Busting the myth of the entrepreneurial freedom

What does a day in a life of an entrepreneur look like?

It goes something like this;

Wake up, think about your ventures. If you are anything like me, you work on yourself first. Whether it be reading, listening to a podcast or watching a Ted Talk.

You think about your businesses some more and possibly new business ideation.

Everything you observe during your ‘inspirational’ intake, your subconscious mind begins to catalogue all of these fresh ideas and molds them with your existing concepts to create something novel or just a different way to approach your current position.

You look after your loved ones.

You think of ways to improve your businesses, or of the things that you need to do for your businesses.

You work on your business. You go out to meetings, whether it’s with your partners or clients.

You work on yourself some more; Exercise, read, create.

You make time for your loved ones.

You think about your businesses some more. You take notes when they suddenly pop into your head of the things you want to do to improve.

You finish the day with either working on your businesses by attending to emails or checking in with your virtual assistant (I’ll get more into VA’s another time) or reading and finding anything related to business to entertain yourself with.

Then you go to bed dreaming about your business, okay, you got me, maybe a little bit of exaggeration here to see if your paying attention. Then you wake up and do it all over again.

As you can clearly see, from the time an entrepreneur wakes up to the time they go to bed, the entrepreneur is ‘working’.

I was asked how long do I usually work everyday. I respond by saying the whole day. Normally I would get a chuckle or a look of amusement, depending on the context and who it is I am talking with.

What people don’t get is that being an entrepreneur is not for the faint hearted and not for people who want to work less and who want freedom. It’s quite the opposite. Your freedom is actually taken away when you’re an entrepreneur. Let me tell you why.

You sacrifice freedom to create or innovate to your desire because the market will decide that for you. You sacrifice freedom to choose your time because if you don’t put in the time you will get poor results.

So you want to be complacent and work on your own terms? Guess what, you will get crushed so fast by your competition that you wish you never even ventured off into becoming an entrepreneur.

Jay Samit sums it up best in his book Disrupt You,

“If you are not disrupting yourself or your business someone else will.”

You have to make sure your business is going to be successful. You have to keep an open line of communication with your clients, employees, and partners.

So next time you think of becoming an entrepreneur, strap your boots in and get ready to work 12 hours a day, 15 hours maybe 18 or 19 hours on the days that you have deadlines to meet and you have mismanaged your time leading up to this point.

Get ready to learn how to manage stress. Bringing your ‘work’ home, continually finding new clients, growing your company culture, achieving common ground between you and your partners, building strategic alliances, and oh yah all that fun administrative stuff that you probably hate doing.

Becoming an entrepreneur requires you to dream, innovate, create and execute. Knowing every single detail of your business, from who is your most valuable customer to what numbers are running through your accountant’s office.

What you do in your personal life reflects in your business. What you don’t want to take ‘work’ home? Being an entrepreneur might not be the right fit for you.

Doesn’t it sound awful being an entrepreneur?

Okay, it is awful if you hate the business you are in. When you love your business none of it seems like ‘work’.

Can we call it passion? That’s one way of looking at it. The way I see it is it’s an art. It is a fine balance between your analytical and creative side.

Can people who work 9–5 become entrepreneurs? You bet they can, and a lot of them are. I actually encourage people to stay in their day jobs until their business is sustainable, has room for growth, and can support their livelihood (more on this another time).

I hate being told what to do. Maybe this is why I am an entrepreneur. I love working in teams and collaborating, but I hate it when I am forced to do something that is not in line with what I believe. Being an entrepreneur you will be faced with many challenges.

Harvard business review article on entrepreneurs yields a great perspective on the way to overcome those challenges. Adapted from “How Entrepreneurs Can Keep Their Passion from Fading,” by Veroniek Collewaert and Frederik Anseel

Entrepreneurs need to keep things moving and not sticking to a plan because plans change.

That’s it for this post. To be continued…

What you thought I would forget to thank you. I wouldn’t dare to. Thank you for reading this post. Like, comment and share.

Image copyright by startupf5.com


Originally published at karasingroup.com on August 26, 2016.