As most entrepreneurs know, there’s hardly a “sure thing” when it comes to the business world. One of the greatest challenges facing someone looking to open and run a business is trying to be certain of how things will play out. It can be so challenging that it can cripple an aspiring entrepreneur from knowing what’s even necessary to begin a new venture.

The bottom line is there’s no foolproof way of knowing how trends will change, how the people you partner with will work out, whether or not people will accept or reject your project, or if vendors will pay you in a timely manner.According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses generated 65 percent of the new jobs nationwide over the past 17 years. These firms, defined as having fewer than 500 workers, employ half of all workers in the private sector. So, are you up for the challenge?

Uncertainty is Guaranteed in All Aspects of Life

As most of us know, uncertainty exists in all aspects of our lives, no matter how well we plan ahead; we can’t control everything.

In fact, imagine a world where you did control everything: If you didn’t experience failure, how could you truly feel the excitement of success? If you weren’t challenged, how could you relish the joy of winning? It’s important to realize that certainty and uncertainty are merely matters of perspective.

An employee might feel that morning traffic, working with a co-worker he’s not fond of, not knowing when he’ll get a raise, repeating the same job duties, and spending more time at work than with family are all certainties he can accept because he believes that the greatest payoff is a steady, predictable paycheck.

It’s the payoff that motivates an employee to do undesirable things during the majority of his time; he believes that breaking away on his own is just too hard. This same individual believes that being his own boss is just a greedy lunge for wealth, which he convinces himself he doesn’t truly need or desire. 

Are Freedom and Personal Growth Attractive to You?

For the entrepreneur, the big payoff is not necessarily wealth – it’s freedom and personal growth, and growing the business. The things that employees accept, entrepreneurs do not; the paycheck is not the payoff they want.

They do not desire a steady paycheck and day-to-day predictability; they desire the freedom to challenge themselves, to work from anywhere on their own time, to call their own shots, to work through the adrenaline of not knowing how things will unfold, to know that everything lost and gained depends on them. In fact, the things they fear are the very things that employees accept for the benefit of belonging to a company that’s not theirs.

Lastly, entrepreneurs believe that working for themselves is more certain than working for others because they believe that their venture only fails when they completely give up. They trust in themselves more than they trust a faceless company because they perceive that in doing so, they are taking the less risky route.

Keep in mind that entrepreneurs are not the big risk takers that you might think; risk, again, is a matter of perception.

Many people with employee mindsets think that entrepreneurs just bravely break off on their own, hoping to create a successful business because they realize they can do things better themselves, as often portrayed in the media (Jerry Maguire is one good example).

But the truth is that the majority of successful entrepreneurs became who they are while working for someone else, not breaking away until they were ready. In fact, the very knowledge, connections, and resources they’ve obtained are through jobs.

Rather than work passively, they work for a company actively, which means that they learn as much as possible about the details that help the company stay in business. Whether they’re conscious of it or not, during their working experience, they actually research the industry they’re in, study best practices, and even discover some trade secrets.

What Will You Do with Your Work Experience?

Another thing that differentiates employees from entrepreneurs is what they do with their work experience. Once entrepreneurs truly decide to become business owners, all of the possible “risks” have already been addressed or minimized.

For those individuals considering entrepreneurship, it’s important they keep in mind the sacrifices that come with it:

Working on their businesses while still working their day jobs

Staying up late at night in order to do the work and research needed to start their businesses

Minimizing social time

Fronting personal money

Using “days off,” like weekends and holidays, to work on their businesses, and

Reallocating their personal finances in order to put money toward developing their businesses or connections

At the end of the day, do you have what it takes to establish a new mindset? Making the leap from “playing it safe” to “taking a well-planned risk” isn’t a small one, but it may be easier than you think. How else will you relish the joy of winning?