Being an Entrepreneur Sucks

being-an-entreprneurSince I left Corporate America, I have met several people who are dangerously misguided about the truth behind being an entrepreneur.  Many of us did not really have an idea what being our own boss would be like. I went from college directly to working for someone else because it was the only thing I knew and understood back then. 
 
It has now been seven years since I left my corporate job–switching overnight from being a rebellious although high-performing  corporate employee to being a terrified, clueless but  willing entrepreneur.  No, it does not ready suck…I actually love all of the ups and down.
 
It has been a roller coaster. I have done things that I never thought I would do and I have failed at projects that I thought would take off without a shadow of a doubt after I poured five months of love and sweat into one that comes to my mind.  I have also had to battle a lot of inner demons to push through and to continue to believe in myself every single day.
 
On some days, I can see how someone hearing me talk about the thrill of entrepreneurship, would have the   mistaken impression that entrepreneurship and thriving in the self-employed world is easy. But heck no.  It is far from it.  In fact, easy has nothing to do with being thrilled and fulfilled with the work that you do in this world. Easy is irrelevant. Easy is a misguided notion. Easy is a sales tactic of lying and luring the unfortunate buyer.
 
Even if I could have it easy, I do not think that I really would have wanted it that way because in the end, we all  want to do work that is meaningful and that makes a difference. Sitting on the beach, staring at the ocean with a drink in hand can get very old.  The mind hungers for knowledge, learning, accomplishments  and the energy of completion.
 
Entrepreneurship is very challenging work. The real difficult shift is that you have to take responsibility for everything, especially for yourself.  You are not longer being asked by anyone to do anything. You are now asking yourself to do something worthwhile.  You are no longer being given a group of clients to serve at a random company. You are now looking to serve only those who can truly use your talents and skills.
 
Your manager is no longer calling the shots. You are now calling them. You are also taking responsibility for the faults, being accountable to yourself for results, and fighting all the battles along the way. When you succeed, you are going to reap all the rewards and get all the credit.  When you do not succeed, you have to clean up the mess on your own.
 
Some of the things that I consider the downside of being an entrepreneur:
 
  • I have had many failures before success. I sometimes feel like screaming; however, only I am accountable for the good and the bad in my business.
  • I work so hard that my body aches.  Oh yes, I do break away to have balance in my life; however, I can be inseparable from my business for long stretches of time.
  • I find it challenging deciding how to organize and prioritize all of my magnificent ideas.   
  • I begin feeling overwhelmed and unsure of the path to take, tools to use and whom to follow.  
  • I can get very lonely.  I miss the interruptions from co-workers.  Sure, they often wasted my time, but I miss it.  There have even been times that I actually missed office gossip.
  • I do not always feel motivated.  Sure, I am inspired on most days but I do battle with self-doubt some days.
  • I used to travel regularly and had an amazing social life; however, my work has often consumed me so much that I thought that distractions would only delay my success.  
  • I have been excitedly created new programs and wrote an eBook that I believed with all my heart would change the lives of others.  BUT, that program or ebook was not received the way I imagined it would be. Ouch…that really hurts.  
 
Yes, a lot of the time I have felt that my business owned me rather than I owned a business.  But, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was called to do my work from the beginning.  It would take me several hours to explain exactly why this self-employment thing, this pursuing your own thing and creating something out of nothing and bringing your own ideas to life, and serving the world exactly on your own terms, is worth every battle, every headache, every sacrifice.
 
Whom are you meant to serve with your gifts, talents, skills and genius?  And how are you doing that?
 
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About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.

Comments

  1. What a good post It is starting to dawn on me that all of us that Blog are Amazing people with Interesting storys
    I feel like I belong in this special Blogging Group.
    Thanks for Sharing,
    Michael

  2. Yes, it can be lonely at times, but at the same time stimulating. There is a rollercoaster of emotions. Reminds me of an attitude from an employee (not mine) once that totally baffled me. The job we were on was on time but very close to the limit where it would be behind. This one employee was on lunch break and his colleague said that they had better get on. The reply was “why should I get up too soon to line the pockets of that miserable git (or words to that effect) who we work for?” I was confused because, although I was young, I thought “so you can get paid and have a job tomorrow you idiot!”
    Barrie Evans recently posted…Your Philosophy, Attitude, Action And Lifestyle. My Conclusions.My Profile

  3. Thank you for sharing as this sounds like me. This week felt like my rollercoaster ride for me. It is very hard work with a lot of failures to get to that one success. I do love online marketing but it is trying at times. Anita
    Anita Levesque recently posted…12 Facebook Marketing StrategiesMy Profile

  4. Thank you for being so open and really telling the truth like it is. I sometimes have to take off the rose colored glasses and see the TRUTH about owning my own business. It’s not all romance all the time.
    Kim Steadman recently posted…How to figure out what makes you tick in 4 easy stepsMy Profile

  5. enterprenuership is a dream that i wish to fulfill. thanks for sharing a nice article.
    Amar Naik recently posted…Weekly Photo Challenge: HabitMy Profile

  6. This is a great article Rachel and exactly how I have felt at times. I always loved working a J>O>B but since doing online and blogging I feel more at peace with myself. Yes, it has been a long, hard struggle. Failing many times but stick with it and the success comes.
    Merle Gibbins recently posted…Networking [Taking Your Offline Skills Online]My Profile

