The CEO vs. the Hot Dog Vendor
As an entrepreneur, I know I have a unique perspective on the world.
But what I am about to say may take the cake, in your eyes.
To me, there is something very special about somebody who doesn't collect a paycheck from a 'boss'.
And I would argue that the hot dog vendor on the street corner, running his own business, not knowing where his next paycheck will come from, would agree with me.
I have nothing against people who collect paychecks. It's how most of the world operates. And it takes a very unique individual to forego that security and strike out on his own. Even more importantly, it requires a lot of sacrifice. Starting a company is literally like having a child. (I haven't had any children myself, but the parallels between me & my friends with young kids are striking: Neither of us get enough sleep. We're always attending to someone else's needs, etc.)
My point is this: I spend my day around people in the commercial real estate industry, and most of them have unbelievably big egos (side note - for an excellent article on egos & how they affect the work place, read this article by Bo Peabody). And my message to those people is this: If you really want to try testing yourself, if you really want to see what you're made of, go be the hotdog vendor on the corner, not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from. And I'd bet that telling you to aspire to being a hotdog vendor isn't something you'll hear from too many people, but that's my point exactly - it's a very special thing to be an entrepreneur.