Tradeoffs & Choices for Entrepreneurs

Not sure how many people follow swimming, but there’s a small debate raging about the use of some new suits that utilize enhanced technology. World records are falling weekly by swimmers using these suits. Essentially, these suits are thought to give swimmers an unfair advantage so the IOC has banned them from being used in the Olymipcs. Of course, this is after Michael Phelps used such a suit to win 8 gold medals this past Olympics.

While this is interesting, what’s even more interesting is the feud between Phelps and his main challenger, Serbian Milorad Cavic. After beating Phelps recently, Phelps’ manager complained that Cavic was using a suit Phelps couldn’t because it’s not made by Speedo, Phelps’ sponsor. Cavic responded:

“I know he’s making a lot of money from Speedo,” Cavic said. “It’s loyalty. But throughout all my experiences, I’ve learned this — free will is a gift with a price tag, and whatever you choose to do you’re going to pay, but how much you’re going to pay is really dependent on you.”

Cavics’ quote above is the essence of what drives most entrepreneurs. We’re more than willing to make our own choices and live with the price tag associated with them. Many people want to make their own choices, but refuse to pay the price.

I talk to a lot of people about business in general and when I tell them that I left my job to start my own company, the exchange usually goes like this:

Them: “I’d love to run my own company, but how do you pay taxs?”

Me: “I have an accountant that handles my taxes.”

Them: “But what about insurance?”

Me: “There are several options. I have an individual plan right now.”

Them: “Ah, but what about retirement?”

Me: “Actually, there are a lot of options, from SEP IRAs to bonds to savings accounts and more.”

Them: “I don’t know, that sounds like a lot of extra work.”

The last part is usually the crux of a lot of peoples arguments. They simply don’t want to put in the work to get what they want. It’s a shame, because in exchange for a little more work on my end, I get a huge amount of flexibility, enjoyment and the ability to run something entirely on my own. It’s very empowering. Plus, I would rather work 50+ hours a week on something I love rather than toil away at some job I hate. But then again, I understand the trade offs and I’m fine with them.