The word entrepreneur is sexy these days. There’s these visions of wealth, mansions, private jets and Lamborghinis and you’ll see people on social media “living their best life” or whatever the most envious of catchphrases are. I know you’ve seen them. They’re on Instagram posing in front of some inanimate object pretending to be lost in deep thought about how great life is and how they’re “crushing it” and “grinding” every day for 18 hours a day. I never know what’s real or what’s there simply for the benefit of social media.
This is my experience; entrepreneurship is hard. In the beginning it isn’t glamorous. It’s the furthest thing from any kind of sexy. It requires some serious spine, commitment and sacrifice. It’s like you’re getting kicked in the crotch over and over again, all while trying how to figure out how to block the kicks and throw your own. It’s a fine line to walk, because it’s going to pull you away from your family and friends. It’s going to stress your relationship and friendships because you’re going to need to put in a hell of a lot of work. You’re even going to have to eliminate those that are standing in your way of progress and it could mean the end of lifelong relationships.
If you have a family, you’re going to try to seek some sort of “work / life balance”. I’m not all that sure that I fully believe balance even exists. I think we’re all just doing the very best that we know how at the time, and we need people in our lives that tell us when we’re not. It’s tough because you’re working your tail off to succeed and provide your family with the kind of life that you’ve envisioned, and sometimes that can be viewed by your spouse or significant other as neglect. One thing you need to be hyper-aware of is what the people in your life need from you and then find ways to give them that while still striving for your dreams. This requires open and honest dialog and more often than not; scheduling. Scheduling time with your loved ones seems cold, but I’ll tell you it’s a requirement. Time is what they want the most, so it needs to become a priority to your day, week and month. Track it if you need to so you can make sure you’re keeping up where you need to.
Some of the best advice I’ve been given, is to get on the same page with your significant other. Weekly meetings where you come together to communicate and review help immensely. Get together to discuss your goals and make sure you’re pushing toward the same targets. It’s good to have your own goals and dreams, but you should have a vision as a couple that you’re driving. These meetings will help you identify the gaps and will keep the goal fresh in your mind. A lot of people set goals at the beginning of the year and then they never look at them again. This is a huge mistake because as soon as they get to the last quarter of the year, they revert to that high school student that didn’t finish the project in time for class and go into panic mode to race and get it done. I only know this because I was that high school student. Slow, steady and being pragmatic towards your goals is going to win the race.
Your first years in business are going to require A LOT of your time. It will be hard and there will be unbelievable challenges that you’re going to face. If you want the best opportunity to tackle those and win, make sure you have your relationship on point, time scheduled and good communication. It will take just as much work as your business and it will be worth it. After all, what good will success be if you don’t have someone to enjoy it with?