  7. Renew Your Space
    Twitter:
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    What a great topic! I have been an Entrepreneur going on seven years now and I agree, it’s a roller-coaster of very highs and very lows. I love my experiences & have learned how to take the low points in stride. It’s hard sometimes to become inspired enough to push ahead, but sometimes it’s easy & I can’t stop creating. I definately have a calling & can help others, but my biggest challenge is placing myself in front of the right audience online. ~Renee
    Renew Your Space recently posted…Home Organizing Challenge {Week 13} – The Laundry RoomMy Profile

  8. Really good article. I feel that I could have changed the word “entrepreneur” with “mothering” and it would have been the same. 🙂 I think succeeding at something challenging can be its own reward.
    Jennifer S. recently posted…Sickness, Sewing and SweetMy Profile

  9. Lisa Barton :

    I’ve been my own boss for 12 years now and I still wake up sometimes consumed with self doubt and wondering what on earth I’m doing and where it’s all going to go … but it just “feels” right inside as though it will all make sense someday if I just keep at it …
    Lisa Barton recently posted…How to make a silver foil embossed bird brooch pinMy Profile

  10. This is so well written and so insightful, thank you.Rachel. To know that other people are sharing similar feelings about being their own boss is hugely supportive.

  11. Being your own boss definitely sounds glamorous and I think a lot of people don’t realize how hard it can be. It is awesome that despite all the challenges you know you are doing the right thing!
    Meg recently posted…Celebrate The Holidays With A Year In Review!My Profile

  12. It is so good to read about the hardships endured while trying to keep focussed and maintain an entrepreneurial attitude!
    My hardest hurdle is my immediate family (I gave up full time work to pursue my dream of serving others with my knowledge). I get excited about the smallest achievements and they look at me blankly, thinking that I’m just ‘dabbling’ in something and bludging as I only do a little outside the home work for a boss.
    Stories such as yours stir up my inner fire and determination that I CAN do this and I WILL do this.

    Thank you Rachel 🙂
    Sonia recently posted…The best kept Network/ MLM secrets to success – Part 2My Profile

    • Oh the toxic people in our families.  I learned the following from a fabulously successful businessman, yogi and friend. This is a lesson he learned from a farmer:

      The question is, what do you do when the village’s drinking well becomes toxic? You can’t ignore it because the village needs water, you have to do something.  The farmer says you have 2 options on what to do with a toxic well. (These two options are so powerful, I recommend reading them twice!) Option #1, everyday, walk to the river (a few miles away), and bucket by bucket pour fresh water into the well, it might take many days, until you dilute the toxicity.  Option #2, take a shovel and scoop by scoop of dirt, close the well up.  But most importantly…DO NOT DRINK FROM THE TOXIC WELL!!!

      How often do we drink out of someone else’s toxic well?  I am happy to hear that you did not succumb to the negativity Sonia!

  13. Rachel I love the honesty of this…. and anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur better read this before stepping out! BUT…. you also make clear that once you are clear about WHY you are doing what you’re doing… you realise you’re serving people. Now THAT’s fun. And… so’s the community you discover out here.

  14. Rachel – I am so loving your posts. This one really struck a chord with me as it isn’t easy – and it ain’t all roses either. 😉
    Michelle Geyer recently posted…Momma, she called me a blog!My Profile

  15. Good morning Rachel. Sorry I am late to this party. Great post, again. Although I have only been blogging since May of this year, I have been an entrepreneur for a very long time. I think the last time I worked for someone else for any length of time was in the early 80’s. I did work for someone else for a short time back in the late 90’s. I love being my own boss. I love creating something, whether that is a product or a company. My last company was a staffing firm with six offices in two states. The financial crash of 2008 put me out of business. I spent two years after that sort of re-discovering myself. Spent a lot of time with church missionaries, served a lot of people, and found my way back after experiencing the devastating loss of having to close my business. For the last two years, my husband and I have been building our Bed and Breakfast business. Joy, Joy! I have the opportunity to be of service to others in a very personal way. Whether that is pampering my guests or helping a wedding couple get off to a beautiful start. I am where I belong and I love it. I believe in the adage “Do you what you love and the money will come” by Marsha Sinetar. But I also believe, Do what you love and the joy will come (by me). And I think that one is even more important than the first.

    Have an awesome day!
    Regina Partain recently posted…Feeling lucky? Feeling Healthy?My Profile

  16. I love this very well blanced post Rachel. Being an Entrepreneur can be wonderful and rewarding, but it is good to remind people that it still requires hard work and sacrifice to be successful.
    Helen Willsher recently posted…Creating A Successful Life Over 40My Profile

  17. Jason Power
    Twitter:
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    Rachel,

    Yes, being an entrepreneur there is much involved, the important thing I feel is to be enjoying what you do and it makes everything more engaging to the point where it does not feel like work and if you want self-fulfillment then starting a business might be the thing for you.
    Jason Power recently posted…The Power of Residual Income in Network MarketingMy Profile

  18. Angel Burch
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    You are so right, there are ups and downs to being an entrepreneur but the rewards are so much better than working for someone. I admire women who make it work, they have a harder time than men – we have PMS and Menopause to deal with LOL
    Angel Burch recently posted…And Now…Story TimeMy Profile