WarmUp: Can an Entrepreneur Have Any Real Life?

I had the opportunity to attend the April WarmUp –meeting and panel discussion about entrepreneurship, the daily lives of entrepreneurs, and most importantly, the big question if entrepreneurs can actually have any real life outside their work. Most of us know, or at least have heard, that being an entrepreneur isn’t always the simplest career choice you can think of, and definitely not the easiest one. Being an entrepreneur usually requires spending long hours at work, commitment and at least to some extent, innovation and enthusiasm towards what you’re doing.

At the WarmUp we heard thoughts on entrepreneurship and it’s challenges from four entrepreneurs from different areas of business, including retail and sales, net commerce and education. Our interesting speakers in the panel were Manu Rekola from ZinZino Oy, Jaana Komscha-Härkönen from Breaks Finland Oy and Kati Partanen with her business partner Veera Brückler from Twistbe Oy.

Even though our speakers in the panel were from different areas in business, there was one thought everyone had in common; entrepreneurship is a huge part of your life and takes up a lot of commitment and effort. This was not, however, seen as a negative aspect, but more as a way of life, in which you live in a very close relationship with your job.

During the conversation, we also discussed other aspects in entrepreneurship, including the difficulty in setting boundaries between work and private life and what different ways there are to recover after work, considering that being an entrepreneur is commonly seen as a 24/7 job. Many of the speakers thought, that with a very time consuming job like being an entrepreneur, work, family and free time easily blend together in a way that you can’t have a traditional 8-to-4 day schedule. If you notice an important client sending you e-mails on a Saturday night, you might as well just answer them right away. This is understandable especially in the case when the company is the product of your own hard work, and naturally you will go to great extents for its success.

While it was generally agreed, that having your own firm takes up a major amount of your time, it was also noted that it’s important to have a schedule of your own in order to avoid being constantly overwhelmed by your workload. It was also discussed, that for many entrepreneurs the first years of working with a new company are always the hardest and require the most resources. As the company comes more profitable and self-sufficient, there’s also more room for free time as the basic groundwork has been done. This, of course, cannot be generalized, and some may actually want more challenges as the time goes by and the company grows.

It is important to notice, that entrepreneurship is also being seen as a way to express yourself, develop your own skills and ideas, and most importantly, to have the freedom to do your own thing without the restrictions of working in a traditional job. This is seen for many people as one of the most tempting and best aspects to pursue a career in entrepreneurship.

Antti Raukola
ASSI student on Pasila Campus