A VC who's invested in more than 20 companies says too many people have the wrong idea about entrepreneurship

Courtesy of Patrick McGinnisYou don’t have to live on ramen, says Patrick McGinnis.

If you ask many entrepreneurs, striking out on your own is all-consuming.

It’s living on ramen. It’s having six roommates in two bedrooms. It’s getting down to your last $US10 before catching a break.

But that’s not exactly necessary, says Patrick McGinnis.

On an episode of Farnoosh Torabi’s podcast “So Money,” McGinnis, a venture capitalist and investor, says this vision of entrepreneurship excludes a lot of people — and it’s not necessary.

The idea that “unless you are living on the side of the road on the box, eating ramen for every meal and suffering, you’re not an entrepreneur,” he told Torabi, is a “very dated way of thinking about entrepreneurship.”

He continued: “It’s a very exclusive way that it basically excludes a lot of people who would be great entrepreneurs but maybe aren’t in the life circumstances to become entrepreneurs today.”

McGinnis is the author of “The 10% Entrepreneur: Living Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job,” in which he explains that you don’t have to quit your job to be an entrepreneur.

A 10% entrepreneur, he writes, invests just 10% of their time and resources into a new venture, while holding on to their full-time job. This way, he says, they have the best of both worlds, rather than throwing all their time and money into something uncertain. He’s for entrepreneurship, but he doesn’t recommend going all-in right off the bat.

McGinnis himself still holds a day job. “I have invested in over 20 different ventures over the last six years,” he told Torabi. “I have a day job, I’m not looking to leave that day job, but I’ve used entrepreneurial activities investing, advising in startups in order to create a diversified portfolio of ownership positions and exciting companies that teach me new things to get me upside.”

“Maybe I’ll become a full time entrepreneur someday,” he continued, “but I haven’t found that thing yet that really has convinced me that I want to do that.”

Listen to the full episode of So Money »

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