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Are Entrepreneurs "their own bosses"?

From an Knowledge@Wharton interview with Atul Jain, the founder and CEO of TEOCO:
..people sometimes “tell me, ‘I want to be my own boss.’ I tell them that when you become an entrepreneur, nothing could be further from the truth. Every single employee is your boss because if they leave, you have nobody to do your work. Every single client is your boss because they tell you what to do. When you work for a company, you typically have one, maybe two bosses. When you're an entrepreneur, everybody wants to tell you what to do. Your employees will tell you what to do, your clients will tell you what to do, even your vendors will tell you what to do.”

...Part of business success is cost management. We never let expenses get out of line with revenue. The way I explains this is: think of your revenue as an 18-wheeler truck on a highway. It's like a large truck. Then there is another truck right behind it, another 18-wheeler called expenses. Sandwiched between the two 18-wheelers -- revenue and expenses -- is a little Volkswagen called profit. If the revenue truck slows down and the expenses truck doesn't, the Volkswagen gets crushed. If the expenses truck speeds up and the revenue truck doesn't, the Volkswagen gets crushed. I love my Volkswagen. I don't ever want it to get crushed.

...Finally, he says, “Have courage.... It takes a tremendous amount of courage to go into business and it takes a tremendous amount of courage to stay in business. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to stay true to your values because people will challenge them and ask you to compromise them to create a successful business.”

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the Private Equity and Venture Capital ecosystem in India. Click here to learn about Venture Intelligence's products and services for entrepreneurs.

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