By Desh Deshpande
(Editor’s note: This is Part-3 of the weekly video column with philanthropist and serial entrepreneur Desh Deshpande, with excerpts from his book “On Entrepreneurship and Impact.” This column appears every Monday.)
BOSTON–Another million-dollar question in the world of entrepreneurship – “Is Entrepreneurship Worth it?” I am sorry to disappoint you if you were expecting a “Yes” or “No” answer for this question. The Short answer is: It depends!
The decision to embark on an entrepreneurial journey is entirely up to you. Only YOU can weigh the pros and cons to see if entrepreneurship is truly worth it.
Having started a few companies AND having closely watched several more entrepreneurial ventures from their inception, I’ve realized that it all depends on the fit.
Entrepreneurship is not, and will never be, easy. It takes time and effort and you never know if you’ll taste that elusive success. It takes a certain type of person to cope with that and to move forward.
In some ways entrepreneurship is like playing with fire. Starting a new venture without being ready for it is like sticking your hand in the fire by accident. You get burnt and might be scarred for life. However, if you keep a distance that you are comfortable with, you benefit from the fire’s warmth.
Similarly, as a first time entrepreneur you need to find the right place in the entrepreneurial fire pit. Jump in too soon and unprepared into the thick of things and you might get burnt and never want to try it again. Find the right distance and you will enjoy the experience.
What this means is you need to find the right role as an entrepreneur based on your current capabilities. It might not be playing the lead initially. If you find the right role within an entrepreneurial enterprise, you will enjoy your experience.
The first step to becoming an entrepreneur is knowing yourself and your capabilities.
In closing, I want to share a quote that goes something like this –
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of life in a way most people won’t so that you can live the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
I don’t know who said this, but it is worth reflecting on it as it speaks to the transformational effect an entrepreneurial journey can have on you.
So, here is the real question for you: Are you up for the challenge?
(About Desh Deshpande: During his entrepreneurial career spanning over three decades, Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande has built several companies. He has injected his passion for innovation and entrepreneurship into a number of social impact initiatives in India, the USA and Canada. He has been recognized for his entrepreneurial accomplishments by many institutions including being named co-chair of President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He currently also serves as a Life Member of the MIT corporation. He resides in Boston together with his wife, Jaishree.)