Interviewer: So in the life of an entrepreneur, now you’ve been all living the life of an entrepreneur, what is it you like about the life of an entrepreneur, and what is it you don’t like about the path that you have chosen? Anybody, or you can just go to in any order you like.
Entrepreneur1: I guess what I love about it is – yeah it probably goes both ways. I love creating something out of nothing, and seeing that impact, it’s almost like you can see it nurture. And you can see the positive result as quick as you can, kind of make it, make it happen. The downside of being an entrepreneur is that it’s not as posh and stable as a typical company where you have enough things in place, where you don’t have to worry about the revenue. You don’t have to worry about profitability. You don’t have to worry about the individual things, so you end up losing a few hairs almost every day. So, part of being in a startup is, you have your good days and you have your bad days, but, you know, you fall down and you get up, and you keep going.
Carol: So in the corporate world, I used to be called a workaholic. And I’m a pretty passionate person and when I’m on a project, or working on trying to get something done, I pretty much stay focused on that. And that used to be considered a bad thing. And when I became an entrepreneur, everybody just started saying, oh, but she’s an entrepreneur, it’s okay. And so, I suddenly became socially acceptable, about the fact that my work life and my personal life had a very, very blurry line.
Entrepreneur3: Yeah you know, the best thing about it is that it’s amazing and all-consuming, and exhausting, and crazy, and the worst thing about it is that it’s amazing and all-consuming, and exhausting, and crazy. It will become your life, if you’re lucky, and you’re doing it well. And there’s trade-offs in that, but I feel like the last ten or so years of my life are more or less this vortex of non-stop startupness which is great. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But I think it almost becomes an either/or decision, at some point, if you’re lucky enough to be facing that problem.
Entrepreneur4: I think for me the biggest is the dream, that you can allow yourself to dream. You can allow yourself to, you’re going to create a company, you’re going to have an impact on the world. And at the end of the day, it’s really all up to you. I think of that as a fantastic luxury, that there’s really no limitation. It’s all about your capability, your creativity, and your hard work. That at the end of the day, hopefully, you will be able to accomplish what you set out to do.
Carol: But one of the things that all of us are talking about is that we’re doing it because we have some passion about what we’re doing, and with whom we’re doing it. And one of the things that you’ll hear people give you advice about over and over again is stay focused on your passion. And the reason is, if you hate what you’re doing, you won’t be successful as an entrepreneur, because it requires too much extra effort. And you have to really love it to make the sacrifices that are necessary to be successful.
Entrepreneur2: You also have be a little bit crazy to enjoy the ups and downs of it. Because there’s a lot of ups, there’s a lot of downs along the way. But I think the other key thing is like, if you look at just how the business world works, big companies get to run it. But, in the startup, you get to change it. And if you look at companies like Facebook, Twitter, and just social media in general, that’s really transpired the way we communicate. Big companies are now following onto that, so I think that’s the highlight of being an entrepreneur, is when you can make that big of an impact, and if you’re part of that genre, you can really go ahead and see why, you know. You’re passionate about it, you’re making a change and it’s a lot of fun.
Entrepreneur3: I think that you have a phenomenal luxury when you’re an entrepreneur. And that is to pick the people you actually are going to work with. And I think that really makes a big difference. You know, one thing is to have this objective, or dream or desire. But you can actually work with people that are phenomenally inspiring. People that are fun to hang out with. People that you really care about. And regardless of where you want to go with the company, regardless what you want to accomplish, just a luxury that everyday you will go to work, you work with people that fundamentally are people that you like, and you want to hang out with. I think that is a phenomenal perk, if you can put it that way.
Interviewer: So it’s a great segue to the next question and so we have some both pure entrepreneurs, and we have some venture capital experience here. So, you can answer it from either perspective. Do you think it’s better in the construction of an entrepreneurial company, to partner, to have a partner with someone that maybe has complementary skills, or vision, or whatever, or is it better to go it alone?