8 Harsh Truths For Any First Time Entrepreneurs (and how to win)

11 months ago I quit my cushy six-figure job for the unknown world of entrepreneurship.

Prior to quitting I had made $100 dollars ever from my blog. Luckily I saved 12 months of expenses before I made the leap. My goal was (is) to figure out how to earn money online, help inspire millions of people, & pursue a dream of becoming a professional golfer.

Nothing a 9–5 job could do for me.

Next month brings the one year anniversary. With any anniversary it’s hard not to look back and reflect on the past year. In one word it was a rollercoaster. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, wins, losses, and more growth than the past 29 years combined.

I will say entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Most don’t have the willpower, discipline, and persistence to see it through. But, if you’ve committed your life to this path you can make it happen.

Here’s the biggest (and harshest) truths to building an online business.

Progress = Happiness

Tony Robbins talks about this all the time, he says happiness isn’t as hard as people make it out to be. If you are simply making progress toward any goal you will be happy.

Whether you’ve made your sale or earned your first $100 side hustling, progress equals happiness.

As soon as you start to make an inch of progress it will motivate you to keep going and work closer to your goal.

Growing a blog or freelance business is no easy task. While you want to be earning six figures per year know that it’s a process. I had not anticipated how difficult it would be but have learned to enjoy the process more than the results as I’m always moving forward.

Progress really does equal happiness.

Success Is Never Overnight

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right one time and then people can call you an overnight success.” — Marc Cuban

Marc Cuban knows all about being called an “overnight success.” After a long road of “failures”, he was able to make it big and finally sell his first company to earn millions overnight. While technically he became a millionaire overnight, the journey took years of sacrifice.

He slept on floors, shared apartments with five roommates, and lost friendships on the path to success. While Instagram makes it seem easy and filled with jet skis, private jets, and an easy life it’s not the case. Hard work is always required. If not, everyone would be an entrepreneur.

As Gary Vee points out in this video success is years and years of hard work for anyone. Even though Lebron James became a national phenomenon at 18, he had been practicing hard for over a decade. While Justin Bieber seemed to have made it early in life he was singing at six years old.

Don’t kid yourself, if you want something great you have to work for it.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It took me 30 years to realize that comparing yourself to anyone else is a massive waste of time.

Who cares if someone’s website is making more money than yours. Or has more social media fans. Everyone starts out differently and no two people start in the same place.

The only person to ever compare yourself to is your previous self. Track your own metrics and only compare your results to your past.

Everything is Temporary

When things are going bad it’s so easy to feel like it will last forever. It’s easy to think “this is just the way it is.”

In reality, you can change your life at any time. One new book or video can give you an idea that can change your life forever. All it takes one is blog post, Medium article, or Youtube video to go viral.

Instead of feeling hopeless and lost, spend time putting new information in your brain so you can produce more information out. Keep putting out content as it’s simply a numbers game to get your viral post.

It’s Okay to be Bored

When was the last time you were truly bored?

I never thought about this until I was listening to a podcast with the author of “Bored and Brilliant.”

Thanks to TV, phones, laptops, and tablets it’s impossible to be bored like we use to when we were kids.

Boredom gets a bad rap. People use to think of boredom as a bad thing, but in reality, boredom is where unbelieve ideas are born.

You can’t get a life-changing idea while you’re mindless scrolling through your phone.

As an entrepreneur it’s easy to feel that you need to work 24/7. While you need a good work ethic you need to know when to unplug and learn from quiet moments. Turn your phone on airplane mode and go for a walk, run, or hike.

Spend your time thinking about your goals, aspirations, and challenges.

Remember, your brain has more intelligence than any supercomputer. We just forget that sometimes because we are glued to our screens.

Don’t be afraid to put your phone away and find new ideas from “creative boredom.”

Always Be Learning

After watching one of my top podcasts “Impact Theory” and meeting Tom Bilyeu in person last year I realized the importance of investing in yourself.

Successful people, in any industry, are always learning. They are never content and always pushing to achieve growth.

It has never been easier to consume new information thanks to podcasts, audible, Youtube, and amazing books.

Focus on learning something new each day. Read a chapter a day, listen to a podcast on your commute or take an online course.

Even if you improve 1% each day think of the returns by 2019?

Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life

After reading “The Success Principles” I realized how true this is — you must take 100% responsibility for your life.

Blaming others for anything takes the power from you and gives it others. It might feel like it’s a clients fault but the second you give power away you make it hard to change the outcome.

If you want to achieve something it’s 100% up to you. As an entrepreneur you will make endless mistakes. Take responsibility and move forward.

“You have to fail your way to success.” — Les Brown

What is the Outcome?

Ask yourself constantly, what is the outcome?

Before you email a client, post a new blog, or schedule your social media ask yourself…”What am I trying to achieve?”

Focus on doing work that moves the needle, not busy work to feel like you accomplished something today.

Final Thoughts

Ignore Instagram “success” and overnight success stories. They’re all BS. To be extraordinary at anything it takes time, discipline, and pushing through failure.

After nearly one year of entrepreneurship the biggest takeaway is that you need persistence.

You can’t lose if you don’t quit.

Somedays it will be hard. Somedays you might want to throw in the towel. But don’t…because on the other side of your struggle is greatness.

As Les Brown said, “Most people quit on the 1 yard line!

Never quit. Learn from everything that happens and move forward. The 9–5 life might be easier but it is a hell of a lot less rewarding.

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Life in your 20s and beyond. A Medium publication focused on Work, Freelancing, Money and Life Advice.

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Michael Leonard

Golf Writer, Writing Coach, & Creator of Inspire Your Success. Become a successful freelance writer FAST: https://bit.ly/3UeRHAn