While it's true that entrepreneurship is worth pursuing as a career, it's also true that it's a tough career. December 12, 2018 7 min read Opinions ex
While it’s true that entrepreneurship is worth pursuing as a career, it’s also true that it’s a tough career.
December 12, 2018 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
That’s an impressive word: entrepreneurship.
It’s a word that’s filled with optimism and the prospect of joy and riches. Millennials and veteran careerists subscribe to the world of entrepreneurship with strong enthusiasm, hope and energy. It’s a safe, secure and simple path to freedom and success.
You know how it works. Just dream of an idea, package a product and sell that product to your target customers. Then you get to wait by the ATM to receive a torrent of cash as it lands in your corporate account.
While it’s true that entrepreneurship is worth pursuing as a career, it’s also true that it’s a tough career. Of course, successful entrepreneurs are smart, hard-working folks.
In fact, if you could go back in time to observe how they started, you would be able to observe how much they toiled. They worked hard to get where they are today. In today’s internet-empowered world, it’s easier to build a startup than to do a five-minute workout.
I mean, with a few clicks from your bed, you can kick-start your online business, and you can run it on the go, with your smartphone. Launching a business is not the problem. Building it into a successful empire is.
Here are the painful realities of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Your idea may just be a mere hallucination.
Just because you dreamed of building that billion-dollar company doesn’t mean that, when you turn your ideas into products and inject some money into marketing them, you’ll become the next success story in your niche. Because the world of entrepreneurship is filled with uncertainties.
There’s no guarantee that your target market will patronize your products. There’s no guarantee that you’ll make a profit in your first year. There’s no guarantee that you’ll become the next success story in your industry.
The sooner you accept this fact, the sooner you’ll develop the resilient habits of successful entrepreneurs. Knowing that failure is inevitable, successful entrepreneurs care less about it. And that powers their passion to keep building and refining their ideas … until they succeed.
So, execute your dreams and ideas, because, “Ideation without execution is a delusion.”
Your ideas might not sell. You just have to take the risk. So, build, launch and work tirelessly to succeed at your new time-consuming career.
Entrepreneurship is a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. job.
What will happen if you think that entrepreneurship is an easy career?
You know, just show up to work at your leisure and tinker around with your passion. You’re wrong if you think that entrepreneurship works like that. The painful truth is, building your business is more complex and tedious and consumes more time than your normal day job.
Knowing that they are their own bosses, successful entrepreneurs wake up early every morning and show up every day — for long hours — to think, create and invent for their customers.
Because it’s not easy. They have to grind. They have to compete in the marketplace. They have to put their products in front of their prospects. They have to snatch some of their competitors’ customers. They have to promote their brand to the world.
So, they fight to give tons of hours to achieve these goals — or fail woefully in the business arena. You’ve got to do the same to survive as an entrepreneur. That’s why you have to be ready to counteract the “vampires” of your productivity and success.
Here’s what I mean:
Procrastination is your biggest enemy.
Every business builder has numerous enemies: competitors, insufficient funds, inadequate willpower.
But, the biggest enemy of them all is procrastination.
You may have a great idea. You may be the most brilliant founder in your industry. You may have a couple of angel investors willing to invest in your startup.
All of these are important when you are building a successful venture, but you must have the discipline to execute. If you don’t, believe me, none of these will matter, because the secret to building your company lies in your productivity.
Sometimes, when you’re down, you feel withdrawn, and you will choose to play Grand Theft Auto rather than work on your startup. The truth is, everyone faces the wrath of procrastination at some point. But, successful entrepreneurs know how to deal with it decisively.
They normally itemize their tasks for the day. They show up every day to work on those tasks. They remain focused, working on their tasks one at a time, finishing one before moving on to another. And they are consistent.
Every day, every week, every month, they show up to do great work — quality work that will move them closer to achieving their goals, mission and vision. Hence, they dominate their market.
Are you willing to sacrifice your life?
Running a business is more than just working for a few hours on weekends, making a few bucks and cozying on the sofa with your loved ones for the rest of the week.
To become a business builder, you need to be willing to sacrifice a lot — sometimes to the detriment of your life — for your consumers. If you read Steve Jobs‘s biography, you’ll see what I mean.
There was a man full of passion and love and admiration for a product he named after his favorite fruit — Apple. He loved his product so much, like a mother loves her child. And he made a lot of sacrifices for it because he realized that was the only way he could “put a dent in the universe.”
So, Jobs devoted his entire life to building Apple. He would leave his family in the wee hours of the morning to show up early, before anyone else, at Apple headquarters in California. He would stay, even after working hours, to brainstorm, refine and reinforce his many ideas about the company, barely getting home to eat dinner with his wife.
In short, he sacrificed his life for it. But, his legacy remains to this day.
Whether you’re building another iPhone or just starting up as a freelancer, get ready to pour your sweat and blood and life to appease your market. You may think that it isn’t necessary, but it is.
As a digital marketer and blogger, I realize that to be an expert, I need to write every day. So, I sacrifice my social life almost entirely. I shut myself in my room — my wife hates that — and do nothing but write, so I can please what Stephen King called “the boys in the basement.”
That’s the only way to master the craft, to survive, or to last long as an entrepreneur. And that’s what you must do if you’re serious about becoming a successful entrepreneur.
If you’re not willing to sacrifice for your customers, don’t include the word “success” in your vocabulary.