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Business is a one of a kind challenge. Few other opportunities in life give some form of direct control over improving or changing your life and those of the people around you. It’s a deeply personal decision that can be motivated by many reasons. In the end, the day to day is something, unlike anything anyone who isn’t a business owner will ever go through.
You quit your job, got fired, or maybe you just finally decided to strike out on your own in some small way. Even as a side project being an entrepreneur is a serious project. At this point, you haven’t told anyone really, or may you’ve told EVERYONE. Either way, you’ve incorporated, gotten your business license or any other setup actions that are required.
The euphoria has worn off. Reality rounded the corner and its hit you in the face; you’re doing this. You’ve got a schedule going so far, and things are slowly coming together, and all the things you have read on webinar meaning is making sense.
You wake up in the morning (or afternoon), and handle what you think is important. Some days you make progress, others you barely get anything done. You take walks, have a beer, indulge a bit, and try not to do anything wrong.
You have no idea what you’re doing, but you also KIND of have an idea, and you flip between trying to work hard, sheer panic, and moments of staring into the distance numb. You’ve got this. You need to be as careful as possible, and everything will work out fine because you have a plan.
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You’ve felt the euphoria of hitting some of your smaller goals and also cried into your ramen noodles because of overlooking things that should have been obvious.
By now, your schedule is far better, you know how to prioritize slightly better, you’re making more money, and the chatter from your friends and family has died down to an “hmm, (your name) is actually doing it.” They ask you questions that seem to wonder if you can keep this up. You don’t know, but you say you’re going to see how it goes.
At this point, you’re examining what has been working and what has not. Some choices have backfired, others weren’t as much as a choice as a sporadic development without much time to think it over. In any case, things are starting to happen.
This period is filled with trying to expand your network farther, use your time more efficiently, figure out what is holding you back and where you are losing the most money. You’re beginning to get into the meat of what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Congratulations, you’ve made it this far! Most people don’t. You have a greater sense of calm and purpose, with less and less fleeting moments of complete madness. You have a bit more time these days, and by a bit, that means five minutes more a day.
According to AllTopStartups.com, many micro business owners at this point work between 40-60 hours a week, with a good chunk of it being dedicated to figuring out what’s next/what needs to be handled.
Things are running, and so you might celebrate a bit by taking a small vacation. You walk along the beach taking it in as much as you can. Meanwhile, your brain is combing through your day for any detail you may have missed. It can be anything that can pop out. A forgotten email, a misplaced order, any of these can pop up at any moment on your phone and wreck your whole moment.
But, behind that terror, is the knowledge you can do this whenever you need to, take a moment for yourself, have a beer, have a small meal to reset. You’re thankful, even with all of the battle scars. Your business is making decent money, and that’s what matters. Well, that and paying taxes.
At this point, in your inner circle, chances are you are a bonafide expert on damage control, negotiation, and figuring out absurd problems most people couldn’t even IMAGINE. Your friends ask you what you do for a living, your family is proud to tout you as the “business owner,” and everyone wants to know how to follow in your footsteps.
Your business is running more smoothly, but the biggest limit now is to how much more it can grow. Your time is tied into it, you or your partner need to do something about it, but for now, at least you get a few moments of peace from time to time. You’re past what you made at your old job probably, you know other entrepreneurs and are building up quite the network.
Things will get better, and even if things fail at this point, you’ve changed. It’s hard to look at things the same as before, knowing that you can be “free”.
You take small vacations, travel more, and maybe take random days to start a bit later, even though you still have to pull long days.
When things go bad, it hurts more because it’s less frequent. But in the end, even after the emotional moment, you know what you have to do to make things better.
This is when most entrepreneurs heavily diverge regarding experiences. Just looking at Arkenea’s examples of an entrepreneur’s day to day show the diverse style’s/daily organization that people customize to fit what works for them.
The business runs itself in some ways. You’ve learned from hiring poor employees and from untrustworthy ones. The main point is that from every loss, you’ve learned. Friends have changed jobs, houses, families, but your business has survived. It may not be the same as when it started, it may be a different one, but you’re still the master of your fate.
You travel as many places as you can. You make time to go to events that are important to you. You constantly look for ways to optimize your business and your life for balance.
No one looks at you the same, and you can never look at the world the same again. You have different priorities. You have people that rely on you as their leader. In some ways you’re freer, the pressure is more, and you are more in control than ever.
- Being an entrepreneur means alienating yourself in some ways from your family and friends. Everyone will have an opinion, very few will be useful, and even less will try and help you out.
- The first few years will be all consuming and will drain your wallet, energy, and sanity.
- You’ll be pushed beyond your limitations.
- Growing a business even when success comes is a pain.
- Ensuring there are no customer service/delivery problems when you become more hands-off is, even more, a pain, especially according
- You will experience a level of control that most people never get a chance to experience.
- You and your clients are partners, the only person you truly answer to is yourself.
- Over time, things do get better, and you gain a sense of accomplishment from providing not only for yourself but others.
- Ultimately, you set the bar for how much you make, and you don’t have to ask anyone for a raise, you set the value of what your time is worth.
- Depending on your business, at some point, you’ll be able to work wherever you want.
In The End
Every decision will have consequences. The option to make them for yourself is an empowering opportunity that at times will feel like a blessing and others like a curse. Ultimately, with perseverance and adaptability, any entrepreneur can overcome any obstacle.