Why Do People Want to Become Entrepreneurs When Most Startups Fail?

I worked at 4 companies with the sole intent to get rich. I take that back. It was in fact, 3. The 4th I worked at because I didn’t want to look for another option. With my luck, each and every single one of them failed, stripping me of everything I had, but left me with an unusual skill set.

I thought hey, if there is so much risk in trying to make a company get off the ground for the sole intent to get rich, why don’t we try the other option: To move ahead in corporate America. I started in mid 2011 with a Fortune 100 company. By mid 2013, I was bored out of my mind.

Could I really go to work each and every single day of the rest of my life to do absolutely nothing? Whose lives am I impacting? What is my purpose? How am I going to be remembered?

I answered these questions. I didn’t like what I saw in the future ahead of myself. Then I realized that even if I’m lacking confidence in everything and scared beyond belief that I will amount to nothing, or even worse fail once again, that I need to try. The least I could do is share my failures so no one would ever have to go through the turmoil that I did.

My expectations? Nonexistent. My life? Dull. My assets? I was saving $250 every two weeks and living well below my means. Did I have anything at all to lose anymore? I was a nobody who no one would even look twice at on the street.

So I tried. I didn’t walk away from my dead end job immediately. Instead, I hedged my risks by keeping my position to pay the bills. Then I used my free time to share my experiences with the world. Next thing I knew, doors were opening left and right. Things were happening. I had time to reassess my life and figure out what I truly wanted. Even while I succeeded, I encountered some failures. Some times I was even so discouraged that I lost my way. I was lost in my own mind not sure of what I was doing. Yet, I had laid out the ground work so well that while I was failing in my own life, my work kept on moving forward and creating an impact.

I won bigger and while I did, I lost more as well. I made amazing friends, other people turned on me and tried to take me down. Then, as I turned 30, everything fell into place. All the puzzles, all the pieces, they just fell onto a board and laid out a full picture.


How did it happen?

Great question. Pure luck, I’d say. Or maybe a realization that I needed to get my life together for the second coming of my life.

I wanted to run off track at times. I forgot my foundation on multiple occasions. But when I turned 30, I remembered why I set out on this journey I did. I realized that my foundation and underlying desire to help improve the lives of others is the true reason I’m alive. I realized that the hardest person I needed to prove myself to was myself. However, now I realized that I have.

It’s just time to take that to another level. It’s time to make a change. I urge you to do the same. Not for me, but for the future that you want to see paved out for yourself.

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Leonard Kim consults startups and write books. He also blogs at LeonardKim.com.


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