The Dark Side of Entrepreneurism that Nobody Talks AboutSep 19, 2017
A rare behind the scenes account for what goes on in the trenches long before a company or product becomes an ‘overnight success'
Being an entrepreneur is phenomenal, liberating and a constantly challenging endeavour. It keeps me on top of my game because I have no other choice but to succeed. I only eat what I kill - so if I don't go out and hunt one day - then I don't eat. It’s very simple.
I love the chase, I love the struggle, and I love the time and dedication I need to put into my endeavours in order to see results. I love these things because it keeps me sharp, it keeps me energized, it keeps my mind growing and expanding to new horizons and it fuels me much more-so than a routine, mundane, day-to-day job would.
However… there are many times when it gets really difficult to keep my spirits up and my positive energy going along this ambitious journey. There are defeats that knock the wind out of my sails every so often - yet I have no choice but to muster up the strength to get back up, and keep pushing. This is still the case whether or not you even have the strength, the energy or the want left in you to do so.Thank God that I’m an extremely driven and persistent person, fighting for my greater mission, vision and purpose (to change the world, be a positive force for good and create as many real estate millionaires as humanly possible!); because without this, I would have quit a long time ago.
This article isn’t meant to turn you off from entrepreneurism or to say that it only has a dark side, but rather, it is to more accurately account for the inner workings of what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur; the ongoing battles you have to overcome when idealizing this path in life. Believe me the positive side is well worth all of the efforts, but I want to shine a light on the other side for a moment for those who may consider a life as an entrepreneur but aren't sure if it’s the right life for them.
I want to shine a light on the other side for a moment, for those who may consider a life as an entrepreneur but aren't sure if it’s the right life for them.
Wanting to be an entrepreneur stems from a desire to do something more, something greater and with more purpose for your life. It usually starts nagging at you when you're unsatisfied with the returns your life is producing at any certain point in time, and you stop and wonder:
Is This All There Is?
This is usually when the thoughts start to invade your mind of becoming an entrepreneur, things such as: ‘going at it alone’ or ‘breaking out of the J.O.B. safety, security and routine’, or bringing to light the pain of selling your soul - and your very limited and precious time - in exchange for a paycheque.
It also occurs when you begin to wonder what your capabilities and potential might allow you to do and what might be possible for you to achieve in this one, short lifetime we are given. How much could you possibly do, see, experience and build? Well at least that was the case for me.
I knew I had much more potential and ambition within me to waste away in a job or career I didn't like, in a small town and area where nothing new happens or progresses, surrounded by people who only complain about their lives and their work, and worse, make peace with how their lives turned out, inevitably lowering their standards to accept what the next 30 years of their life will look like.
This life was not for me.
I resolved a long time ago that I would not be a victim of my circumstances - not now - and not ever in my future. I would grab life by the balls and create my own future and my own economy.
So I chose to embark on the path of financial freedom and entrepreneurialism.
I consciously and electively chose to throw away ‘security’ and a ‘normal’ life, in all the ways society has deemed ‘normal’. I won’t waste any time defining the term ‘normal’, I think you all know what this entails. So what I do as an entrepreneur is CREATE my own economy and DESIGN my own future.
It’s a very scary place in some regards because you are banking on surviving off of your own thoughts, ideas, visions, and the execution of those visions in order to make a living. And the goal is not just make a living, but to thrive! The risks involved in doing something like this are astronomically high and it is very rare for people to succeed in this regard, never mind to create millions or multi millions of dollars doing so. However, I’m one of the crazy ones who chose to take on that challenge. The odds of doing so are definitely stacked up against you.
Here is a list of the top challenges I have experienced on this strenuous (yet rewarding) road of being an Entrepreneur and what you can expect too:
- Intense Feelings
Both good and bad, which usually happen all at once. There is also a very limited pool of people to talk to in these times of need and in these harsh emotional spikes so it is imperative that you network and collaborate with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
- Defining Myself and My Goals
Getting crystal clear on your objectives, and wants continuously. Without this very critical component, we would drift aimlessly and never reach a specific target. But coming up with these crystal clear goals and objectives usually creates a lot of pressure on you to decide who you want to be, why you want to be in business and all of the responsibilities you have; to not only yourself (and whoever you are feeding), but also to your employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.
