I think for the most part it is true, minus the hedge funders, who seem to make money regardless of how their clients do (but that’s a whole different discussion). I recently read this great article about how being an entrepreneur is the best way to get really rich (thanks for sending that along, Tim). I think all the points the author makes are incredibly accurate, relevant to today and offer a great inspiration to anyone thinking of going out on his or her own.
I would, however, suggest one important addendum to the above article. And that is that you can get rich by WORKING FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR as well. There are literally millions of people who have done so and here’s how:
Go work for an entrepreneur - They are all around you. Take a chance. Take less salary if you need to but join a company that you think is destined for big things. Look for someone with a track record, with a passion and with a great product. And, network your way to that company.
Do all you can to go the extra mile for that entrepreneur - Take on more work. Work longer hours. Show amazing leadership. Come up with new ideas and suggestions on how to make things better.
Become an entrepreneur in that entrepreneurial environment - If you're around entrepreneurs, there are some things you will notice about them. They seldom bitch, blame others or make excuses. And, they typically take responsibility for all of the F-ups. Embrace that mindset. Don’t be one of those who blames everyone, that makes excuses and puts up roadblocks.
Do these three things and you know what? Most of the entrepreneurs I know will be thrilled to have you in their orbit! And, just maybe (but more than likely yes), you will get rewarded. It may not be much to start, but that’s a great way to get equity/ownership and potentially create wealth for yourself. In both of the companies in which I have been involved, this actually happened! I was fortunate to have a core group of teammates who got this and built an amazing career, and wealth, for themselves!
As someone who has never worked for anyone and loves being an entrepreneur, I would also just point out that most of the people I know didn't choose this road because we thought it was the best path to making money. Money has never motivated me, personally. After all -- as many entrepreneurs can also attest -- the times when you don't take a salary, or you write checks to keep things afloat aren't fun; and there were, of course, a few times where I found myself wishing that I had worked for someone else and gotten a paycheck :) Nonetheless, we chose the entrepreneurial lifestyle because we love the challenge, the freedom and the creativity.
Of course, every situation has its plusses and minuses and the grass always looks greener on the other side. I think it’s all about knowing who you are and your risk tolerances. And if you can handle living in fear, sleepless nights and pressure that at times seems insurmountable, then I’ve got just the job for you!