How bliss is ignorance? The dark side of entrepreneurship

August 4, 2009          Comments (6)


I get so many emails from aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages who want help with their business. But is starting a business all it’s cracked up to be?

Here’s the problem: Starting a business won’t necessarily make you happy.

And most people believe it will. Why do you want to start a business? If your answer is money then you’re in the wrong field.

I’m not saying you can’t make a lot of money from owning a business, but there are easier ways. If money is your sole motivation, then you’ll probably never make a lot of it anyway.

But even so, let’s say you do make a lot of money. Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College focuses on how people make choices. And when it comes to career choices, Schwartz recommends going a safe route, if you can find one. “I believe that security is more important to happiness than wealth,” he says.

I don’t know about you but my ultimate goal is happiness. That’s why I study it so much. Why not live the happiest life you can live?

In my opinion, the only time you should start a business is when you have to. When you must! When there is so much pressure in your head, that you if you don’t – you feel like it’ll explode.

Otherwise, you’re going to start a mediocre business and that’ll help you become one of the staggering numbers of businesses that fail. And that’s not going to make you happy.

For example, a big part of what I do for my clients is ignite fires under their butts. But once I do that – I try very hard to keep them burning. Because after all, fitness (and business) is about starting and keeping on going! The magic lies in the keeping on going part, which looks 1000x easier in words, without any emotions, than it is in reality.

So, since February of 2007, I’ve written an inspiration 3 to 4 times per week. It’s like writing a blog post. And clients always ask me if I ever get writer’s block.

Not once in 2 years. The daily inspirations fly onto the screen. Actually, I have to hold myself back. I have to write them. If I don’t, I feel off. It’s as natural to me as sand between my toes. It just feels right.

Let’s talk about how ignorance is so bliss for a second. Once you know something – it’s hard to ignore it and not care. Well, when you truly believe you have created the best solution in the world for helping people reach their health and fitness goals,  it’s hard to ignore that. I feel as though I have a responsibility to share it with the world.

In fact, I’m constantly thinking about it. My mind is always wondering. When I’m relaxing, I’m not really relaxing.

If I’m not thinking about one of my clients, I’m thinking about one of my tutors. If I’m not thinking about one of my tutors, I’m thinking about how we can help more people.

One of the reasons why I hated being a student was because you can always be doing more. You can always prepare more for a test. You can always be reading and reviewing. And because of that I drove myself absolutely crazy.

I couldn’t wait to get into the working world so that when I was done with work for the day – I was done with work for the day.

Of course, owning a business is like school. You can always be doing more. And that feeling is not very satisfying. The same drive that makes someone want to start a company is the same drive that makes someone not appreciate any milestones they may reach.

It could make you insane if you’re not emotionally mature. But then again, I think you have to be nuts to start a company in the first place.

At least a company that you believe will change the world. Or else, it’ll be mediocre.

And then you certainly won’t be happy.

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  1. Great points Adam. I’ve always tried to look for partners in my entrepreneurial dreams but I realized I can’t make someone have this drive for starting my own business that others have.

    I currently work longer hours, make less but am happier than before. You have to be willing to sacrifice everything.

    Comment by Spanish Tutor — August 4, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  2. Awesome post dude. I felt the same way as a student…but then once I went into the working world I felt even less satisfied because I was wasting 8 hrs a day. Even though at the end of 8 hrs I could do anything I wanted, what I really wanted was to be doing something meaningful that I enjoy with those 8 hrs!

    Comment by Adam McFarland — August 5, 2009 @ 7:39 am

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