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A Realistic Take On What it Means to be an Entrepreneur

By: Andrew Deen

 

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For entrepreneurs starting a new business can be one of the most exciting moments of their lives. And yet, there is no denying that the new business will change things. Sometimes for the better. Other times, for the worst.

All of these changes can be navigated, with foresight, and the right approach. In this article, we take a look at what it is like to be an entrepreneur and how you can manage the new responsibilities with grace.

You Will Work Hard

Entrepreneurs often work sixty-hour weeks. This is particularly common during the early stages of your career when you might not have much in way of staff. During these times when money is tight and help, is not forthcoming, you may find that you wear many hats for your business. Marketer. Accountant. Founder and CEO.

It’s an exciting time, but also exhausting. It can help to prepare yourself before starting your business. Taking on a job that allows you to set your own schedule will also allow you to understand what it takes to make it work. A good example is the roles available at Primerica. You can read more about it by looking at Primerica reviews. Make sure your friends and family understand where you are at with your business. Maintaining relationships is important for your emotional and mental health. However, you may need to get strategic with when and how you see your loved ones.

Hang tight! Eventually, you will have the money to hire more employees. When you do, your own responsibilities should diminish to a more manageable quantity.

Things May Be Tight for Awhile

It can take years for a small business to make a profit. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will go that entire time without a salary. It does mean that the money you bring home might be modest and somewhat unpredictable.

It’s usually recommended that new business owners have three to six months of salary — that’s to say, living expenses, mortgage, utilities, groceries, and incidentals, tucked away in savings. However, even with the best-laid plans, things may feel tight and tense for a while.

Once again, perseverance is key. The average entrepreneur makes over $70 thousand annually. Of course, this average reflects a very broad spectrum, with some people making lots of money and others making not much at all.

Nevertheless, the statistics hold true that businesses that survive their infancy will usually start generating a profit before too long. While you wait, live modestly, and focus on your work.

Imposter Syndrome Is Real

Years ago, writer Neil Gaiman was invited to a conference celebrating the work of creative types. Despite his pedigree (more awards than we have time to list in this article), Gaiman felt ill at ease amongst his distinguished company.

While at the conference, he found himself in conversation with another guest who shared his feelings of not belonging.

“All these other people made something,” Gaiman’s new friend said. “I just went where they sent me.”

Gaiman paused for a moment, quite puzzled by his companion’s position. Then, he said the only thing he could think of. “Well, yes, Neil. But you were the first person to step foot on the moon. That has to count for something.”

Imposter syndrome is real, and it comes for everyone. Essentially, the condition refers to a state of feeling that everyone around knows what they are doing, and you are the only one who doesn’t fit in.

During your early days as an entrepreneur, it’s particularly easy to feel like an imposter. There actually are many things you don’t know, and some of your neighbors may be much better versed in the arts of running a business than you are.

That doesn’t mean you don’t belong.

You have skills and ideas that brought you to the point you are at. And because you are a clever and resourceful person, you will also eventually learn the things you do not know. During the time between now and then, you are not an imposter, but merely a student of business, doing your best to learn and grow just like everyone else.

If you ever feel lost in the throws of imposter syndrome, consider speaking with a trusted friend who has been in your position before. They will inevitably tell you that they felt the same way when they started their own business.

Remember: you aren’t an imposter. Millions have been in your position, feeling the exact way you do now.

Lookout for Stress

Perhaps because of all the things stated above, starting a new business can be a time of great stress. Alas, this is often the case for things that are meaningful and ultimately, pleasant. Moving. Child rearing. And yes, entrepreneurship.

It can help to remember that your effort will be rewarded one day. However, it’s also important to practice self-care, even during very busy work weeks. Sleep as much as you can. Practice mindfulness. Eat healthy food and exercise when you can. These are all good habits that can help see you through hard times.

Published: September 22, 2022
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Andrew Deen

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up business. Twitter @AndrewDeen14.

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