Ask yourself: Am I an entrepreneur, a founder or businessperson?

When I sat down to write this first article on entrepreneurship, it made me question my own place. Am I an entrepreneur? Am I a founder? A businessperson? Am I all three…. Is there difference between them?

I was lucky enough to attend a great high school in Sydney. One of the oldest and most prestigious in the country, I was reminded of daily. However, for all the amazing experiences and friendships I made at school, prepare me for my future it did not. I’m pretty sure that my career advisor was far more worried about me being ready for Saturday’s rugby match. When we did the career guidance test (the one that I think every high school kid in Australia has done at some point!) the career path for me was librarian. A LIBRARIAN! Let me put it into perspective how absurd this is; I hated reading, I thought the library was a place to sneak away and eat meals between recess and lunch and to top it off, I am mildly dyslexic! What a great librarian I would make. Needless to say, fifteen years later I spend no time at all in libraries.

So why do I tell you this? The reason is, it has taken me to be in my 30’s before I learnt about entrepreneurship, I am on my 4th company and only now am I learning about start ups. I’m learning more and more every day about how businesses work, why some fail and some go on to change the world. On top of this, I am learning more and more about myself and who I am, through my roles in my own start up,

So now I am starting to understand who I am. I am an entrepreneur. But what does that mean? Well from what I have learnt, it means that I am willing to take a risk. Not a blind risk but a calculated risk. I am willing to do whatever it takes to achieve my vision. I am willing to be let down by people I trust and be incredibly surprised and supported by people I’ve just met. I am willing to let go of the 9 – 5 and work hours that I didn’t think were humanly possible. I am willing to invest my life in creating something that I believe will make the world a better place for others.

The reason I felt compelled to write about this, is that I want people of any age to look at entrepreneurship as a career path. An exciting career path that is unlike any other. As an entrepreneur you will be CEO, Accountant, Sales Director and a host of other roles all in one day. You will also experience more highs and lows in the first few years of business than you friends will in a career – depression and elation are daily emotions.

As an entrepreneur, I am learning every day. I still do not own a library card but my library of start up podcasts is now bordering on an obsession.

I hope my insights and tales can help more people take the plunge into start up world!


Mathew Cole


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