What’s It Like Being An Entrepreneur Building A Startup?

Being an entrepreneur is beyond exhilarating, much like being on the scariest, fastest, topsy curvy rollercoaster ever!

But here’s the thing. PLEASE have the common sense of working at a day job first. You need to build your savings, know how, and credentials before diving head first into something you have no idea about.


Being An Entrepreneur Is An Uphill Battle

Because the odds are against you for succeeding as an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is an uphill battle. You should know this. Don’t be so stubborn to believe you are the special one to beat the odds. Instead, BE SMART!

Work on your entrepreneurial dreams BEFORE and AFTER work. Test, test, test, to see what works. Only after you start gaining some traction should you consider taking the leap of faith.

I started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the middle of the financial crisis b/c everything was going to hell. I was a 31 year old VP making good money in banking when I figured, better start a side hustle to fill up my time when I get let go!

The reality is, I was thinking of starting Financial Samurai in 2006. But I had just graduated from business school part-time and was so focused on work.

This personal journal garnered enough traffic by end of 2011 that it gave me the confidence to leave a multiple-six figure job in 2012 and work on it full-time. I was still worried as hell that I had made the wrong move at age 34. But I figured I would REGRET not trying when I look back upon my life.

Related: Is Being An Entrepreneur Worth It? The Rewards And Struggles

Take A Leap Of Faith With Money In Your Pocket

Further, I had negotiated a severance packaged that paid for six years of living expenses. Never quit, get laid folks! Before you walk away from a day job, seriously consider negotiating a severance.

I wrote a book all about it called How To Engineer Your Layoff. And you don't have to take just my word for it. Check out a few of the How To Engineer Your Layoff Testimonials and case studies to learn more.

It’s been almost six years since I’ve had a day job, and I am thankful EVERY SINGLE DAY to be able to do my own thing and answer to nobody.

Maybe I would have turned out OK if I jumped in head first. But I really knew jack sh*t about being an entrepreneur and business until after I had 10 years of work under my belt.

Just expect to fail as a startup person. Once you do, you’ve got nothing but upside!

Final Thoughts On Entrepreneurship

Being an entrepreneur is like working multiple full-time jobs. And know that no two entrepreneurs are exactly alike either. Thus, please don’t look down on people who are building lifestyle businesses, and not mega million business with funding and huge acquisitions.

At the end of the day, a big point about being an entrepreneur is to control your own life. Big businesses often have BIGGER HEADACHES.

If you can make good money with just you and your best friend in the world, I say that’s much better than having thousands of employees to manage and shareholders to report to. But, do consider what if you take a leap of faith and your dreams don't come true. Always consider multiple outcomes and plan accordingly.

Making $500,000 a year with a personal finance site while “working” 20 hours a week is not a bad life. Here’s a real income statement from a PF blogging friend of mine.

Financial Samurai gets close to 1.5 million pageviews a month, and after eight and a half years, I still love working on my site every day. With two kids to take care of, the value of having a lifestyle business for me grows even more.

Professional Blogging Income Example
A real income statement of a personal finance blogger. The earnings possibilities are endless.


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About the Author: Sam began investing his own money ever since he opened an online brokerage account in 1995. Sam loved investing so much that he decided to make a career out of investing by spending the next 13 years after college working at two of the leading financial service firms in the world. During this time, Sam received his MBA from UC Berkeley with a focus on finance and real estate.

In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $200,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, hanging out with family, consulting for leading fintech companies and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.

FinancialSamurai.com was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites today with over 1.5 million organic pageviews a month. Financial Samurai has been featured in top publications such as the LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.