The One Question Every Entrepreneur Should Ask Themselves

Posted by Jessica Alter /May 22, 2013 / FounderTalk

Yesterday was another reminder that life is short.  A friend of mine announced that his wife has been battling cancer and without a bone marrow transplant, she only has two months to live.  Aside from the fact that she has otherwise been a healthy, vibrant woman who doesn’t do anything in excess, she also has a 2-year old son.  It’s heart wrenching. But what does this have to do with entrepreneurship?

Much has been made lately of the hype around entrepreneurship – TV shows, movies, acqui-hires.  Steve Blank even went so far as to call Silicon Valley “The New Hollywood.”  And there is certainly some truth to the idea that  entrepreneurship has been glorified. But those who have gotten a true taste nod their heads at Elon Musk’s quote, “Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death.”  We have great days and terrible days (sometimes it’s more appropriate to talk in terms of hours). It’s mercuric and lonely. It’s not about being on a list of top xxx in tech or getting a TechCrunch article. It’s not about fleeting moments, it’s about building something great and that takes time.

So, it’s on days like yesterday that I take a minute to step back and ask myself the question every entrepreneur should ask themselves: “Is there anything else I’d rather be doing?”  I’m thankful that I’m working on the problem I feel literally callen to solve – helping people do what they really want to do.  But if you’re considering doing something entrepreneurial or you are an entrepreneur, ask yourself this question. If the answer is ‘yes’, go do it. If the answer is ‘maybe’ go figure it out.  

Only become an entrepreneur if your answer to this question is a resounding ‘NO, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO BE DOING!’.  Only become an entrepreneur if you can’t stay away. If you are doing the thing you REALLY want to do.  Because the glory rarely comes and life’s too short to do something else.