Rewards and Risks of Being an Entrepreneur

Assuming you have what it takes to be in business, the next step is to determine whether or not you are willing to accept the rewards and risks of being an entrepreneur. You should first weigh the advantages and the disadvantages. Being in business can be on the one hand most rewarding and fulfilling, and on the other, most risky and demanding. 


For many, the biggest motivation for going into business is the chance to be rich. For others, it is to be able to call the shots, be their own boss. Still others find that being in a business of their own is a way of expressing their creative and leadership abilities.

A business can provide all these … and more, such as:

Make money

A successful entrepreneur who told his story in a forum began this way: “For many years, I helped make my employers prosper. I got tired of doing that. So, I put up my own business and now am busy trying to become rich for myself.”

There is almost no limit to the amount of money you earn as owner of your own business. It is usually commensurate to the amount of sacrifice, energy, time, and resources that you invest in it.

How many people do you know who went into business and became prosperous?

Be your own boss

As a salaried employee, you do as your employer or your boss tells you. It is even frustrating because you find yourself with several other bosses with conflicting demands on you. As an entrepreneur, you call the shots. You make the decisions and take full responsibility for these. If you make the right decisions, your business gains; if you make the wrong ones, your business loses.

Express creativity

Any kind of business begins as an idea that an entrepreneur has in his mind. The “seed” of that idea then grows as he makes plans and puts these into action. He then works hard to turn the idea into a project that produces products and services and earns income for himself and his employees.

As the business continues and grows, the creative entrepreneur thinks of more productive ideas. These ideas may be product innovations – how to improve or diversify the product or service. These may also be marketing innovations – how to make more people know about the product or service, how to find more buyers or users, how to introduce the product or service to new places or new markets.

Creativity is also used when solving problems, which the entrepreneur faces from day to day.

Feel fulfilled

Usually, a business allows a person to express creativity, to demonstrate capability in securing and managing resources, to face challenges and overcome them. In other words, a business provides a sense of accomplishment – a feeling of fulfillment from having done something that he thought at first he could not do.

Satisfaction will also come from recognition from family, friends, employees, and the community as a whole.


If the rewards are many and attractive, the risks and demands of being an entrepreneur are equally enormous and cannot be ignored.

So, don’t act without thinking. Don’t just resign from your present job or retire immediately. Think twice or even many times more. Ask yourself if you would be able to risk failure, to cope with unpredictable business conditions, to work for long hours, or to make small and big personal sacrifices.

The risk of failure

By nature, a small business is prone to risks and possibility of failure. A single bad decision can make a small business bankrupt. A study made by the University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI, 1986) reveals that one of five new businesses is likely to fail.

As you have learned, a small business is often weaker and likely to fail than a large enterprise. There are many reasons why – the inability to access institutional loans, limited bargaining power, competition from bigger companies, etc.

Long hours of hard work

Especially at the beginning, when your product or service is new and just being developed and introduced in the market, business means long and hard work. Entrepreneurs are known to miss lunch, sleep, holidays, weekends.

Don’t expect instant or overnight money. The returns will be slow and meager at first. Experienced entrepreneurs will tell you how they persevered and patiently plodded on when they began. They will also tell you that when the business stabilized, all the sacrifices were worth it.

Unwanted responsibilities

Entrepreneurship means social responsibility. If you become an entrepreneur, you are responsible to the people you employ, the customers you serve, the community you work with. You are obliged to pay decent wages, provide value for the customer’s money, compete fairly, and share your wealth and good fortune to the community and society.

Are you willing to accept such responsibilities?

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