By: Stefan Aarnio

Remember: Please share this article if you found it enjoyable


Get Stefan Aarnio’s NEW book Self Made at


There’s a great quote in the story about what it’s like being an entrepreneur from Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions.


Thomas says being an entrepreneur is like being a man ride a lion.

“People look at him and think, This guy’s really got it together! He’s brave!” says Thomas.


“And the man riding the lion is thinking, How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?”


There is no question, being an entrepreneur is one of the most difficult feats anyone can undertake.


90% of entrepreneurs fail in the first 5 years, and 90% of the survivors fail in the second 5 years.


However, it’s not coincidence that the 1% left over after 10 years are also the 1% wealthiest people in society.


In every way, being an entrepreneur is like riding a lion.


You are the head of the organization, visible; everyone thinks that what you do is great. But the beast that you sit on is so big and so powerful, it could turn on you and eat you at any minute.


But how and why can the beast eat you?


In many ways, entrepreneurs use leverage. Think of a massive boulder that is far too heavy to lift, but if we have a long enough lever and place it correctly, we could move the boulder with a gentle touch.


Archimedes used to say “give me a fulcrum and a long enough lever to place on it and I shall move the world”


The dark side of leverage is that the boulder could fall back onto you and crush you! Much like the ferocious lion that you are riding on.


Even proven entrepreneurs like billionaire Donald Trump have had times where the boulder fell on him or the lion turned to rear his killer jaws. At one point Donald Trump was $9,000,000,000 (BILLION) in the hole when the real estate market turned on him and he would look at a bum on the street and say “that man is $9 billion richer than me”


But Donald fought the lion, he made a deal with his creditors to manage the properties were in foreclosure while he was underwater. He then issued junk bonds to buy back his own buildings, defaulted on the junk bonds and gave his junk bond investors equity in the buildings in exchange.


In other words, The Donald fought the lion and won.


As an entrepreneur, there will be many times of glory when you will ride the lion and you will be admired, adored and maybe even famous.


There will be many more times when you will be fighting for your life while the lion bucks you off his back and tries to finish you off with his menacing jaws.


To survive, you will have to become a lion tamer and be prepared for a fight.


Thanks for reading,


Respect the Grind,

Stefan Aarnio


Get Stefan Aarnio’s NEW book Self Made at