Ask any entrepreneur how they got to where they are and I guarantee you none of them will say it happened overnight. The famous quote “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” says it best, and as cliche or played out as it may seem, it certainly holds true to the journey entrepreneurs must take to in order to reach their desired level of success. You will have to make sacrifices whether you like it or not, so here are 10 sacrifices you may encounter along the way.
1) Sleep – Remember the good ol days of college (if you went) where you slept all day? Kiss that good bye cause the real world sucks. Entrepreneurship isn’t a 40 hour a week job. Yes, you can set your own hours but at the end of the day, it’s still a full time job. Long gone are the days of 8 wonderful hours of sleep but rather late nights of working hard to bring your idea to life. To get 8 hours is wishful thinking but realistically it’s not uncommon to only get 5-6 hours a night.
2) Health – I list this loosely as I firmly believe your health/diet should always be a very high priority. If you’re healthy, you feel more energized allowing you to work those long nights as we just discussed. But the reality is that most people have to balance multiple things in their life including a day job possibly, family, significant others, etc. It can become difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle with fitness and dieting so don’t be surprised if you gain a few pounds sitting behind the computer all day. I absolutely believe there’s no excuse to work out at least an hour a day but there always will be those that don’t because of laziness.
3) Friends – The friends you grew up with may soon become distant friends of the past. You will probably stay close to a select few of them but the majority will continue on with their ways of confined thinking and settling for average at best. Don’t be surprised if some even turn against you as success can make a person jealous real fast. On the upside, you will meet newer individuals who share the same mindset as you. This will allow you to work harder as you keep each other in check. Don’t forget to take care of your close friends who believed in you when you do make it though.
4) Free Time – The value of time has no price as it’s literally priceless. When you stall and take your time, there’s going to be someone else who has more resources and will take action, beating you to the marketplace. Again, if you have other commitments with family or a day job, your free time is even scarce. Life is short and there’s only 24 hours in a day so make it count.
5) Social Life – As Gary Vaynerchuk says (who will be featured soon): “If you live for the weekends then your shit is broke.” The days of partying, drinking, clubbing, and all that fun stuff will have to wait. We know temptation will kick in so we believe that it is good to unplug and take a break from work from time to time but to also not let it become a habit. If you have a problem sitting home on a Saturday night then maybe you’re in it for the wrong reasons and entrepreneurship isn’t for you.
6) Stability – If you work a day job then you will have a bit more stability and a safety net but remember nothing is guaranteed. You’re still essentially building someone else’s dream. On the other hand, if you’re a full time entrepreneur, you take on tremendous risk since there’s also no guarantee that your idea will make it plus cashflow will be hard to come by initially. For you to go full time on any venture does demand some respect in its own right. But as an entrepreneur, you must be willing to sacrifice stability and living way below your means to make it all work. But please never put your family and loved ones in jeopardy.
7) Relationships – It can be tough to balance relationships while working on your project as your heart may be somewhere else. A relationship usually requires a full commitment and you’re either all in or out. If you’ve found a great partner that fully supports you in your endeavors then be sure to give them the attention they deserve without falling off the path. For the other folks, you can have fun as well but just be sure to separate business and pleasure when necessary.
8) Personal Wants – All the goods and toys you can easily afford will have to wait. These include things like a project car, video games, clothing, etc. These are all nothing but depreciating assets usually and will result in nothing more than being a waste of your time and money. You work hard for yourself so it’s ok to treat yourself but also remember that reaching your desired level of success will be the best reward money can buy. It’s also ok to dream and strive for things like luxury goods but keep in mind if your motive to start a business is to make money then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Instead, be innovative, solve real world problems, provide value, and the money will come.
9) Growth – As you progress through your entrepreneurial journey, you will no doubt see close friends and family have great careers in the corporate world, allowing them to live a very comfortable life and purchase things like their own homes. This is completely ok as those individuals are happy and complacent with what they have. However, this should not discourage you as being ‘behind the curve’ so to speak. Remember that the ceilings for growth, personally and in your bank account, are infinitely higher than anyone that works in the corporate world. You will have your time to shine when the time is right.
10) Sanity – Nothing will come easy so be prepared to deal with incredible amounts of setbacks and obstacles. Those are the times that will really make you question your sanity and devotion to your idea. It is how you handle these situations that will ultimately define who you are. You can chalk every event along the way as a learning experience. At times you will think you are crazy to go through all the bullshit just to bring your idea to life. But remember it’s the crazy ones that ultimately change society. With that I live you a very fitting and motivational speech from the late Steve Jobs.