All my life I searched and searched for an undergrad career that could define me under society standards. As an entrepreneurial spirit from the beginning, I was lost in the system; I actually switched from 7 different undergrad programs in 3 universities in a span of 7 years in two different countries. I remember my mom had given up on me. She spent all of her life savings on paying for a university career in Miami that would do little to give me the purpose I was so desperately seeking for. When I finally graduated as an immigrant in the United States post 9/11, there weren’t many jobs out there for somebody like me. I was lucky enough to get my first job as an intern at a startup and fell in love with the hustle and the environment. We were a team of misfits, striving to survive as well as building a company that was trying to make society a better place. I was happy, I was alive, I was part of something. I had finally found a purpose.
Nowadays I live between Miami and Bogota as I build and grow my Virtual Assistant Services “Giant”. I pay taxes in both countries, generate employment in Colombia, and help American entrepreneurs and executives grow their business and transform their lives through the power of Virtual Assistants. (www.virtualceoexperience.com) However, lately so many people have such an erroneous conception (just like I did) about what it truly means to be an entrepreneur that I feel compelled to share my experience with my readers.
I always thought being an entrepreneur was about these celebrity iconic heroes from Silicon Valley that have led us to believe in tales of overnight success. I actually believed it was going to be easy and that I was going to change the world with an app and become a millionaire in the process. Maybe I will, Maybe I won’t, not important anymore. However, little did I know that life was going to teach me a lot of humility and patience in the process. Nowadays I would settle for a monthly paycheck to pay the bills and my team. Sometimes you miss that steady paycheck at the end of the month. You start to appreciate how good you had it as an employee and you start to understand why your boss was so stressed all the time trying to make ends meet. This is the truth behind most startups, hence the famous phrase: hustle and grind. Statistics show:
51 percent of owners of small businesses are 50-88 years old, 33 percent are 35-49 and only 16 percent are 35 years old and under.
69 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs start their businesses at home.
A bit more than 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first four years.
So, why do we do it? Is it worth it? A friend of mine recently asked me that question. Good one, Mr. Warren. All I know is that I am driven by a desire to create, to innovate, to serve and to be free in the process as I take a leap of faith into the unknown every day.
I have realized that to be an entrepreneur is a true act of heroism, not because of the riches and fame, but because we serve society and those around us. We generate employment and enrich the lives of those who dare to take this ride with us; we pay taxes, as well as strive to innovate and serve our clients better than the competition, while at the same time feeding our families. If that is not the definition of a superhero, I don’t know what is. In the face of uncertainty, entrepreneurs are driven by an inexplicable desire to create something out of nothing. Even in the hardest of moments, we keep going, we keep moving, we keep composing, like artists.
So, my answer to my friend’s question is yes, it is definitely worth it. My only piece of advice from my experience is that if you want to do it only because of the money, stick with the paycheck. However, should you have that burning desire to jump, to create and innovate, I dare you; for I go to work happy every day, serving my employees and clients doing what I love as the Virtual CEO. That is the true definition of a super hero in my book.
If you want it, go get it.