- Operating With No Guidance
Having no guidance whatsoever can be scary and lonely because when you are an entrepreneur creating your own economy, you start with a blank slate. The business begins and ends with you. You have to create the entire road map of where, how and why you are going to get to your destination. Doubt just sits there waiting for an opportunity like this to invade your mind, especially in times like these, ready to pounce on you and pull you back into the mediocre life you came from, justifying it with a million reasons why that way of life wasn't so bad after all.
- It Requires So Much Energy and Effort
A ton of your energy and effort is required to constantly remind yourself to be confident and positive when operating alone and carrying the weight of all of those decisions. Making at a minimum of 50 - 150 decisions on any given day because you make all the calls/decisions (and even more so at the beginning stages of any venture). The pressure is high as you are constantly bombarded with choices that you must make quick decisions for, all day, every day that can be good or bad, right or wrong. And you have to judge: will they make you money or lose you money?
Aaaah the silent killer. Never for one second allow yourself to be disillusioned into thinking that entrepreneurship is easy. This kind of pressure, responsibility, obligation and duty can wreak havoc on your health (especially if you don't make it a priority to stay healthy and strong). You have to manage and control anxiety, fear, frustration, disappointment, and other gut wrenching feelings that can take you over, in order to keep going. You can’t just run away when you feel like it and drop all responsibilities over night (that is if you want to be successful of course). You have to learn how to manage all of your emotions and control them when things get turbulent.
- Financial Strain
And finally, we have financial strain. The lifeblood of any company is sales, revenues and cash flow. When finances are stretched to the breaking point, and you get squeezed so tight to the point that you break out in cold sweats, you don’t eat or sleep for days or weeks trying to figure it out. When this happens you can’t retreat. Even though more than anything else, you want to lay in bed, put the covers over you and take a big nap - thats the LAST thing you can do in times of crisis like this one, especially a financial crisis. You have to - more than ever - PLAY FULL OUT and bust your ass more than you ever have before, or else you’ll have to close your hypothetical doors by morning (or your literal doors if you have a brick and mortar business).
Now I hope I didn't scare some of you off so badly that you couldn't even finish reading this article. Although it does kind of sound like you’d have to be a sado masochist in order to want to be an entrepreneur, but at the end of the day, that is just not true. Yes there are massive challenges you need to overcome and constantly deal with when you embark on the entrepreneurial trail, but the spoils will be well worth the ride. I’ve found it has also made me a much stronger person mentally, emotionally and financially.
It does sound like you’d have to be a sado masochist in order to want to be an entrepreneur
One of the biggest benefits (and prerequisites) to this kind of life though, is PASSION. When you really have a passion for what you are after in life, fear and self doubt become much less present. You also begin to feel this powerful surge of energy towards something that slowly begins to reveal your greater purpose in life, little by little. You start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You start to enjoy the benefits and rewards of your ‘harvest’ so to speak. You start to revel in the spoils that YOU CREATED - OUT OF NOTHING! You built and designed a business or a company or a life you love from scratch!
Building something out of nothing is not simple or easy, but it does get better as challenges become seemingly smaller with the more experience you pick up after overcoming the struggles along the way, and things become more and more manageable and controllable too. The freedom of choosing your own path and designing your own life on purpose and on your own terms - hand crafted by YOU - are priceless, to me anyway. Not to mention the pure satisfaction and fulfillment of following your purpose and calling in life on a day to day basis. I don't think there is a greater reward.I wish you all the best on your journey. Stay strong and persistent, you’ll need it more than you think you will, and when you reach your desired outcome, I want to see you revel in your well-deserved pride for braving the unconventional path of entrepreneurism.
Please reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you in your journey by clicking here. I’m here to serve. Follow me on social media for more insight into my entrepreneurial endeavours, triumphs and battles. We need to fuel each other to be a positive force for good!
With love, Melanie
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