The sacrifices and hustle required to be an entrepreneur

As you take one step forward on your entrepreneurial journey, understand that at times it will feel like you’re also taking five steps back.

When we take the full leap into entrepreneurship, at the very baseline we’re sacrificing things of value, like:

  • A steady paycheck
  • Health benefits
  • A 401k
  • Comfort
  • Predictability…

But as the definition of sacrifice states, we give up (something important or valued) for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.

While many of these things of value I’ve mentioned here are what can certainly make life a little easier, they are never going to be the things that help us achieve true happiness and freedom in our lives.

In my mind, knowing this makes it much easier to sacrifice them.

But there are certain sacrifices we’ll have to make on our entrepreneurial journey that aren’t so easy, like:

  • Time with family
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Knowing what’s around the corner
  • A vacation you’ve been planning for months

I thought entrepreneurship = freedom?

But wait — I thought entrepreneurship was supposed to bring me freedom, and now you’re telling me I’m having to give things up like time with family and vacations?

Well, let’s not be shortsighted here…

Yes, there are time you’re going to have to give things up, like time with family and vacations.

Because while entrepreneurship can and will bring you freedom, that doesn’t mean you aren’t taking on a huge responsibility — a responsibility that at times has to come first.

And this is right about the time we meet our friend, hustle: to obtain by forceful action or persuasion.

Because your business doesn’t care if you’re tired, overwhelmed, stressed out, frustrated, angry, or any other emotion you’ll feel on levels from 1–10 every single day.

Lori Greiner says,

“Entrepreneurs [are] the only people who work 80 hour weeks to avoid working 40 hour weeks.”

Remember: Your business wants you to win

Your business wants you to win, and so it will ask ridiculous things of you, like:

  • Working for 15 hours straight
  • Forgetting to eat
  • Eating everything in sight
  • Drinking way too much coffee
  • Spending time on tough research — time you didn’t even know you had
  • Figuring out how to solve something, only for it to break again
  • Figuring out how to implement something that isn’t actually going to work out in the end
  • Staying home and working the entire weekend while your friends are on a road trip

Sacrifices and hustle are a part of being an entrepreneur, and there will be plenty of instances where you’ll have to turn down a lot of stuff to make it work.

Again, let’s not be shortsighted.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” ~ Warren G. Tracy’s student

And so if we call on our friend Tony Robbins again like we did in Season 4 Episode 1, we’ll be reminded that,

“If [we] do what [we’ve] always done, [we’ll] get what [we’ve] always gotten.”

And my guess is that because you’ve taken the leap and started your entrepreneurial journey, that you’re not all that impressed with what you’ve always gotten.

Accept and step into it

Accepting that sacrifices and hustle are required on your entrepreneurial journey will make all the difference. When we stop fighting against reality, we get to step into it.

I’m not talking about ignoring the fact that you do have to take care of your health — both physical and mental. Hustle, for me, is not about exhausting yourself or never taking a step back to breath. Rather, hustle is exactly what it’s defined as: to obtain by forceful action or persuasion.

Hustle is about taking action — even when you don’t necessarily feel like taking action.

It’s about waking up every morning, and over and over again, doing things that other people aren’t willing to do in order to create the life you want to live.

This is a choice that you get to make, and in that comes power like none other.

Here’s an example: You choosing always wins

In April 2011, just before I was offered that promotion at the job I’d been at for 3+ years, I submitted a request for time off to my boss.

It would be the first big trip I’d ever taken by myself; I was going to go to Hawaii.

I’d taken 0 days off in 2011 and there were no major projects or events coming up that might have prevented me from taking this vacation.

The next day, my request was declined: there were 2 other people “above” me who were thinking about taking time off around the same week.

Did I sacrifice my vacation?

Yes, I did, but not by choice.

The next time you’re called to sacrifice something, or hustle harder than you ever thought — or knew — was possible, remember that your entrepreneurial journey and creating freedom in your life is a choice that you make. Not a choice someone else makes for you.

Up next in Season 4 on What it means to be an entrepreneur

We all know that entrepreneurship isn’t easy.

If you’re looking for something easy, just go ahead and continue doing whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

Up next, we’re going to be talking about taking ownership as an entrepreneur.

You can visit our home base right here to find all the posts and episodes in Season 4!


Originally published at www.eofire.com on November 21, 2016.

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