19 Jan What Nobody Tells You About Entrepreneurship
Are you an entrepreneur and are always wondering if the people around you really understand what you are going through? Whether you are an experienced entrepreneur, working on a side hustle, or just starting to create the business of your dreams, there are many things as a business owner and entrepreneur that people in other professions or who work a 9-5 may not understand.
As an optometrist who owns two optometry clinics in Southern California, I really understand the daily challenges of running two businesses. From working after hours and some times around the clock, even when others are on vacation or enjoying the holidays. My phone is always on, my emails are always being checked and ideas for my business always keep popping in my head! Sometimes, I wish that I could shut it off for a little. It can be a challenge but at the same time, it can be the most rewarding!
It may sometimes be too much, which is why I wanted to create this article for my fellow friends and entrepreneurs who may be struggling with the day to day challenges of owning and operating a business. This is something we all share and hearing others discuss and relate to your challenges can help boost your mentality and keep you moving forward. So… here are The Top Entrepreneur Struggles No One Talks About!
Startups are tough! Stay humble, focused and power through
We all know the iconic entrepreneurs of the world including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Amancio Ortega. Though, sometimes we might wish they had inherited some huge empire, the fact is, these industry leaders moved up the ladder and experienced many trials and errors. Mark built the largest social media network out of a dorm room. Amancio grew up in a family that needed food stamps in order to put food on the table. It is a common misconception that entrepreneurs started from some huge inheritance. The truth is, none of them had a “head start.” These individuals were not born rich. What is important is that you set realistic goals and expectations of failure. Failure is inevitable as an entrepreneur and allows you to learn and grow when starting your business. Make sure to continue to learn from your mistakes or (OPM) other peoples mistakes, stay humble and keep moving forward.
Working for yourself means having discipline!
This is something I struggle with so much. Many of my acquaintances find it hard to understand my time as an entrepreneur and know that I can actually work from home or anywhere. So, I often get texts or calls from friends who want to go on a fun coffee or lunch date which I love to do. While I do occasionally take time for this, it took years of experience and discipline to start setting firm boundaries and practice self discipline to schedule in these meetings and not be so spontaneous. As an entrepreneur, it is more than fine to establish priorities and boundaries to ensure productivity and schedule a fun meet up on a scheduled day off, or another time that works for you both.
Your To-Do List Never Ends!
How many of you have sticky notes around your work space, home, business, car and everywhere? Do you keep a notebook or an idea book near you at all times? This is such a common thing all entrepreneurs share and from my experience when you think your to-do list is shrinking, it just keeps getting bigger! The challenge is to not let that list bother you! Change your mindset and understand that this is your little book of great ideas! It is always great to write down those ideas so that you can reference them later. I am guilty of this, then glancing at my idea book a week later and realizing that maybe it’s not something I want to actually move forward with! Writing down your ideas also gets it off your mind pallet and allows you to not feel so unsettled.
Personal projects VS. Business projects
As an entrepreneur, sometimes I find it very difficult to take the time for the things I needed to do personally like getting projects done around the house, getting my hair and nails done and other personal time. When we are building our business, it is very easy to lose track and neglect personal projects or personal goals. We tend to make excuses instead of why we can or can not make the time to take care of those things.
Like many others, I have also struggled with this work life balance. You feel as if you give in and make time for yourself, you might lose track of your business and get side-tracked! So what’s the secret? The truth is that at the end of grinding and spending hours and hours building your business, you will realize that you spent the majority of your life hustling and not stopping and taking time to smell the flowers. I realized that taking the time to enjoy the things that I love allows me to clear my mind and start again fresh. Remember that it is OK to take time for YOU!
Sometimes, It’s really difficult to just turn it off!
Coming home after a long day or week can be super challenging. Sometimes, I feel like my mind just ran a marathon and can’t shut down! I have realized that doing things that you really enjoy outside of work is therapeutic and allows your mind to switch gears.
There are many things you can do to help turn your mind off like hitting the gym, doing something fun with your family, indulging in your favorite beverage, practicing a hobby, sport or yoga! These activities can have a huge impact on your overall health and help your mind get out of a funk.
Where does all the time go?
Seriously, sometimes at the end of my day I wonder where all the time went! I feel like there is never enough hours in the day and it’s difficult to prevent myself from worrying about what still needs to get done from time to time. I know I’m not the only entrepreneur that starts working on something and then realizing that it’s the end of the day and there is so much more to do!
What I have learned is to not let this feeling of ‘lack of time’ affect you. Remember that there is always tomorrow and that great things take time! It is better to not stress about it. Next time you have that feeling, write down the tasks or things that need to be finished and temporarily turn it off! Then, start on it fresh tomorrow. You will notice that a fresh mind creates a new perspective and ideas.
Don’t let it keep you up at night!
What keeps you up at night? Do you feel frazzled because you are afraid of something in your business that may not work out? Are you worried about customers, upcoming projects, deadlines or employees? When you start focusing on these things, you need to realize that you probably need to be focusing on something else. This is when you need to really switch gears and focus on your purpose and what matters! Remember your “WHY” and why you started your business in the first place. Remember that you go to work everyday to solve a problem and help your customers on a daily basis. Focus on the greater purpose of your business and how you can serve others every single day.
I truly hope that this article helps you if you feel like you are struggling as an entrepreneur. It’s definitely not easy! Make sure you practice daily gratitude and remember these many lessons. Keep grinding, stay focused and remember your purpose! You got this friends!
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