What if my main motivation for becoming an entrepreneur is to work less and earn more?
Then you may take inspiration from the success of Ernie Zelinski, who realized such a thing was possible 25 years ago after he was fired from his engineering job for taking an unauthorized vacation. Currently self-employed as a writer and speaker, Zelinski has recently reissued his book, Career Success Without a Real Job (VIP BOOKS, 2009). Zelinski claims that since that fateful firing, he has lived a happier, freer, more fulfilling life. He claims to make a "decent" living by working only four or five hours a day. He notes that a book he wrote in 1991, The Joy of Not Working, still earns him about $15,000 a year in royalties. [His latest retirement book, however, earns him more money.]
He agrees, however, that it takes enormous effort to get a new business off the ground. In fact he says it's important to "forgo the pleasures of today and think long-term." Other requirements include selecting work you truly enjoy and being willing to accept both rejection and getting paid sporadically. "Don't make your main purpose earning a lot of money," he writes.
Zelinski's view of an "ideal" business is one that is much like his own, which requires little start-up capital, low overhead, no employees and, with that, the opportunity to make money early on. Many areas that fit this description are information-related, such as consulting and event planning. He also lists "cool, unreal jobs," such as cabaret singer, game designer and massage therapist.
Whether you ultimately launch a new venture, carefully considering the pros and cons is a worthwhile exercise. Everyone should explore his or her entrepreneurial options periodically. It gives you valuable insights into your own character, abilities and potential roadmaps forward - all things that are worth a great deal.