Entrepreneurship is Synonymous with Loneliness : Under30CEO Entrepreneurship is Synonymous with Loneliness : Under30CEO
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Entrepreneurship is Synonymous with Loneliness

| January 12, 2013 | 8 Comments

EntrepreneurI remember the exact moment when I became an entrepreneur.  I twelve years old and driving with my father from Rochester, New York (my hometown), to Toronto.  As we were entering the city, like in many large cities, one will see a lot of industry and large office buildings on the highway.

I thought to myself, “What are all of these businesses?  What do they do?  Who runs these companies.” Something then clicked for me.  These businesses were all started by one person, or a small group of people.  The ideas were curated on someone’s couch, in a bar, coffee shop, or while laying in bed counting sheep, as one wonders how they will bring their family the next meal.

I knew at that very moment that I wanted to be one of these people.  My mind has always worked in a very interesting way.  Bouncing around from one idea to the next, always thinking about many things.  But mostly about business.

Since that very moment in the car, I have thought of countless business concepts.  Each and every time I research the market, ask experts, question potential consumers.  More often than not, I simply learn about an industry which I will not get into at that time.  I have started many businesses, some successful and some not.  But over the years I have realized something very important.

The business of starting one on your own, or as one would say “entrepreneurship,” is lonely as hell!

There are constantly programs popping up in business schools across the road teaching students to be entrepreneurs.  Government officials and leaders are always talking about how we need more entrepreneurs in our society.

I’ve got news for you.  Entrepreneurship is not learned in my opinion.  It is something one is born with, something that runs deep in our veins.

I find great value in talking to people smarter and more experienced than me.  I am very proud of my arsenal of mentors that I have collected over the years.  They shape who I am, help me make decisions and are always interested in ensuring my success.

They all tell me they are lonely, at least the entrepreneurs do.

No one cares about the decisions you make, the bottom line is all up to you.  Each person that you employ’s livelihood is dependent on those decisions.

I have had a hard time coming to terms with this feeling of loneliness.  I have spent many sleepless nights and shed countless tears over this realization.  It finally began to make sense to me.

love to be alone.

Some of my best times are spent by myself, in my car.  I love to take long trips throughout the country when I spend time thinking, listening to music, and thinking about my life and my place in the world.

I find myself sitting by myself at bars, coffee shops, in parks, and at parties.  I like to observe and I love to listen.  I make all of my own decisions, which seem to not be the consensus in the circles I roll with.

I love being on my own in business.  I love being the boss, the authority, the one whom others rely on, the man who makes every single decision.

I say entrepreneurship is a blessing and a curse.  I would not change it for anything, but I would also not wish it upon anyone.

I am an entrepreneur, and I couldn’t be more proud.

I say “Go to the Great Wall of China.  This is what you will believe:  Anything is possible!”

Jeremy W. Crane is a serial entrepreneur from Rochester, New York and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergrad.  He is currently working on growing the parking business in Rochester, New York both domestically and abroad, as well as starting an E-commerce/flash sale business.  He is most passionate about his good friends and family, especially his brothers Dan and Ari.

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  • http://twitter.com/jordanfried Jordan Fried

    I’ve got to disagree with you here Jeremy. Entrepreneurship is not synonymous with loneliness at all and it’s a shame you’ve had that experience. I think you’ve got to take a look at your work-life balance and make some changes if this is how you’re feeling. Yes, entrepreneurs often have busy schedules and little time for a social life but that’s where time management comes into play.

    I grew up in Buffalo (right next door to rochester) and both of my parents were entrepreneurs. My dad would wake up at 4.30 am, hit the gym, go to work, and still made time to be home for dinner with the family. My mother was the same. I’m an entrepreneur myself right now and I also make time for my girlfriend, our puppy, and a few close friends.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think alone time is very important for any entrepreneur but I wouldn’t encourage anyone to become completely introverted as a result of their entrepreneurial journey. I love self-reflection time and it certainly helps me brainstorm new business directions but make time for it, just like you should make time for your friends and family.

    I think the idea that entrepreneurs, business owners, and high-powered CEO’s are lonely people has been exacerbated by popular culture. In the movies we see lonely executives and rich guys who are miserable. I hate this idea. You can absolutely have success and not be lonely. Just make sure you put the computer away, put your iphone down, and disconnect every now and then to make time to interact with man-kind.

    Cheers,
    Jordan

  • Barrett Young

    Like the article Jeremy. I would agree that entrepreneurism CAN be lonely, because even our closest friends & family don’t understand the majority of the weight we carry. My wife has her own concerns about my business, but she doesn’t feel the same kind of pressure I do to make this work. So that unique feeling, that each business owner has about their specific business, can make us feel alone. But, every business owner has some form of that burden also, so by coming together and sharing our common struggles, there can be community.

    I do have one part of your article I disagree with, and it’s unfortunate you give it so much weight. “I’ve got news for you. Entrepreneurship is not learned in my opinion. It is something one is born with, something that runs deep in our veins.” You almost make this out to be the thesis of your article, placing it right in the center as a climax realization. But I think the rest of your article stands against it. You weren’t born an entrepreneur, you said it started at 12. And then, you continue to ask questions and learn from other entrepreneurs. So some aspect of it is learned. And while I do believe that the bent runs deep, that doesn’t necessitate that it be innate. I think entrepreneurship is a combination of experiences, influences, education, and inquisitiveness. But I don’t think it’s something you either have or don’t have. That’s an excuse people use to never quit their job.

    Great post Jeremy. I feel that aloneness. So I surround myself with other lonely people, so we can have community.

  • http://www.facebook.com/asanvicente Arturo San Vicente

    I feel so identified with this post prior to being and now that I am an entrepreneur. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Today, sadly 26 year old Aron Swartz co-founder of Reddit died. This article was scheduled coincidentally to publish this morning, but may spark some debate in wake of this terrible tragedy.

    For more:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/26-year-old-reddit-co-founder-aaron-swartz-has-died-2013-1?0=sai

  • http://twitter.com/mariajoyner Maria Joyner

    You took the words right out of my mouth. Great post. I think about this all of the time. I understand the feeling of loving to be alone; it’s become imperative that I spend a certain amount of time every day/week thinking in solitude. Something that can help is getting involved in the startup community in your area. This has made a big difference for me…having a beer or two with people who completely “get it” and can truly understand you.

  • http://twitter.com/JeremyWCrane Crane Castle VP

    Barrett-

    Thanks for your comment. I did state that I “became an entrepreneur.” What I meant to say is that I “realized I was one.”

    I believe strongly that it is not learned, at least intrinsically. Entrepreneurship, as well as almost everything else, is something that one can constantly learn and improve upon.

    Thanks again!

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