What Are the Pros and Cons of Being an Entrepreneur?

A man and woman working and smiling

Did you know that more than half of all adults in the U.S. have started a business at some point during their lifetime? Many entrepreneurs launch their own businesses because they crave workplace autonomy, want to pursue a particular passion, or they retired but then realized they weren’t quite ready to retire and needed something else to do.1

Being an entrepreneur and starting your own business offers many opportunities and challenges alike. Whether you’ve already begun launching your own company or you’re still thinking about it, you may wish to weigh some of the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur.

In This Article:

A Look at the Pros and Cons of Entrepreneurship

The pros and cons of entrepreneurship can vary from one industry and niche to the next. They can even vary from one person to the next within the same niche, as different types of people may view various situations differently. Regardless of which type of business you’re interested in launching (or have already launched), it can be helpful to consider whether the pros of being an entrepreneur outweigh the challenges and whether your goal is a simple lifestyle business or a scaled enterprise.

Pros of Being an Entrepreneur

There can be many highlights of entrepreneurship, such as the ability to be your own boss and enjoy workplace autonomy. Consider the following highlights of launching your own business.

Complete Workplace Autonomy

When you start your own business, you get to decide how that company will be set up and which direction it takes. You’ll decide which services or products to offer, who to hire and what sort of culture you wish to establish. It can be an ideal career path for people who have a clear idea of what they want and how to go about accomplishing it.

The Ability To Do Good

If you run your own business, you could choose to turn it into a force for good. You might decide, for example, to donate a certain percentage of your profits to the local homeless shelter. There are many ways for entrepreneurs to contribute to conscious capitalism, to make businesses more ethical practices and to elevate humanity.

The Potential for Financial Success

The financial aspect of owning your own business could qualify as both entrepreneur pros and cons. On one hand, starting a company can be financially risky. On the other hand, it can lead to financial success beyond what you might expect with an accomplished business plan.2

The Possibility of Scaling

Some entrepreneurs start small, such as by launching one-person, low-overhead operations based in their garage. One of the exciting aspects of entrepreneurship is the potential to grow your business. If your one-person operation becomes successful, you may be ready to move out of the garage and into an office building, and you may start hiring employees.

In fact, a successful business could set up multiple locations. There may be the possibility to expand into new territories, either with corporate-owned properties or by scaling into a franchise model.

The Ability To Pursue Your Passion

Starting your own organization offers the potential to pursue your passion in life. Sometimes, following one’s passion means leaving one’s current career path, but this isn’t always necessarily the case. You might decide to continue working in your current industry and even in the same niche area, but by launching your own company instead of working for somebody else.

For example, you might have a great idea for disrupting your industry or perhaps you’re passionate about building an incredible company culture in which each employee feels supported. Being an entrepreneur can allow you to pursue your dreams.

Personal Pride in Your Product or Service

Another great highlight of owning your own business is the feeling you’ll get when it does well. As an employee of someone else’s company, you might enjoy it when the company does well, particularly if you were responsible for a major win.

However, that’s nothing compared to the personal pride you might feel as a business owner when a customer raves about your product or service. It can be an incomparable feeling to watch a business that you built from the ground up succeed in its objectives and thrill its customers.

Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur

Although it can be worth it to become your own boss, it’s important to proceed with a clear idea of the potential challenges that lie ahead. Of all the pros and cons of entrepreneurship, here’s a look at some of the main challenges that may affect you.

Total Responsibility for Business Direction and Success

Becoming your own boss offers both freedom and flexibility. However, that freedom comes at the cost of responsibility. As the business owner, it’s up to you to do everything possible to make your business successful by making smart decisions regarding the direction and daily operations of the organization.

Business owners may feel this responsibility most acutely when they hire employees or have to deal with lawsuits. The financial well-being of the employees is directly tied to the success of the company, and if the company does not do well, neither will the employees.

The Investment of Time

When considering typical entrepreneur pros and cons, it’s important to think about how starting a business might affect your schedule. Indeed, one of the main challenges of entrepreneurship is that it requires a considerable investment of time, even after you hire employees. About 84% of small business owners work more than a standard 40-hour work week. About 19% of them work more than 60 hours per week.3

Of course, the highlight of entrepreneurship is that if you’re starting a business, it’s likely because you’re passionate about your business idea. Because of this, you might not perceive it to be a negative aspect of entrepreneurship if you need to put in long hours at the office.

Personal Stress

Of all the entrepreneur pros and cons, one potential drawback that may not receive as much attention as it deserves is the possible effects on health. The long hours and the responsibility for the success and direction of the company can sometimes take a toll on an entrepreneur’s mental health.

Business owners may experience a great deal of stress, which may sometimes lead to anxiety and depression. In fact, an estimated 75% of entrepreneurs have admitted they are concerned about their mental wellness, and 56% have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression or health problems related to stress. About 53% of survey respondents said that one of their stressors was worrying about how working long hours would affect their loved ones.4

The stress that can be associated with running a business certainly can be concerning, but there is help available. A self-aware business owner can take the initiative to talk to a mental health counselor and begin using healthy coping techniques to deal with stressors. Furthermore, stress isn’t only associated with running a business; working for a company owned by someone else also has the potential to cause stress.

If you’re attracted to the idea of launching your own business, consider pursuing bachelor's or graduate-level studies at Grand Canyon University. The Bachelor of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship can guide students in learning more about building a business. In addition to the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship program, the College of Doctoral Studies offers the Doctor of Business Administration: Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship (Quantitative Research) degree program, which can guide entrepreneurs in their pursuit of innovative business strategies. Complete the form at the top of your screen to learn more.

1 Siege Media. (2023, Sept. 1). Key entrepreneur statistics for 2023. Legal Zoom. Retrieved Oct. 24, 2023. 

2 Akalp, N. (2022, Jun. 19). The starup business plan: Why it’s important and how you can create one. CorpNet. Retrieved Nov. 21, 2023.

3 Alfred, L. (2023, Jul. 21). 65 stats to know about entrepreneurship in 2023. Hubspot. Retrieved Oct. 24, 2023. 

4 Haden, J. (2023, May 18). A new study says 75 percent of entrepreneurs are concerned about their mental health. Inc. Retrieved Oct. 24, 2023.

Approved by the director of academic operations of the Colangelo College of Business on Nov. 28, 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.