The untold truth of entrepreneurship…
I just opened my second scooter dealership in Gainesville, FL. Though I am ecstatic about the location and the opportunity, I have also been an emotional wreck, here’s why and here is what you really don’t find out until you venture out on your own as an entrepreneur [and remember, I’m not a novice. I’ve been doing this for 11 years].
- It’s often thankless. Sure you get the nice ‘thank you for your contribution’ letter from the local charities you give money to, but on most days you will bust your ass and you will be lucky if anyone notices. You will also bend over backwards to make your team, customers, and many others happy, but you will feel like you failed in doing so.
- You work before 9am and after 6pm. If you want to lead a team, guess what? You have to be on the front lines with your team. Your not going to do it sitting in that office chair all the time. You have to get up early, have your business meetings at 7 and 8am, so you can be there to lead when you are ‘open for business.’ Businesses need leaders and too often in today’s world, CEO’s and other senior managers are ‘too busy’ for their team. SMH. When the day is over and your team has left at 5–6pm to go home, you finally get to sit down to do YOUR work. Sorry. Everyone that tells you that you get to set your own schedule is bending the truth.
- Your family makes the ultimate sacrifice. When you wake up at 6am and you are out the door before your kids wake up and you get home after they have already gone to bed, it destroys you. You will feel like the worst parent ever. Today is day 2 of 14 straight days I will go without seeing my family. I’m so lucky they love me so much, because it takes a very special family to put up with this.
- Entrepreneurship is an addiction and often an unhealthy one. You love the drive, the hustle, and the challenge. You will go go go all the time and forget that your business is not the most important thing in life. You will skip meals. You will ignore your health. You will stress over things beyond your control. Don’t do this.
- Leading people is one of the hardest things you will ever do. The fact that I have had employees who worked for me for years go down the street and work for competition is the biggest slap in the face. Sure, I am probably naive for not having team members sign a non-compete, but if someone left to go work for a competitor, I look at that as my fault. No one wants to leave a leader they love. [Don’t get me wrong. This is rare and I believe that even though I still have a lot to learn, I am confident in my leadership ability. I am just pointing out some of the harsh realities.]
- You will write heartfelt blogs at 8am while you are waiting for inspectors to show up to your new location.
I am an advocate of entrepreneurship and I am here to help anyone I can chase their entrepreneurial dreams, but just know… it’s not for everyone.