More people are today choosing to quit the rat race and start working for themselves. Entrepreneurship is becoming a more popular choice than the traditional 9-5 office job with studies suggesting the US now has 27 million entrepreneurs.
Here are 5 things every entrepreneur can relate to:
1. BEING ASKED WHAT YOU DO FOR A ‘REAL’ JOB
This humdinger of a question can be annoying at the beginning of any startup, but soon can feel like no one has faith or belief in your work. Or maybe friends and family think it’s just a ‘hobby’ and question why you spend so much time on it rather than finding another career path. When the money’s yet to start rolling in, it can be hard for others to understand your startup.
But sometimes this can work to your advantage. Doubt from others might drive you further to succeed – just to prove to anyone who’s ever raised an eyebrow at your job description that your idea was worth it.
2. QUESTIONING HOW LONG UNTIL YOUR NEXT SALE
Every entrepreneur starts with incredible drive, motivation and positivity. But the reality of making money hits home quickly. Suddenly halfway through your business stationery printing, you realise you haven’t made a sale in weeks and are left wondering how many dinners you can stretch the remaining food in the pantry.
But you’re an entrepreneur – the very essence of the word means you’re an ideas person. Sometimes it takes these ‘dry spells’ to refocus, set some new goals and develop a better long term strategy so you’re not left hanging out for every sale.
3. MISSING ANNUAL LEAVE AND SICK LEAVE
Summer vacation arrives and while your friends are posting photos of their beach getaways, you’re at home desperately completing proposals, pitches and developing marketing strategies.
Being an entrepreneur often means if you don’t work – you don’t get paid. If you’re struck down with a virus so nasty you need to sleep in the bathroom, there’s a good chance you’ll still have your phone by your side as you try to schedule meetings with prospective clients and sound as chirpy as possible.
Of course, the flip side is being able to work from home, work your own hours and maybe become location independent – so further down the track you can have that summer holiday in Spain you’ve been dreaming about, while leaving everyone else behind in the dull, dark winter back home.
4. FEELINGS OF SELF DOUBT
Every entrepreneur knows the little black cloud of doubt which can suddenly appear at any moment. Those feelings can get you down and start to derail your plans if you pay too much attention to them. Every entrepreneur has felt their idea could all be a waste of time and money. And guess what – failure is okay! It’s how we learn what works and what doesn’t. Failure is just another lesson and opportunity to grow. As Entrepreneur contributor Steve Tobak says, there’s no reward without risk. If it was easy and risk-free, then everyone would do it!
5. THE MOTIVATION THAT IT’S ALL WORTH IT IN THE END
Nothing in life worth having is ever easy. You might stumble along the way but persistence pays off. Every entrepreneur knows that it’s up to them to make it work. And that’s what draws them to the entrepreneurship lifestyle – that they have the power to create whatever they want from their idea.
There’s no easy road to the top but drive, determination and persistence will get you there in the end. Long-term gain often comes from short-term pain.