Most days, I love entrepreneurship; I can’t imagine doing anything else. I like the thrill and purpose that comes along with turning nothing into something, especially when that something fulfills a lifelong dream. It’s taking charge of your own destiny, and making the world a better place by living out your passion.
But some days—like today—I HATE entrepreneurship.
I know, I know—sounds super hypocritical...
I live entrepreneurship, I write about entrepreneurship, I speak about entrepreneurship, I teach entrepreneurship.
And sometimes I really hate it...
I Might Look Like a Failure...
Like many high achieving entrepreneurs, I often feel like my business’ performance is a direct reflection on me. Self-talk takeaway: “If the business sucks, I suck.”
My employed peers blame “corporate”, supervisors, “the market”, and incompetent coworkers for any and all downturns in their organization.
Entrepreneurs don't have that luxury - it's all on YOU.
I'm So Very Tired...
Business success doesn’t happen overnight, and it rarely happens in the convenient 9-5.
It’s been a lot of sleepless nights, work weekends, nail biting “oh my god!” moments as my company and my abilities are tested to what seemed like the limits.
A mentor told me to expect it to take three years for my business to feel “okay”. As a military spouse, we’ve moved several times in the past few years—disrupting my three year growth plan. While Becker Marketing & PR is on the cusp of year two, many aspects still feel very introductory.
I'm Not Good at Everything...
Entrepreneurship requires you wear many hats.
You’re often a receptionist, salesman, HR director, project manager, accountant, and errand runner (and all in the same day!).
It’s quite the job description.
There’s always something else to be done—things are rarely ever “perfect”.
I Feel All Alone...
Running your own business can be isolating.
I don’t have “normal” work friends (besides fellow cash-strapped, super-stressed young entrepreneurs).
I don’t keep a 9-5 schedule.
I’m not living life like a “normal” person. Some months are great—we’re doing five figures and I’m enjoying the occasional vacay. Other months are really, really rough -- $5.32 in my checking account, and no new clients on the horizon.
The unpredictable ups and downs of entrepreneurship wears on you, a feeling many non-entrepreneurs can understand.
When trudging through the down months, I find myself wishing I could be “normal”—well defined job description, 9-5 schedule, two kids, work softball, and a 401k—but I can’t. The down months often leave me with “normal” “friends” being few and far between…the entrepreneurship roller coaster is often “too much drama” for most employees.
It gets lonely.
It's Rough...but It's WORTH It!
The benefits entrepreneurship provides—autonomy, financial, purpose—come at a cost.
For many of us, this “cost” involves the a few years characterized by near constant “I feel like I’m gonna puke” moments.
These hair raising parts are just all part of the journey.
It’s okay to be scared.
It’s okay to doubt yourself.
It’s okay to be tired.
And yes, it’s even okay to sometimes get down in the dumps and curse entrepreneurship.
Anyone that’s independently blazed their own trail can sympathize.
It’s not all glitz and glam—sometimes it’s just guts and glory.
Don’t be afraid to call and spade a spade, and be transparent with your current challenges. Many parts of business are simply trial and error, and other parts are simply dependent on plain ol’ bulldog tenacity.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a rose garden—it, like all other aspects of life—has its share of ups and downs.
If you’re on a down part, know it’s not forever.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train.
We chose this life for a reason.
Tomorrow's benefits of entrepreneurship are well-worth today's sacrifice.
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