You hear it all the time how exciting it is to be an entrepreneur – being your own boss, setting your own hours, calling the final shots, etc. Yes, entrepreneurs have a lot of flexibility and authority in their position, but it doesn’t mean it’s an easy or “care-free” lifestyle. A lot goes on behind the scenes, with existing pressures that no one really talks about. Today, I’m going to share a few truths that I have discovered being an entrepreneur:
– There’s no-off days
– There’s no road map, and
– People are counting on you
There’s No “Off Days”
One of the truths is that there are no days off for entrepreneurs. In a day, you may distract yourself with social gatherings or taking up personal hobbies but there will be moments outside of those things that you can’t help but think about the next big move for your business. You can call this a “healthy addiction”. This will be especially evident for budding entrepreneurs but as you progress through your career by building an A-team and growing your revenue, things will be easier, but it’ll never be easy.
You have to go into every day with the same passion that pushed you to start your business. And honestly? That can feel impossible at times. It’s so crucial for entrepreneurs to find something that can re-focus them on why they started their business, and why this work is their passion.
There’s Also No Road Map
Apart from being no off days, there’s also no instruction manual. One of the worst feelings as an entrepreneur is not knowing what to do next. It is so scary to be faced with a problem or decision and realize that you simply don’t know what to do.
Of course you can consult with trusted advisers, peers, and coaches – but at the end of the day the decision lies on your shoulders. Many mistakes are made by entrepreneurs, and that’s due in large part to the fact that there is no road map for running your own business. You must create one. This is especially true for those entrepreneurs trying to innovate in spaces like healthcare, where the rules and road map are constantly evolving.
People Are Counting On You
I alluded to this earlier – but I can’t stress this one enough. When you start your own business and build a really great team, they very quickly start to feel like family. That’s wonderful in a lot of ways, but really difficult for many others.
It can be tough to realize just how much these people that you care about depend on you – for leadership, for guidance, for career development. They are trusting you to drive the business in the right direction – and as the CEO, every decision matters.
As an entrepreneur there will always be tough decisions – and ones that will impact people you care about: your family, your clients, and your employees. It’s a lot to bear and it’s kept me up at night more than once.
These are few examples of challenges that are part of being an entrepreneur. Setting your own hours can definitely be nice once and a while, but those perks come with a whole lot of responsibility, pressure, and accountability – and, to me, that’s what the truth of being an entrepreneur really feels like.