Great Enthusiasms

Kath Chalmers’ musings on business, marketing, and other fun things in life

Why I want to be an entrepreneur?

This week I applied for <a href=””>The Funded’s Founder Institute</a>, a really exciting, structured four-month training program for new entrepreneurs. One of the questions on the application is “Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?”  Wow!  Hmmmmm.

In the frenzy of getting a company started, it’s easy to overlook that basic question.   Why would anyone want to leave the seemingly safe environment of a corporate job to embark on the crazy adventure of building a company – especially now in such uncertain economic times?  It’s a good question.

In my own case, startup addiction, faulty genetics, and a driving obsession are the only excuses I can offer to explain my compulsion to leave a nice, cushy job at a Gartner Cool Vendor to start a new company from scratch in the worst economic downturn of our generation.

After 15 years of working with technology companies – a large chunk of it in tornado-stage startups – I’m obviously addicted to the excitement of building new products at fast-growing companies in emerging industries.  Perversely, instead of enjoying the predictable routine of a well-defined job description at a stable, established company, I prefer to spend my days scrambling to solve a variety of challenges using a wide set of skills (some of which might have to be developed on the fly).  Life gets crazy in such an environment, but the satisfaction of wringing order and creating value from the chaos is irresistible.

The affliction runs in my family.  Four generations of women in the family have started businesses, my father has been building international divisions at tech companies for the past 30 years, my grandfather founded a company in his off hours and sold it to a Fortune 500, and even my little brother has become an entrepreneur.

Given these professional tendencies and familial influences, it was probably inevitable that I would become obsessed when the idea hit me for a new way to use technology to solve problems I passionately want to solve.  After filling a notebook for three years with feature ideas, sketches, integration options and data requirements, the obsession to build my apps for real people to use has become overwhelming.

I simply have to do it.  That’s why I want to be an entrepreneur.  How about  you?