 jobs that can earn over $50,000 per year, and which do not require a degree. Although he uses the term "jobs", most of these are entrepreneurial. Any of them could be a gateway to a more substantial business venture.

    1. Great points Roger! Thanks so much for your feedback


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.