Several of my friends want to become entrepreneurs and they always ask me what draws me to it. For me, it’s the freedom to create, seeing that what I do really matters and the focus on building innovative products instead of feeding the corporate bureaucracy (a la TPS reports).
What makes it something I am involved in:
It takes a lot to become an entrepreneur. The most important i would say is the ability to take risk! It is very easy to be a top architect or a top executive in a big company, drawing a handsome package than doing something of your own. The most important motivation of an entrepreneur is the confidence he has on him self and that gives so much satisfaction to an individual. The other important aspect is freedom. So there are so many great things that drag people to become entrepreneurs. The last and not the least is the satisfaction factor !!!. Satisfaction of believing myself and eagerness/daring to do something of my own
I think it's about being able to call your own shots and having more control over your life. No matter how nice my managers were, it still didn't feel quite right that someone else was telling me what to do, and I was working towards somebody else's goals. And that's even without getting into the incredible corporate wastefulness and inefficiency.
That said, some people prefer the sense of structure and security (which is false in my opinion) that they get from being an employee. Other people like not having too much responsibility and working a fixed number of hours.
In the end it's really a matter of what feels right for you. If can't imagine working for someone else for the rest of your life, then it's probably worth trying to strike out on your own.
Can you "become" an entrepreneur? My experience is that people are or they aren't. Some people are and are in positions that don't make give them the flexibility they need. My first job was at a 100,000 employee defense contractor but I never fit it. I was constantly trying to change the way things were done, trying to make things better. People never understood why I could not just go with the flow. The day I started at a startup I no longer felt like a square peg in a round hole.
I think people need to look at why they are dissatisfied with what they are currently doing and figure out whether starting their own business, or joining a startup, will fix it. I agree with you that the freedom to create is my driving force. For others it's the flexibility and the ability to have an impact.
They have to be honest with themselves though. I often hear people attracted to the "buzz" of being an entrepreneur but they like all the services provided by a big company and they like that they get to focus on their small specialty and don't have to do other people's jobs. Those people don't do well in startups.
I have had my own business as a public accountant for going on thirty years. About 13 years ago, I cut way back on my business so I could go become a programmer. I worked for a great company that had several very large clients. I learned a lot and I enjoyed the company of peers for a change. One thing about being an "entrepreneur" is that everyone else who works at your business is an employee. It's a very different relationship, whether you like it or not. It was nice having peers for a while.
After a while though, I found that I really did miss dealing with the heads of other businesses. Even if a person's business is small, it's a special thing. Some people risk a lot to fulfill their dream. As a CPA, a lot of times my job is to help them keep their feet on the ground even while their head is in the clouds.
So I'm back in public accounting again. Only this time there's a twist. I'm developing my own app that I hope to sell to other accountants and small businesses.
One thing you should keep in mind is that risk is highly overrated. The best small business people do everything they can to eliminate risk. Also, much of the business of having your own business is about doing things that are not the things you love. If I can refer you to a book, I would recommend The E-Myth or The EMyth Revisited . Personally, I liked the first one more.