Entrepreneurism for the Risk-Averse

Have you been unhappy at your day job and fantasized about starting your own business? Or have you actually tried to start your own business to only miss the stability of the paycheck and benefits the day job provided? 

Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side, but Patrick McGinnis in his book The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job shows us that there's actually a third alternative.

Patrick was a successful corporate VP on Wall Street who never gave being anything else another thought until he lost his job in the 2008 financial meltdown. He then realized that to be safe, he had to diversify his career—much like his investments—and he became what he calls a 10% Entrepreneur. Basically, he spends 10% of his resources on side ventures that build his equity and cushion towards the future. And not only does this give him a Plan B, but it allows him to work on side projects that he's interested in, meet great people, keep learning, and know that he'll never be caught rudderless again.

And you don't necessarily have to have money to become a 10% Entrepreneur. Patrick explains that there are five types of entrepreneurs: angel, adviser, co-founder, aficionado, and 110%. The angel are for those who do have some money to invest whereas the adviser invests his time and knowledge. Co-founder is someone who actually is willing to devote a lot more time/money to something he or she believes in, while an aficionado is someone who pursues a passion on the side. And the 110% is a full-time entrepreneur who has his own 10% so that even all his eggs aren't in one basket.

Patrick takes us through how to find opportunities, vet them, expand our network and "team," and succeed in the long term. And in addition to just being a great read, it's the answer to what I have been looking for. 

After two attempts at starting my own business and two more attempts at working for early stage startups, I've realized that I need the stability of a steady pay check. I love the culture found at startups and am looking for a senior operations role at a funded and/or proven startup where I can have the best of both worlds, but even if I end up working for a larger company, there's no reason I can't satisfy that yen in my 10%. 

And unlike many of the other books out there about entrepreneurism and following one's passions, Patrick's formula is one that we can adjust to our own particular needs and strengths and above all else, is realistic. It's something each and every one of us could—and should—pursue. 

So are you ready to become a 10% Entrepreneur?

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