The Entrepreneur’s Job Post

Wanted:

An entrepreneurial individual to work for a small enterprising company trying to establish itself in the exciting market of  (inert your industry here).

The job consists of having to do everything, including but not limited to: market research, advertising, sales, product development, project management, hiring staff, training staff, performance management and other HR duties, trade show planning and organization, print layout, bookkeeping, customer development, contract negotiation, local, national and federal regulation compliance, installations, budgeting, purchasing, payroll, social media, web site building, flyer delivery, accounts payable, dealing with sales people, strategic partnerships, customer support, accounts receivable, collections, technical support, brand management, showroom layout and design, lease negotiations, selection of legal and accounting representation, board membership, directorship and janitorial.

While the job does not require a degree or formal training, it does require the candidate to self fund the earliest stages of the business, potentially until profitable and self-supporting, or until bankruptcy proceedings have been completed. The candidate must be able to manage all job duties listed above, often simultaneously and maintain the appearance of sanity while doing so. The candidate must possess the ability to make decisions on incomplete information at a rapid pace. While candidates with families are not excluded from applying, commitment to the position will require numerous nights and weekends focused on the business and a supportive family is required.

The position may or may not include any health, medical, dental, eyeglass, and prescription coverage and will depend highly on the candidates initial bankroll and eligibility to find coverage through a spouse, parent or great hope in “please don’t let me get sick now”.

The position includes occasional evenings, weekends and ten minute increments of vacation time, though like the rest of your time, it may not be paid time off. You will spend most of this luxurious time off worried about the business anyways. Another perk of the position is heavy sleep due to exhaustion at which time you have up to six glorious hours of not thinking consciously about the business.

We currently have offices located in basements, attics, dining rooms, and coffee shops around the world and we offer occasional free wi-fi access.

Interested candidates can apply by checking their sanity at the door and throwing all caution at the wind.

Would you apply?

While it looks like I’m being pretty negative, I should state clearly that I love what I do. It’s stressful and scary and extremely rewarding all at the same time. While the above isn’t exactly my job description, it has elements of the last year and half for me and several things I have seen from clients that I work with.

I was thinking after a couple of ill-timed set backs a couple of weeks ago, how working for someone else, letting time pass in a cubicle and cashing a regular paycheque would be much easier than the constant stress of trying to run my own business. I have thoughts like that a few times a year and after about three minutes of contemplation, they pass without harm. This last time around though, I was thinking that entrepreneurship is in many ways a form of a mental defect. You must dream big and take the plunge with failure always looming, always dealing in risk and uncertainty. Why do entrepreneurs do what they do?

Quite simply, for me anyways, I want to make things better. With myTooq.com I want to help small business owners invoice their clients more easily and eventually scrap the idea of completing their own accounting (let the accountant do the accounting!). With a forthcoming, yet still under the Tooq umbrella project, I want to help small businesses get started for less and offer expertise in areas that they don’t have. Only time will tell if I’ll ever see a paycheque from either project. But for now, I get to sleep well at night and know that I’ve made things better for a small number of people.

Another bonus is that I don’t have to deal with life in a cubicle, but it’s always there if things blow up in my face. While I’m sure every business owner is overwhelmed at times, I never have two days that exactly the same, work is never boring, and when things go well, it is more rewarding than the best day in a corporate job I have ever had.

Who should apply?

While I can’t say what makes a great entrepreneur, or who should try and who shouldn’t try, I do know that those who do are different from those who talk about it but never take the plunge. I’m guessing there would be few major thematic reactions to the “job post” above (assuming anyone was to read this post). The first reader is surfing the web at work, killing time until coffee break, reads the post and decides “Yup, I’ve got a pretty good thing going here”. They close the window or go check Facebook again and probably wish they didn’t have so many useless meetings to deal with.

The second reader looks at the list and evaluates each and every thing on the list. They make a brief mental note of what they already have knowledge in, what they know something about but need to study more and probably see one or two things they may not have thought about.  Somewhere, they are looking to remove the barriers to starting. They need to find out how to remove barriers for the people they need support from (“Honey, I know it sounds risky, but if X happens, I will Y to keep food on the table”).

A potential third reader and business owner looks at my posting and mentally adds fourteen things to the list that I missed, then gets back to work.

Thanks for reading.

-Brian

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