Entrepreneurship And Its Discontents

Here’s one of my first principles:

Everybody who works in the for-profit world should own or start a business.

Now that I’ve said that, I’d like to spend most of the rest of this post describing all of the terrible things about starting or owning your own business. Entrepreneurship requires ignorance. Entrepreneurship induces anxiety and insomnia. It attracts terrible students. Entrepreneurs are people who are clearly running away from something.

Interestingly, entrepreneurs are the only people who have a chance to get super-duper rich.


A friend who started his business during the first Dot-Com boom and bust told me the most important key to starting a business is ignorance. Specifically, you have to be really clueless about how difficult starting and building a business will be. If first-time entrepreneurs knew how hard it would be, they would never start in the first place! Ignorance truly is bliss.



Anxiety appears to run in my family genetic code, although that ailment mostly missed me.

Genetic predispositions, we learn more and more, often need an environmental trigger. Well, for me, starting my own business in 2004 induced my first panic attack.

Meeting for lunch with friends one afternoon, I could not stop blurting out about all of the things that might go wrong with my business. I couldn’t read the menu, I could hardly sit down. No eating. Twitching. I don’t remember what my friends planned to talk about. All I could do was tell them how freaked out I was.


Insomnia, another thing I had hardly ever experienced, also kicked in after I started my business. It’s 2:45AM and I’m wide-awake.

You know, somebody should really start an Entrepreneur’s Insomnia Late-Night Diner.

Sweet Mercy let me sleep

Hey, that’s a good idea. Should I do it? Like, right now? Let’s see, first I should…Wait, no, just stop. Try again to sleep.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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