It’s clear entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, according to both entrepreneurs and those who have decided it wasn’t for them.
An entrepreneur is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” According to the Government of Canada, the number of entrepreneurs over the last 10 years has steadily increased.
Mary Mauro created her own business selling kitchen products for the past 12 years, and describes it as “the ideal job.” Mauro became an entrepreneur to make her own rules and live by her own schedule, instead of answering to someone else. She was also interested in this transition to avoid paying the high costs of daycare for her kids. Mauro listed three benefits of owning your own business. She said that you can do something you are passionate about, have more flexibility with your working hours and directly invest in your own success.
Meaghan Cunningham, manager of implementation at Cancer Care Ontario, said she has utmost respect for entrepreneurs, but now has a better understanding of how difficult it must be to balance a family with entrepreneurial endeavors.
Starting your own business requires a lot of time and capital to establish yourself in the market.
She said that “starting your own business requires a lot of time and capital to establish yourself in the market. Having done some entrepreneurial stuff when I was younger, it would be much harder now because when you have a small child, your schedule is no longer your own. In addition, with the increased expenses of childcare, having two steady incomes provides much needed security.”
Conversely, Kevin Travers, a partner at one of the big four certified public accounting firms, said he can never see himself leaving the firm he is with to start his own company. He said that “contrary to popular belief, I make more money with my bigger accounting firm than I would on my own. Being in a bigger shop carries more recognition and gives me access to bigger clients, better resources and provides me with team members I can delegate tasks to, rather than having to do everything myself.”
Travers went on to say that being his own boss would be the one positive thing he could see with starting his own firm. However, he also spoke of a former co-worker of his who had to remortgage his house to ensure the capital needed to start his own company.
I would rather attempt to live my dream of being an entrepreneur and fail than to live the rest of my life questioning if I could have done it.
Ishwar Ahluwalia, 21, student at York University, spends his time making YouTube videos with the aim of developing a following of people who enjoy his work. Ahluwalia said “that when you are young and you don’t have a family to support, you can take more risks.” He further explains, “I would rather attempt to live my dream of being an entrepreneur and fail than to live the rest of my life questioning if I could have done it.”
Ultimately, deciding to take the path of entrepreneurship is a very personal decision. The challenge is balancing what you want to do and what you are willing to risk.