Entrepreneurship seems to be the “in thing” these days. With so many people flaunting private jets, laptops on beaches, and briefcases of money, I wanted to let you know it’s not always perfect.
I want to start by saying this is the best we’ve ever had it. Gary Vee talks about this all the time. We have opportunities galore thanks to the internet, the gig economy, and low costs to start an online business.
Whether you start with a side hustle or build a company, there are some universal rules that will help you succeed.
In 2017 I left my six-figure job to turn my passion for writing into a full-time online business and writing career. I have learned some valuable lessons in my journey and want to share with you to help you speed up success.
7 Brutally Harsh Truths Of Entrepreneurship
Money Isn’t Your Metric for Success | First Time Entrepreneur
Like Tony Robbins always says, “Progress equals happiness.” I found out quickly that money doesn’t just land in your lap when building an online business, you have to work for it.
It’s easy to get frustrated in the beginning if your only benchmark for success is money. Instead, make it about progress and learning, not just income.
Growing a business is no easy task. You have to learn new skills, meet new people, and constantly force yourself outside your comfort zone.
While you want to be earning six figures per year, it’s important to understand that it’s a process. I had not anticipated how difficult it would be but have learned to enjoy the process and learning more than the monetary results (for now).
Success Is Never Overnight | First Time Entrepreneur
As billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Cuban said, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right one time and then people can call you an overnight success.”
Mark Cuban knows all about being called an “overnight success.” After a long road of “failures”, he was able to make it big and finally sell his first company to earn millions overnight. While technically he became a millionaire overnight, the journey took years of sacrifice and unending hard work.
He slept on floors, shared apartments with five roommates, and lost friendships on his path to success. While Instagram makes it seem easy and filled with jet skis, private jets, and an easy life, it’s just not the case.
It’s almost certainly going to take longer than you think and twice as much work. But if you love what you do, then it’s possible. Any great entrepreneur has to overcome an insane amount of adversity to get “overnight success.”
Hard Work Isn’t Optional | First Time Entrepreneur
Hard work is always required. If not, everyone would be an entrepreneur.
As Gary Vee points out in this video, success is years and years of hard work for anyone. Even though Lebron James became a national phenomenon at 18, he had been practicing hard for over a decade. Even Justin Bieber seemed to have made it early in life but he started singing at six years old.
Don’t kid yourself, if you want something great you have to work for it.
Entrepreneurship Is Emotionally Draining | First Time Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of emotions. Good moments can quickly be replaced by panic, anxiety, and loneliness. And it’s so easy to feel like it will last forever. But remember, it’s only temporary.
In reality, you can change your life and business at any time. One new blog post or Youtube video can give you an idea that can change your life forever. All it takes one is blog post, article, or Youtube video to go viral.
Instead of feeling hopeless and lost, spend time putting new information in your brain so you can produce more information out.
People Will Doubt You | First Time Entrepreneur
If you’re putting yourself out there and trying to start a business, I applaud you. It’s a bold move. Some people will fully embrace your decision but a lot of people won’t get it. And they’ll probably let you know about it.
It’s almost inevitable that friends and family will try and talk you out of it and want you to play it safe. People will doubt you and old friends might drift away.
But if you want it bad, you have to block out the noise and stay the course.
Work-Life Balance is a Myth | First Time Entrepreneur
As Barbara Corcoran, an investor in Shark Tank said, “Stop striving for work-life balance, it just doesn’t exist.” If you have a big vision, give up up on a work-life balance… at least in the beginning. Starting any business requires as much attention as a newborn child.
Quit trying to balance everything and have tough conversations with people in your inner circle. Let friends and family know that your schedule might change in order for you to become successful.
Comparing Yourself to Others is a Waste of Time | First Time Entrepreneur
It took me 30 years to realize that comparing yourself to anyone else is a massive waste of time. The only person to ever compare yourself to is your previous self. Track your own metrics and only compare your results to your past.
One of my mentors, Benjamin Hardy, said to only think of the gain, not the gap. Meaning, when you want to see how you’re doing, only look backward, not forwards. By looking back and seeing how far you’ve come is much more empowering than looking ahead. Because the target is always moving ahead, making it feel like you’ll never make it.
Remember, who cares if someone’s business is making more money or has a bigger social media following than yours. Everyone starts out differently and no two people or businesses start in the same place.
Final Thoughts | First Time Entrepreneur
At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is always a gamble. But if you believe in yourself and in your vision you can make it happen. It just probably won’t look exactly how you see it all in the beginning.
You might have to pivot, shift, and learn how to become relentless to succeed. But if you want it bad enough, I’m sure you can do it too.