Being an entrepreneur.
What does this mean?
Of course it’s easy to spout off the incredible benefits of being an entrepreneur.
For many – if not all of us – these benefits are what helped us finally take our leap into entrepreneurship.
- Being our own boss
- Having control of our own time
- Leveraging our creativity
- Spending more time with our family and friends
- In a nutshell, creating & experiencing true FREEDOM – whatever that might mean for us as individuals
But what about the emotional, mental and even physical challenges we must breakthrough in order to reap the benefits? The emotional, mental and even physical challenges that come with being an entrepreneur?
Sure, people talk about them, but does anyone REALLY help you prepare for them? Guide you in overcoming, facing and crushing the challenges that WILL stand between you and all the amazing benefits of being an entrepreneur?
This Season is NOT about deterring or scaring you when it comes to what it means to be an entrepreneur.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite, because I truly believe with all of my heart that the challenges we face as entrepreneurs are not only required, but also that these challenges are exactly what help us grow, help us become better human beings, and that help make the benefits of being an entrepreneur that much sweeter.
No one ever said it was going to be easy.
No one ever said you have to do it alone, either.
Let’s check out the 10 things that come with being an entrepreneur – the up’s and down’s, high’s and low’s, struggles and wins, and everything in between.
10 Things that come with being an entrepreneur
My entrepreneurial journey started out… how should I say this – bleak.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t even really know what it meant to be an entrepreneur when I left my corporate job back in 2011 – let alone have a plan in place for how I was going to become a successful one.
What I did know is there HAD to be something else out there for me besides the dungeon we refer to as “Corporate America”.
I knew the chains I felt around my ankles – the glass ceiling that constantly reminded me of my place: at the bottom of the ladder – weren’t for me.
And I’ve come to realize and fully accept over the past 5+ years that all the sacrifices, struggles, roadblocks, fears and failures every single one of us WILL face on our entrepreneurial journey are sooooo worth it – because as we face, embrace and breakthrough each and every one of these challenges, we bring ourselves one step closer to creating freedom in our lives.
One of the greatest benefits of being an entrepreneur is that YOU get to choose.
You CAN choose to create freedom – whatever freedom is for you.
Is it going to seem really, really hard at first?
As Stephen Kellogg said, “It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.”
Understanding what’s at stake for you on your entrepreneurial journey will make all the difference.
2. Sacrifices & Hustle
I don’t know that I could be any more cliche than this.
Yes, please do come on this journey of entrepreneurship, and as you take one step forward, understand that at times it will feel like you’re also taking five steps back.
Sacrifices and hustle are a part of being an entrepreneur, and there will be plenty of instances where you’ll have to turn down a really special invite, not go on a family trip, and work a 15-hour day to make it work.
But as Tony Robbins says, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
And my guess is that because you’ve taken the leap and started your entrepreneurial journey, that you’re not all that impressed with what you’ve always gotten.
Accepting that sacrifices and hustle are required on your entrepreneurial journey will make all the difference.
3. Taking ownership
NO ONE cares about your business as much as you do.
It is no one else’s fault, problem, issue or concern that something you’ve worked SO hard to create didn’t turn out the way you had hoped.
On your entrepreneurial journey, excuses cannot exist. You must take ownership of your actions and the results you create.
Is that scary – to take full ownership of your actions and the results your actions produce?
Absolutely, but as Stephen Covey says, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
Luckily, just because no one is ever going to care about your business as much as you do doesn’t mean you should never hire a team. In fact, this is critical to the growth and scalability of your business.
4. Productivity, discipline and focus
These may not be your top traits – or even ones you’ve cared to think about until now. But they will become your guiding light in regards to accomplishing the goals you set for yourself and for your business.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~ Stephen King
5. Mindset struggles & fear
You’ve probably heard about it a million times and experienced it way more times than you can count: the imposter syndrome.
That thought or feeling that comes up every time we’re about to do something big – important – life-changing – new…
That through or feeling that comes up and screams to us:
“Who are you to teach this topic?”
“Who are you to share this info?”
“Who are you to start your own business?”
As Marianne Williamson said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? … Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine… It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The #1 way to overcome mindset struggles is to better understand limiting beliefs, and the #1 way to overcome fear is to embrace it.
6. Redefining & celebrating success
Success is different for everyone.
Understand and accept this, and you will open up a whole new world for yourself.
Perhaps now is a perfect time for you to redefine what success means to you – what it means for your business – what it means for your future.
Because once we define what success means for us as individuals, we have a north star, a set of values, and a clearly defined reason to celebrate the many wins we’ll experience as entrepreneurs.
There will be days when we feel we can conquer the world! We’ll be high, up on top of a mountain waving our flag of success. But not every day will be that, which is why it’s so key to know what success means for you.
As Albert Schweitzer says, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
7. Roadblocks (us standing in our own way)
Looking back over the past 5+ years of my entrepreneurial journey, I see so clearly all the times I felt someone else had created a huge roadblock right smack in the middle of my straight and wide open path.
Turns out someone DID create a huge roadblock right smack in the middle of my straight and wide open path: ME.
On your journey, be better at recognizing when you’re standing in your own way. Every single day call yourself out and admit that a majority of the roadblocks we face are ones we’re creating ourselves.
As Alice Walker said: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
Stop letting yourself be the reason you’re not actively creating the life you want to live every single day.
8. A new understanding of patience (because it takes time)
It’s so easy to look to others for all the answers.
It’s so easy to say that others have created their business and their success “overnight”.
It’s so easy to focus on the results we desire most without realizing what goes into the actions necessary to generate said results.
Freedom, living the life you want to live, and achieving “success” is not an event. There is no finish line where we get to collect our medal and check our time.
So when you become frustrated by your supposed lack of progress, or by the fact that you haven’t accomplished a particular goal, I hope you’ll remember something Jeff Goins wrote in his book The Art of Work:
Nothing is wasted. No job, no task, no obstacle is useless, if we are willing to see how it can fit into our calling. … It [is] all preparation for [what’s] to come. As you explore your own calling, you will be surprised by how your previous experiences are conspiring to lead you in the direction of your life’s work. You just have to listen.
Patience is a virtue.
9. The requirement to take action (just start)
Becoming an entrepreneur brings with it a great responsibility.
You may have given up a 6 or 7-figure salary, health benefits, 401k matching, and a whole lot more when you took your entrepreneurial leap, which is incredibly hard to do.
But now, comes the real hard part: just starting.
Taken from Chinese proverbs: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Delaying your start will only push all the things you want to see in your life further into the future.
The question isn’t whether you’ll start and then fail, or start and then win – it’s whether or not you’ll start at all.
As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
No one can prepare you for what lay ahead on your entrepreneurial journey, because everyone’s path is different. If you’re ready to find out what your future will look like, then start creating it today.
10. The journey: Everyone’s is different (embrace yours & appreciate every step of the way)
Enjoy the journey.
Easier said than done.
But it’s so friggin’ true: because if we don’t enjoy the journey, then what’s the point?
There is no “end” – what we experience, create and what we feel is in us right now, and will be with us every step of the way.
Never take right now for granted.
Throughout Season 4 we’re going to dive deep into each of the 10 things that come with being an entrepreneur.
I’m not only going to share my own personal experience with each of these things, but I’m also going to provide specific steps you can take when approaching these challenges on your own entrepreneurial journey.
My hope is that this season will not only prepare you for some of the challenges ahead, but also help you feel more confident that you CAN do this and that you’re NOT alone.