The ugly truth about being an entrepreneur — 3 things that will trigger second thoughts
Being an entrepreneur can be exciting, fulfilling and exceptionally rewarding. The adrenaline rush that accompanies the ability to risk it all for the sake of that thing that you love gives life to your soul.
But is it all what entrepreneurs make it out to be? Is all that entrepreneurial glitter, really gold? Truth be told, the journey of an entrepreneur is not without its many valleys. Yes, they are peaks too but they can be short-lived.
My own journey as an entrepreneur , starting Patwa Apparel, has been mixed with lots of tears, laughter and emotions in between. There have been times when I wanted to quit and go get a ‘real’ job. Times when I thought ‘why did I quit my day job?’
But I have also had several high points when I knew for sure that I’m on the right path. I’ve come to appreciate my experience as a metaphor for the journey of life. And like in our own personal lives, there are many things we would rather not have anyone else know about.
Here are three ugly truths that entrepreneurs would want to keep a secret.
1. It comes with great sacrifice
Remember the times when you could just sleep whenever you wanted to? You didn’t have to give any consideration for project deadlines or clients to get go see or orders to complete? You probably even quit your day job because you wanted to work when you felt like it. You wanted to determine life as you know on your own terms. A few months in and it’s time to wake-up. You quickly realize that this was just a dream — albeit a nice one.
Then there is the giving up of an active social life, at least in the startup phase of your journey. Families and friends begin to give you the evil eye. While some may understand, many will start to question your loyalty to them. Your inner circle becomes smaller and smaller.
And yes, you even sacrifice your health to go after wealth. This is not a wise thing to do but hey, are entrepreneurs even rational creatures? The jury is still out on this one.
2. It is a lonely road
If everyone has their own idiosyncrasies then multiply that by 10 for entrepreneurs — of course that’s how it appears to everyone else. An entrepreneur by nature is a risk taker. Risk takers do crazy stuff. Things that others see as abnormal are quite routine for an entrepreneur. It is no wonder then that the entrepreneur’s journey is a long, arduous and lonely one. It is lonely because we must make hard choices, taking decisions that, in the short term, may not seem fair. In the long term though, they are usually best for everyone especially for the business.
3. Being under extreme stress is normal
While entrepreneurs shouldn’t fear failure, the possibility and the reality of it can be very stressful. You give your all to start and build a business, only to find that what you planned for versus what is being manifested are miles apart from each other. A risk taker, you become highly vested in your venture because you believe in it. Things don’t always go according to plan. When this happens, an above-normal stress level can be the result leading to anxiety, depression and burnout.
Having said all this, there is no greater feeling than pursuing your purpose. Seeing your work gives value to someone else is enough to fuel the flame and keep the entrepreneurial fire burning.
Are you an entrepreneur? What is your ugly truth? Share it with me.
If you want to hear more from me, read my blog or listen to my podcast at http://henekawatkisporter.com. This article is also published there.