The Way of the Entrepreneur Is Full of Risk — and Unstoppable

by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

My great grandfather was a tailor in a small town in Ohio. For 40 years, he measured suits, tailored them well, and made a living for his family. He didn’t visit the floors of the New York stock exchange to take a company public, fly high on a soaring stock, or suffer at the hands of a botched acquisition.

He just worked. Hard. Head down, to the beat of his own entrepreneurial heart. And although he surely didn’t like all of his days, and certainly wished that things could be a bit easier at times, he knew that what he did was essential to who he was, and he couldn’t trade it in for all the world.

Over my five and a half years in the heart of Silicon Valley at Twitter, I saw a company grow from itty-bitty to (relatively) big and bad. And I also saw a heck of a lot of people leave that company as it grew.

For some of those people, they left because they felt something missing. They may have enjoyed the success, or the life on a rocket ship, or the gluten-free gourmet food on every floor, but they were ready to trade it all in for something else entirely. Something gritty. Something that kept them up at all hours of the night in a crappy cubicle in a shared office space with weak instant coffee at hand. Something that shined.

They wanted to start something of their own. (Again, or for the first time.) 

The entrepreneur knows who they are, and knows they can’t hide it. They try their hand as employees, advisors, investors, even, but always end up back where they started. They want to start something, and know that if they don’t, they might just explode.

There is a trend in business, and it’s a trend that has existed since before we can remember and will exist long after we’re gone. It’s a path that certain people will always take, even when others tell them it’s not a good idea and it’s certainly not a safe bet.

It’s the way of the entrepreneur. It’s beating down the bushes of all the lands from Silicon Valley to the moon and back with a force that no one should dare try and stop.

It’s the spirit of the entrepreneur, and it will win every day.