We live in the age of the entrepreneur, where people like Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson are idolized, studied and endlessly copied. Many dream of becoming an entrepreneur, and it’s easy to see why: it allows you to chase your dreams, to build something from the ground up, and maybe – just maybe – change the world and make a lot of money doing it.
But what happens when you’ve taken the plunge and it’s just not working out?
Here’s the thing: not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, and that’s just fine. The world needs great people within businesses as well – not just those at the top. Figuring out that ‘hey, that might be me’ – if you’ve been trying to make it in the entrepreneur game for a long time and meeting nothing but dead ends – can be truly liberating
But there’s a catch that keeps people hooked. Sometimes, entrepreneurs struggle for a long time before finding huge success. Like the Hollywood actor who goes for one last audition before leaving Hollywood for good, a struggling entrepreneur is often told that if they just persevere a little longer – send one more email, pivot one more time, pitch to one more investor – they might really make it big.
The hard truth is that plenty of businesses never get off the ground. Quite often, people just struggle. Thinking that success could be waiting around the corner is what keeps many people going, but the signs that entrepreneurship might not be for you include:
Stress is a natural part of building a business – you’re trying to create something that hasn’t existed before, and that’s hard. But it shouldn’t consume your every waking moment.
A 2015 study found that 30% of entrepreneurs live with depression. Signs of anxiety or depression include feelings of worthlessness, emptiness and guilt, along with physical symptoms like appetite change and too much or too little sleep. If this sounds like you, it may be time to seek the advice and support of a mental health professional.
If your entrepreneurship is causing you to feel isolated and damaging your relationships with the important people in your life, it may be time to re-evaluate priorities.
So, entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone – and that’s OK. In our 20-year study of entrepreneurs, we studied a group of successful entrepreneurs and unsuccessful ones, and compared them with the average employee. We found that successful entrepreneurs had distinctive traits in common: they’re really interested in money and power, trust their gut and prefer to work without too much structure, among others.
While many entrepreneurs can work to align their preferences with these indicators of success, it doesn’t work out for everyone, and some people just don’t enjoy focusing on these areas. If that sounds like you, it may be time to transition back to being an employee. Many stick it out due to a fear of being perceived as a ‘failure’, however, it’s important to remember what matters: your wellbeing and your relationships – not others’ perceptions.
If you decide to return to the workplace, you can focus on bringing your attitudinal strengths acquired as an entrepreneur into a high-performance team. Your ability to think big – which may have set you on the path to entrepreneurship in the first place – might make you a great leader. The ability to delegate is another entrepreneurial skill that can really pay dividends for employees looking to climb the management ladder.
Here are some ways you can leverage your experience as an entrepreneur in the workplace:
Perhaps being an employee instead of an entrepreneur wasn’t the goal you had in mind, but playing to your strengths and finding a work situation that’s satisfying and enjoyable is a far healthier route to creating a successful career path.
Find out what your top work priorities are and whether they align with venture success by joining Fingerprint for Success.
Our programs were designed by world-renowned coaches. Sessions only take 5-15 minutes. Get started for free with your personalized program now.
Our expert coaches have designed hyper-effective programs that will help
you change the world.
Coach Marlee (your amazing AI-powered personal coach) will analyse your unique traits and goals to let you know which program to start with (and if there are any you should skip)!
Your recommended programs include:
Found correlated with venture success, big picture thinking is critical in starting a new venture. Increase your comfort and use of big picture thinking to avoid getting lost in perfectionism or sweating the small stuff so you can focus on what is important and move quickly. Big picture thinking is key in communication and situations where you need to get the gist of things quickly.
Inspire yourself and others to see and achieve grand visions and goals. A focus on goals is especially helpful for starting a new business, inspiring others with your ideas, maintaining focus over time and aligning teams with clarity and purpose.
In this high impact eight week program Coach Marlee will help increase your comfort and confidence to be a founder of a new business, navigate investors and other stakeholders and also help you develop greater comfort to compete and collaborate at the top of your industry or field.
Comfort to initiate and kick things off is at the heart of a startup. Close the gap between your great ideas and taking action on them. Strengthen your comfort and motivation to start conversations and initiate opportunities that can accelerate your business growth.
Explore, strengthen and stand by what you believe in business and in life. Trust in your ‘gut feel’ and point of view is especially helpful for starting a new business, inspiring others with your ideas and for living an authentic and meaningful life.
In this high impact nine week program Coach Marlee will help you to increase your self leadership and general wellbeing while also helping you to break through self sabotage, develop life long skills for emotional resilience and solid self-esteem, all crucial skills when starting a business. Enjoy weekly cutting edge science backed wellbeing resources from Blisspot.
“The Team Building coaching program has helped me gain a deeper understanding of my team and how to best lead, communicate and work with them. As a result, collaboration has become so much easier and we can better utilize our creative differences in our decision making - improving our happiness and performance!“
“Blew my mind, had no idea how arrogant I have been. Total blind spot. I really like the multiplier stuff”
“This was a good reflection and trigger to make the decision that I was pondering!”
"This program has helped me to be less impulsive and really think before acting"
“What an awesome way to get better at collaborating with my teammates! Thumbs up Marlee!“
“The Team Building program was a great tool to get to know my team and to explore how can we improve our way of working”
“Awesome and effective coaching program of helping to increase motivation for goal challenged people. Fallen in love with goals and looking forward to more BHAGs. Highly recommend the coaching for GoalCatcher!”
“Quite amazing how many things get done when they are initiated!”