Entrepreneurs work long hours, are usually battling one problem after another and dealing with stressful situations on a regular basis. In spite of this, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2013 Global Report, a collaboration between Babson University and 3 others, had an interesting revelation –
Entrepreneurs across regions consistently ranked their sense of well being higher than individuals working for someone else.
This did not hold only in cases of necessity-driven entrepreneurs i.e. those people forced into starting a business because they have no other option of work.
But more or less across the board, opportunity-driven entrepreneurs consistently ‘exhibited a higher rate of subjective well being’ than other people.
So what might be the link between entrepreneurship and happiness? Is it the money? Or the promise of fame? One might be tempted to think so. But actually one has seen more than enough times that neither of those actually ever promises a happy and satisfied life.
So is it because entrepreneurs are answerable to themselves and can decide their own priorities and their own work timings? Because they have greater autonomy over their professional lives? Does that take away the sting of working longer hours than the average employee or not being able to take a break off work as easily?
The answer might actually lie in the satisfaction of having a dream and a sense of purpose in life. Entrepreneurs have a goal they are working towards and they are willing to give their all to achieving their goal.
It is somewhat like an athlete working for a medal, or an artist working on some creation. In such a situation, one derives energy through the process of working to achieve what one wants. The euphoria of learning new skills, overcoming challenges and building relationships is a part and parcel of the life of an entrepreneur.
And that gives a consistent level of satisfaction that can never be matched by materialistic acquisitions.