boltRomain Simon on SaaS & tech

The golden cage of Entrepreneurs

September 15, 2019

You wanted to be an entrepreneur to have more freedom by being your own boss? You will fall from very high once you understand this is not the case.

Be your own boss they said

That seemed sweet at first. Be your own boss. Why should I get a full-time job when I can be an entrepreneur and do whatever I want?

Well this is true in the early days, and this is why this is the best period of the startup journey. This will unfortunately come to an end and you will be trapped in the golden cage of entrepreneurs before you even notice it.

First wall

Every mentor and accelerators told you. You need co-founders. So you get one or two and that's okay. Your co-founders are not your boss and you share a common interest in building the business. You don't feel the trap at this point, and you can always stop the project if you want, no big deal.

Second wall

You are building your product and start getting some customers. This is awesome! What you started to think about in your head is now a reality, and some people are paying for it !

You will now have to deliver and these people count on you. But you don't care about the second wall because it is celebration time.

Third wall

You are getting some traction, so you need interns to help you deliver to all those customers you got. Or maybe you hired some people because you were very confident in the future of the business.

You start building a team, and even though you work a lot, you are experiencing the startup way of life. You get an office. You do some team buildings. You grow the team and can focus on the part of the business that you're the most interested in.

This is the third wall, and you still haven't noticed.

Last wall

Let's raise some funds ! And let's make it big. You want to build something serious, not and SMB thing. You want to be featured on TechCrunch.

You're trapped

You are now in the golden cage and you don't know it yet. You wanted to be an entrepreneur to be free? To be your own boss? Look at who's you boss now.

  • Your co-founders are your boss
  • Your customers are your boss
  • Your employees are your boss
  • Your investors are your boss

You now start to understand the golden cage of entrepreneurs, but it is too late.

You realize that even your employees have more freedom than you. When you get back home and still think about your business, then can think about something else and have hobbies. But now your startup is your only hobby and you can't change it.

When your employees get bored, they can quit their current job and find another one while you cannot because you are in the golden cage, and you now you will not be able to get out until years now.