You’ve likely heard that the entrepreneurial lifestyle is golden. You were told it’s exciting and fun. You’ve seen examples of successful companies, so your subconscious immediately validates this sweet talk.
What nobody is telling you about is the stress each of these successful companies had to go through. No one is seeing any struggling-to-survive companies today. A lot of attention is on the successful ones.
In this piece, I’ll highlight some facts that nobody is telling you about the entrepreneurial lifestyle. This will prepare you for any obstacle ahead, especially if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or startup owner.
1. You will get lonely
Do you know how it feels when it seems like no one understands you? How does it feel when you have a dream at which everyone laughs? It feels lonely, right?
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is a lonely one. Your dream may disconnect you from everyone around you, as well as your thoughts. You may find no solace until you meet another entrepreneur.
2. You have no break
Though you’ll hear that the entrepreneurial lifestyle gives you the ability to take a break whenever you want, there’s one break you’ll never get. It’s the break from your thoughts of wanting to make things better.
While in the bathtub, you’re thinking about your business. Even when you seem to be spending quality time with your family, your thoughts will be filled with ways to better your business.
Yes, that’s the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
3. 80-20 work-life balance
The moment you decide to become an entrepreneur, everything else takes five steps back. You’ll be passionate about your idea for the first few months, then about your product in the months to come.
During the first few years, after a successful launch of your product, you’ll be busy with marketing. Once you secure your first loyal client, you’ll be saddled with thoughts of wanting to get more.
In fact, even when everything seems good, you’ll think about scaling your business, from one country to two to multiple nations. Honestly, this takes hard work and your work-life balance will suffer because of it.
4. Stress will become your best buddy
Every wrong turn is your mistake – or at least that’s how it seems. Being the major decision maker, you have a lot of choices to make daily. Perhaps you have several meetings to attend, too. Worse, the meetings may be in different cities or countries on the same day.
You’re either closing a deal with a client or having a chat with your board members. Every now and then, pressure arises and you want to keep up with everything. That’s when stress sets in. Prepare your mind because the entrepreneurial lifestyle is stressful. Here is how to manage stress.
5. It takes twice as long to succeed as you expect
Let me guess. You want to start a business for the profit so as to double or triple your capital. If you’re already employed, you may be quitting your job to make more money.
However, success in the entrepreneurial lifestyle takes twice as long to achieve as it does in the traditional lifestyle – securing a job and waiting for a promotion. It’ll take twice as long to buy your first car or get your first apartment.
To be frank, there’s no shortcut. You must work hard. On the internet, I have seen several misleading articles, the likes of “Make $1000 in 30 days by starting this business today”, “How I made my first $1 million in a week”, etc.
These are on the surface. Regardless of what you hear or see out there, always remember it’ll take twice as long to become a successful entrepreneur or businessperson.
6. There is no end game
Most startup owners are always waiting for the end game a deal that will make their company. No deal can make your company. A deal can only take you to another level, perhaps from a small business to a medium or large business.
You must not perceive any deal as the end game, but rather as another milestone achieved. Most of these deals don’t last forever. They can get snatched from you by another company within the twinkle of an eye. Sometimes you may not have done anything wrong.
Prepare your mind to realize that it’s never going to be over until you resign or retire and let other capable hands take over.
7. There are forces beyond your control
You can’t control everything. The market may collapse, you may incur huge losses, and the government may introduce policies that push you to the wall.
No matter how much autonomy you feel you have in the entrepreneurial lifestyle, some forces still control you. They’ll control your next set of actions and render you powerless. If you really want to live the entrepreneurial lifestyle, adopt the Boy Scouts slogan and be prepared.