When Mark Zuckerburg started Facebook, he was one of the unlikeliest entrepreneurs. Young, inexperienced and introverted, what chance did he have? Yet he went on to build the biggest social networking site and became a billionaire before the age of 30. Every day, thousands of Americans try to emulate his example. Very few achieve that level of success, yet the number of people pursuing entrepreneurship continues to grow every year.
So why do so many Americans want to start their own business? Or, rather, why do so many people in every country around the world want to become entrepreneurs? The lure of entrepreneurship is so irresistible, and the phenomenon has become so global, that at least one in every four people you meet is either an entrepreneur, someone who is thinking of becoming one, or someone who has tried and failed.
Is it the desire to become rich, to test one’s creative streak, the quest for independence, the opportunity for leadership, or the chance to make a real difference? For most people, it can be safely argued that the lure of wealth is the main reason. But as we all know, life is not that simple. Not everyone is motivated or driven by money.
Some people are natural-born leaders, and for them there is nothing more stifling than to start at the bottom of the corporate ladder. Starting their own business gives them the opportunity to become the leaders they are and explore their full capabilities.
For many people, having your own business gives you the kind of freedom you simply can’t have working for someone else. Whether you earn a six-figure sum or barely enough to pay your bills, you are your own boss and you get to live your life on your own terms. This is what attracts so many people to entrepreneurship – including many of the working moms who are also members of Arlington Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a group of 85 small business owners in Arlington.
If you have a creative streak, starting your own business is the best way to explore it. Being your own boss allows you to define your own goals, set your own priorities, and push yourself to your limit. Once you become successful, you even get a shot at becoming well-known for what you are. This is what many people find so attractive – again, including several artists, jewelry designers and other creative members of AWE.
We’ll celebrate these members at our monthly meeting this Sunday with a holiday shopping fair featuring a dozen AWE members. We’ll be supporting our own while networking, socializing and getting our holiday shopping out of the way – multi-tasking in a truly AWEsome way!
As every entrepreneur will tell you, starting your own business isn’t easy. Once you do, you begin to understand the true meaning of “taking a leap of faith,” for that is exactly what you’ve done. No business is guaranteed to succeed – not even one with a ready-made pool of customers. As the saying goes, there are a thousand ways to fail and only a few to succeed.
The fuel that lights the fire of entrepreneurship is different for different people. Of course, one can’t deny that the opportunity to make unimaginable amounts of money, and hugely influence your business sector and even the world — think Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Sheryl Sandberg — are important factors that lure many people to take the plunge. Think big, start local!
To learn more about Arlington Women Entrepreneurs, visit the website here.
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