Is money your best indication of success? How much money? Or do you have a dream of helping people in need? Maybe you would be happy finding a cure for a disease or increasing the literacy rate in poverty-stricken populations. When most people think of an entrepreneur, they think of someone with a warehouse full of gleaming cars and, if that's your goal, you may have different odds than someone whose goal is to keep food on the table for a young family.
There are some basic statistics about the rate of success among small businesses that go public. Going public usually means that the company will sell enough shares on a stock exchange to repay the investors who first got the business off its feet.
Unlike other jobs, where you need a resume and a track record of success before you can be hired, entrepreneurs who fail and keep trying are more likely to succeed than first-timers. They are also more likely to get funding from venture capitalists. This doesn't mean that failure is preferable. Common sense says that successful business owners are most likely to breed more success, but if it weren't a risk, you wouldn't be an entrepreneur, would you?
Odds that a first-time entrepreneur will succeed at making a profit: About 20%
Odds that a failed entrepreneur will run a successful venture: About 20%
Odds that a successful entrepreneur will succeed again: About 30%
Odds that an employee at a large corporation will get a paycheck while employed: About 100%