People usually thought what can be obtain when choose to become an entrepreneur.
An exciting opportunity.
The freedom lifestyle.
Promising wealth (only if succeed).
But what about things that you give up……?
Don’t forget to factor into those dreams all the sacrifices that one must make to become an entrepreneur.
Finally you can quit your 9 to 5, but you don’t realize that you are most likely replacing it with 9 to 9 (and most of the time 6-7 days week). You have the control to travel or vacation anytime anywhere, but provided you have generated income to support it. Most of the time, you have to spend years of hustling before it starts to break-even.
YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE SOMETHING
I haven’t met a single entrepreneur that didn’t sacrifice something when they were first starting out. Most often people give up a better paying job, health insurance, and retirement benefits but it usually goes much deeper than that. Entrepreneurs often don’t have the freedom to “leave work at work”. I know many that are “always on” (myself included). They need to consciously force themselves to stop thinking about the work that they do because they enjoy it so much.
When you are trying to make ends meet as an entrepreneur it is also hard to give yourself time off because if YOU aren’t working than YOU aren’t getting paid or moving any closer to where you want to be. Many others give up time with their family (the very reason a lot people think “working from home” is so great) or delay having kids entirely.
You will be facing difficulties to obtain loan, to purchase a house for example. Bankers want to make sure either you have a stable income or run a proven and profitable business over the past couple years. You might even in heavy debt after loans from financial institution.
And most entrepreneurs actually downgrade their lifestyle to work for themselves, not the other way around. They live with roommates or parents, eat instant noodle for dinner, or move to the cheapest countries in the world just so they can do work that matters.
WHAT HAVE I SACRIFICED
I gave up high stable salary and fat bonus from a large corporate. I have to spend most of my savings in my business, and work close to 70-80 hours a week without generate any income from the beginning. Meaning sleeping hour have to be surrender in a package as well.
I need to downgrade my lifestyle on spending, meaning no more branded clothing, latest gadgets, car upgrade or luxury oversea vacation. I also gave up the social expectations of lifestyle, like social networking of fine dining or drinking session, unless it is business-related. As well as spending time on online social media, it is too luxury for me, unless the purpose is to perform some marketing or advertising. I can’t even recall when was the last time I watch a TV show or series.
Actually I am pretty fine to sacrifice all this because I felt that my life is filled with passion and drive. I loved and enjoyed the process and being in control of my destiny.
I have been working crazy hours and tend to forget or ignore everything, as I need to stay focus on what I am working on. Then I realized that I place pressure and stress on the ones I love, which is really the worst part. Sometimes I feel obligated to convincing them that everything is going to be fine and that I know I’m doing when half the time I don’t.
The hardest thing I get told constantly by my ex’s is:
“You have not spent enough time with me. You are incredibly SELFISH.”
It cuts deep. My intentions are good (or so I think). I tell myself ” I’m doing this for us. To make our life better in the future.” The harsh reality is that I could make her live much happier right now… If I gave up. Left all work at the office and freed my mind up to focus my attention on her.
Unfortunately I am selfish…
I can’t give up!!
(I believe you can guess what will be the ending…)
As a result, I have to sacrifice having relationship during this period and delay marriage and having kids entirely. Although there are zero guarantees my sacrifice and hard work will mean squat.
I honestly would not change it for the world. When you love what you do and you feel like you were born to do it, that is your mission and you would do anything to achieve it. So no regrets, and I would never go back on the decisions I’ve made!
All this to say: being an entrepreneur isn’t always glamorous.