Things I’ve learned From Starting A Business: the good, the bad, and the sh*t you’re not ready to hear.
When I started my business 5 years ago, despite it being a forever dream of mine, I didn’t actually realize that’s what I was doing.
Fast-forward to today, and I can honestly look back at those 5 years and say it has been the most transformational, terrifying, exciting, life-changing thing I’ve ever done.
As I reflect upon that journey, I feel nothing but sheer excitement for what the future holds — so if you’re not yet in business, then let this post serve as a warning for the wonderful chaos that’s about to enter your world.
If you already have a business — then, no explanation required, right? ;)
1. It’s NOT glamorous.
Far from it, in fact. While the ideas of champagne, yachts in the Côte d’Azur, images of pristine desks, and photoshoots in front of the Eiffel Tower are certainly attractive, those aren’t perks of the entrepreneur lifestyle.
The reality is more like sitting behind your computer for hours on end, drinking copious amounts of wine or coffee (depending on the time of day), eating cereal straight from the box (with your hands), and mascara all over your face.
It could be yesterday’s that you haven’t yet gotten around to washing off, or it could be today’s that is now running because you’ve just spent the last two hours crying like a child — who knows?
But, hey — maybe that’s your idea of glamorous. In that case, great.
2. It’s not just a way to make money — it’s your whole world.
For people who don’t have a business, it’s pretty hard to articulate the way we feel about it. The closest I’ve gotten, is to compare it to the love a parent feels for their child.
You will do everything in your power to make sure it turns out right, you will drop anyone from your life who tries to hurt it — and you will love it unconditionally.
Your heart is full of pride when you look at this wondrous, amazing thing you’ve created — in fact, it actually baffles you sometimes that you have created it.
Sometimes, just telling people about it will bring tears to your eyes.
3. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Do I really have to explain that success doesn’t happen overnight? If you think it does, may I suggest a whole re-think of your life strategy?
I hate to be one to burst your bubble, but you’re going to have to work your pretty little ass off for this.
Worth it? Totally. Ready to do it? We’ll see.
4. “Quit” is not a word that belongs in your vocabulary.
So, let me just give it to you straight.
There will be days when you want to give up, but if you’re a true entrepreneur, if you truly have a vision that you want to bring to life, and you believe in it 100%, you know that this is just a fleeting feeling — usually as a result of a crappy day,week, month, whatever.
But NEVER will you seriously entertain the idea of quitting. Change directions — sure. Try a different route to get where you’re going — definitely. But never quit.
You will fight with everything you have to make this work, because this is why you were put on earth — it’s that simple.
And if you believe otherwise, or see this as “just something to pass the time.” Or “a way to make money”, then, leave. Leave now, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
5. Kim and Kanye who?
Forget gossip magazines, reality TV, and whatever else is considered cool these days. You have an empire to build and lives to change.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that is far cooler, in my opinion.
6. Small talk is not an efficient use of time.
If small-talk bored you before, it’s about to get worse.
You’ll find yourself starting sentences with “did you see that really awesome Scope the other day?”
Unless the other person is interested in talking about business, success, marketing, mindset, or something equally tantalizing, you’re just not going to be interested.
You may even start to wonder what “normal people” talk about — though it certainly won’t interest you.
List-building, funnels, strategy — tell me more about that, please.
7. Nobody will know what you do for a living.
You can try and explain to your friends/family/random people you meet, but, really — what’s the point?
They just don’t get it.
Even the most well-meaning relatives will ask you if you’re “okay for money” Or if you’ve considered looking for a “little job” yet.
It’s probably best not to mention the fact that you’re more than okay for money because you can actually make more in a month now than any “little job” could afford to pay you in a year.
This can lead to them thinking you’ve become some kind of drug lord — not just “doing something with websites” as they previously thought.
8. You think everyone should start a business.
And you don’t shy away from telling them so. A friend asks for some career advice. “Dude, are you nuts? Start a business.”
It will actually start to annoy you that most people just don’t see how much better it is, and you will passionately tell everyone you meet why they should start a business, and even come up with ideas for things they could create.
Mostly, they won’t be interested, though — so don’t take it personally.
Just try to hide “the look” — the one that suggests they just told you they’d like to stand in front of oncoming traffic just to see what happens.
Stop trying to convince them — not everyone can be an epic badass.
9. Never in your life will you feel so in control and out of it at the same time.
How’s that for a mind-f*ck?
Honestly, you will wake up everyday, and from one minute to the next, will be in complete awe at the fact that you can literally create income on demand, that you have purposely designed your life in a way that allows you to do this.
The next minute you will be in a complete panic for the the exact same reasons — it’s all on you, baby.
10. People are going to hate you.
Here’s a sad fact: our society, for the most part, doesn’t like to see people succeed in life.
Just take a look at any magazine stand, take a look online, hell, even look on most Facebook feeds.
People are drawn to drama, they’re drawn to negativity — they thrive on that sh*t. They can’t really help it — it’s just their conditioning.
So, don’t be surprised when you go expecting your family and friends to be happy for you, and they have the complete opposite reaction.
Or simply show very little interest for what you’re doing.
You may even lose people from your life who you never imagined would turn on you, you thought they loved you and wanted you to succeed.
Maybe they do, but in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
a “safe” job;
a nice house (bonus points if you have a mortgage);
a good partner who also has a safe job.
On the flip side, though: you will meet some of the most amazing people during this journey. People you really didn’t even know existed.
They will inspire you, they’ll trigger you endlessly, they’ll call you on your BS, they’ll kick your ass when you need it, but they’ll be there beside you because they see what you see.
Maybe in a different way — but they see it.
11. You’ll never be “done.”
This is an ongoing thing. It’s a lifetime deal.
Your business is never going to be complete. It’s never going to be perfect.
It’s never going to be enough.
There’s always going to be another level to reach.
There’s always going to be something else to create. And that’s probably the best thing about it.
Here’s the thing you should realize: you don’t just wake up one day and decide to be an entrepreneur. You are one, or you’re not.
Sure, it may take a while to figure it out, but it’s NOT something you learn. Entrepreneurs are born — not created.
No amount of learning can create such a strong passion.
The kind of passion that keeps you up until 3am, and then gets you up at 5am to start all over again, all the while feeling incredibly grateful to have created such freedom in your life.
There’s nothing on this earth that can “make” you an entrepreneur. You either are or you’re not.
It’s in your blood, or it’s not — it’s really that simple.
And it’s not for everyone. It’s damn hard going. Like I said: it’s far from glamorous.
But, OH.MY.GOD — is it worth it.
It’s the most incredible journey you’ll ever embark upon, and it’s never-ending.
You will experience emotions you didn’t even know existed, but it’s all worth it. I cannot emphasize enough just how worth it.
But if your heart already pumps for this, then you don’t need me to tell you that.
Do you have something to add? Leave me a comment below.