Being an entrepreneur is absolutely worth it. The wealthiest people on Earth have all been entrepreneurs because they decided to take some risk one day and solve an obvious problem.
My biggest regret was not trying to become an entrepreneur earlier. I had always wanted to do something entrepreneurial, but I didn’t have the guts or the know how to make it happen until I was 32.
After 11 years of running Financial Samurai, it’s better late than never! This site now generates enough online income to provide for my family of 4 in expensive San Francisco.
Getting Started In Entreprenurship
I started FinancialSamurai.com, a personal finance site in 2009 when the stock market was falling apart. But I came up with the idea back in 2006 the year I had graduated from business school.
It took me three years to launch because I was lazy and was focused on optimizing my career in banking. Only when the world started falling apart was I motivated to do something more.
Before you become an entrepreneur, you must decide the magnitude of your business. For example, this was my decision back in 2009:
1) Do you want to run a lifestyle business where you could earn $200,000 – $500,000 a year, have no employees, less stress, and only work 25 hours a week anywhere in the world?
2) Do you want to run a potentially big business where you could earn mega millions, but have to manage employees, work 70+ hours a week, raise capital, and feel the tremendous stress of succeeding due to everybody else’s expectations, with a high chance of failure.
At the age of 32, I was already getting disillusioned by the financial services industry, so I chose Option #1: the lifestyle business. The mega millions from Option #2 sounded nice, but the realistic chance of getting there was much lower than Option #1. I would say the chance of succeeding at Option #1 was 70% versus only 10% for Option #2.
I wanted to have the complete freedom to do what I wanted with my business, otherwise, it would feel a lot like work again with meetings upon meetings, performance reviews, and managing people.
Time To Go Head On Into Entrepreneurship
When I was 34.5, Financial Samurai started picking up steam, so I decided to negotiate a severance and focus on it full time.
Since 2012, Financial Samurai has grown 10X, and I’ve remained committed to keeping it as a lifestyle business. It earns enough where my wife and I don’t have to work at day jobs in San Francisco so we can spend our time raising our boy during the crucial first 5 years of his life before Kindergarten.
We don’t have any employees, only the occassional freelancer to help us out with design or technical issues. Our product, which is our content, is 100% free. So we don’t have a customer support team or disgruntled customers we need to appease. And the costs are extremely low given all it takes to run a website is a hosting company and an annual domain registry fee.
Here is a snapshot of a personal finance blogger with 1 million organic pageviews a month making over $1 million in revenue a year with a really great lifestyle. Your happiness does NOT increase after you make much more than $200,000 as an individual or $350,000 as a family.
Making a million dollars in revenue while working 25 hours a week on something you love anywhere in the world that has internet access is not bad! Further, if you ever want to call it quits, you can sell your cash cow business for multi-millions of dollars as well.
Go For The Lifestyle Business Instead
I think too many people who want to be an entrepreneur chase the mega millions and end up with NOTHING after years of trying. They do so because the media glamorizes the biggest success stories, and ignores the rest. As a result, people think they must do the same or else they won’t be considered successful.
Instead of chasing the unicorn, I strongly encourage folks pursue a lifestyle business instead. Your chance of success is much higher, and you’ll feel great working much less and having a lot more free time.
Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful I didn’t started Financial Samurai. Every morning and evening, we count our blessings that we have a location independent business that gives us freedom. It’s never too late to start folks.
Here’s my step-by-step guide to starting your own website in 30 minutes. It’s cheap and easy to do nowadays. You literally have no excuse not to try and at least brand yourself online. Don’t let websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn get rich off you. Get rich off yourself!
Being an entrepreneur is absolutely worth it.
Don’t Forget To Reward Yourself
Being an entrepreneur is hard work so don’t forget to take a break every now and then and reap the rewards. Utilize the flexibility and autonomy that being an entrepreneur provides and be proud of the equity you’re building in your business.
And don’t forget to open a small business credit card account. Here are some of the many benefits to having a small business credit card:
- Exceptional rewards programs
- Keep business and personal expenses separate
- Establish and build credit history for your business
- Get better access to business loans
- Access higher credit limits
- Enjoy more financial flexibility and cash flow
Related Reading On Becoming An Entrepreneur
If you enjoyed this article on becoming an entrepreneur, here are some additional posts to check out.
For further suggestions on saving money and growing wealth, check out my Top Financial Products page.
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About the Author: Sam worked in investment banking for 13 years at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $250,000 a year in passive income. His main passive income focus is on real estate crowdfunding to take advantage of cheaper valuations and higher cap rates in the heartland. He spends time playing tennis and taking care of his family.
Financial Samurai was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites on the web with over 1.5 million pageviews a month.