5 Harsh Truths You Didn’t Know About Becoming an Entrepreneur
You have a million-dollar idea but you don’t know the steps it takes to transform it from a dream to reality. You’re tired of your 9–5 job, but you’re too scared to figure out how to make money for yourself. You’re amazed by the Mark Zuckerbergs, the Youtube Vloggers, and the Instagram Influencers, but you think they’re “lucky” to be where they are.
I wanted to start a business, and at first, I was scared, insecure, and overly concerned about the judgements of others and what obstacles the path of entrepreneurship would bring me. I started my first ‘real’ business only 6 months ago, from my one-bedroom apartment, during college, at 22, and I have had to learn a dozen life lessons at once. Here are 5 Harsh Truths that I learned when I started a business.
1. You Have to Start Somewhere
Many think that businesses are huge mega corporations, and only the elite of the elite that are destined to be CEO’s actually get there.
I have lived a life in denial of my entrepreneurial spirit. Like many, society had taught me that I wasn’t smart enough, rich enough, or maybe I didn’t even have the talent, skill, or relationships to build my own systems. Me? A little asian girl? A future Steve Jobs? No way. I had nothing, but me and my immigrant family.
Steve Jobs set up shop in his parent’s garage. Popular entrepreneur, Gary Vee started out selling baseball cards in elementary school. You know those AMAZING flaming hot cheetos you love to eat? Well guess what, those were invented by a janitor who didn’t even speak english, and now he makes SHMONEY.
One day it dawned upon me, in the third grade, I used my artistic skills to trade pencil erasers for creative drawings. In the 4th grade I made comic books, and made a business out of selling them to my classmates. In high school, I learned how to sell my art and paint people’s longboards for money. These were the first steps in my journey as a future businesswoman, but I was socialized to believe I didn’t have what it takes.
At 22, I reached a low point in my life, and I finally asked myself, “how tf am I going to get myself out of this situation?” I simply googled how to make money online, and within three weeks, I launched a home decor store from my apartment. I made over $200 in four days- and I had no idea what I was doing.
With how far our world has progressed with technology, there are countless opportunities to build your own business, make money for yourself, and do wtf you love. Flip items on Facebook Marketplace, blog from home, record videos from your phone… You don’t have to be super smart and there is no such thing as lucky. You simply have to start somewhere.
2. People Will Want You Succeed, and Others Won’t
If you’re thinking of taking the road less traveled, just get this in your head. I was so afraid to share the store I made because I thought everyone would think it was “stupid” or “dumb”. I thought everyone would think it was a “cute little etsy store”. But to my surprise, I was showered with positivity and excitement. Do not let your made up fears of judgement stop you. You have no idea how others will respond. You just don’t.
But, on the otherhand, the truth is some people don’t want you to succeed. Or maybe some just don’t undertand. Look, this is okay. This is life. If you ever want to change your life from unhappy to a life doing what the f*ck you want to do, then you have to f*cking get over this.
How do I get over it? I realized that some people want you to fail because they’re upset that they gave up on their own “irrational dreams”. And other people just don’t understand what you are trying to accomplish anyways. Send them kindness, it will reward you in the end. And you’ll just feel better. :)
3. It is Lonely
Now that we got most of the altruistic sh*t out of the way, let’s talk about the hard stuff.
I’ll let one of my biggest inspirations, Gary Vaynerchuck, explain:
Just because entrepreneurship is hot right now doesn’t mean it’s glamorous or for everybody. The truth is that it’s hard and IT’S LONELY. When you’re the head there’s no blaming anybody else. When the buck stops with you, everything that’s broken is your fault. I put out fires for a living. I’m a firefighter. Period. So if you’re out there and you want to be a CEO or entrepreneur, you need to be ready to take all the pain that comes with it.
First of all, like I said, not many people can comprehend the massive plans you have in your head. You find that conversations with your friends start to feel empty. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they just don’t know what tf you’re talking about when you’re thinking about sales-funnels, branding value-propositions, and market research. That’s okay.
Second, it feels like people are waiting for you to fail. The quote above explains it perfectly, when sh*t hits the fan IT’S YOUR OWN D*MN FAULT. These mistakes can be $1 dollar mistakes, $100 dollar losers, and for some total losses. The crazy part? No one is surprised when you fail. We consume so much bad news that people become immuned to hearing negativity. In fact, some love it — feeding off and laughing at the failures of others. 90% of businesses fail? Yah, we all know that Bob, should’ve stayed at your desk job. But the second someone ‘makes it’, everyone assumes they were ‘lucky’.
Look, none of those people watching you are going to know about the 18 hour days you spent working. They don’t know about the business meetings you’re scheduling and all of the rejection you’re taking just to make your dream real.
Toughen up, pal. It is not easy being an entrepreneur, and isn’t for everyone. Grow some huevos.
4. You Have to Fight Everyday
With who, you ask? Your d*mn self. You have to fight yourself everyday. If you truly believe in your vision, if you understand how lonely it is, and you know how freaking long the road is ahead, then you have battle with yourself everyday. What does this mean? You must overcome your insecurities, get over other people’s judgements, stop f*cking complaining about being tired after work, and get over your d*mn self.
Sam Ovens, successful consultant that makes $100k/day from his Manhattan apartment said,
“People don’t have business problems, they have life problems that effect their business.”
You have to learn how to control your emotions, stay accountable to your goals, and discipline your mind. This is a day-to-day task. I started working out, reading self-development books, and had to face harsh truths about myself that I thought I could hide from. I realized, if I really believe in my vision, I can’t let my emotions be the reason I don’t succeed. I just can’t.
It’s Worth It
Overall, it is not an easy and glamorous journey. I have only been running/building a business for a few months, so no, I am not Mark Zuckerberg. I didn’t make Uber. And I don’t own Apple. There is no real reason why you should listen to me, but all I can do is share my story. Before I started my business, I was extremely depressed, I had toxic behaviors, and I didn’t care about or respect my own life. The second I decided to take control of my own destiny, my life changed. I’m just a 22 year old Asian girl, and this road has been a difficult one, but I have never been happier in my life. I wake up everyday grateful because I decided to do what makes me happy, regardless of how hard it gets. If you feel any ounce of doubt or hesitation about your life — starting a business or not — I hope this article helped you realize that all of the L’s are definitely worth it.
Originally published at innovativehustler.com.