Why Success Is So Boring

When people first become business owners, they often dream of the day they achieve financial freedom. Freedom always comes at a price, whether it’s your time, emotional health, or finances.

Your freedom is not free. You are the product of thousands of years of human progress. You likely have at least one family member who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of your freedom.

History has taught us that freedom is something that can be taken from us, it’s something we need to fight to protect. Freedom is not an achievable, permanent, state of being.

Anyone who has achieved any amount of financial freedom will likely tell you that financial freedom has a cost. The earlier you achieve it the higher the cost will be.

When you start with nothing, you have nothing to lose. You don’t have a reputation you are trying to protect, you likely haven’t developed a sense of entitlement or ego. Those who succeed are willing to do whatever it takes to further their vision.

Starting with absolutely nothing leaves you with little margin for error operationally, even though you have nothing to lose financially. Your first business is not one you split focus — its one you give all of your attention. It’s the one you don’t hesitate to put your last penny into because you know you are going to make it work — you have to.

Being in the bootstrap phase can be frustrating. Wearing hats that you aren’t qualified to wear can take its toll, particularly if you are learning to do things far outside your wheelhouse. In the early stages when you are grinding, you probably are not bored, and you probably aren’t depressed, you are likely so distracted by what you are doing that you don’t notice much. For an entrepreneur, finding a focus is the only way you’ll cure your boredom and probably one of the few ways you’ll find happiness.

Some people say money can buy happiness which is somewhat true. Money is a tool that makes some aspects of life easier, but it can also be a trap that replaces your hustle and leaves you worrying more about what you’ve done in the past rather than focusing on the future.

When you successfully exit your first business you will likely enjoy the first few months of “summer vacation”. As children, most of us remember summer vacation coming to an end, most of us were so bored we reluctantly welcomed it. The reality is, no matter how many hobbies, activities or relationships you have — you will get bored if you aren’t doing the very thing you were put on this earth to do.

Whether you are in business or out of business, being bored can be a destructive force. If we have no conflict in our lives, sometimes we seek to create it. We are born problem solvers and without a problem to solve it is easy to become bored, depressed or destructive.

Everyone has heard the saying “life is a journey, not a destination” yet very few people actually apply this notion to their lives.

Most entrepreneurs like risk even though they complain about it. They like opposition because it means they are going against the grain. When people doubt them, they smile to themselves because they know something other people don’t. When you are in a well thought out, well-planned, business, you should be too busy executing your plans to be bored or insecure.

Human beings are wired for progress. When we don’t see progress in areas of our lives we often see it as negative. We know we need to keep moving forward to fuel our desires, but we also fear the change that progress can often demand.

For an entrepreneur to be truly happy at every stage of the experience, they need to plan. When you are not working on a business you should have a plan that gets you back into business. If you don’t create a plan for yourself as an entrepreneur — you will become bored, or you will settle for something in hopes it will make you happy.

A business plan or an action plan should give you the confidence you need to proceed. If you are looking for a new business, then you are in research mode. Your plan should give you some actionable items that you can cross off as you move closer to your goal. You may not know exactly what you want to do, but you know how to research and make decisions. If you are in a business and bored, you likely haven’t challenged your business enough, or perhaps your business is too broad and difficult to manage. It is important to write detailed plans with achievable directives. If you and your business are progressing, even if it is at a glacial rate, you will not only be free of boredom, you’ll be confident, happier and effectively executing.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +393,714 people.

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