Tech gurus and YouTube entrepreneurs often paint a rosy picture of the “hustle life” and being an entrepreneur. Their smart little vlogs are excellent at implying that being a business owner is the best thing in the world. There is some truth to that since anyone who has worked a nine-to-five is aware of how soul-sucking it is.
Compared to being your own boss, the traditional office job can be depressing. However, as we all know, life isn’t that black and white. People love talking about the good times.
No one wants to hear some of the harsh realities because, deep down, everyone has some idea about how tough it can be to start and manage your own business. Today we are going to look at some of these lesser-discussed aspects in an attempt to see the dark side of running your own business.
1. Life Is Intense
Most people who have worked office jobs aren’t too familiar with the life of an entrepreneur. They may have picked up a few ideas from interactions with the company CEO, social media, or Hollywood. However, it’s safe to say that an average salaried employee rarely understands what life is really like.
There are some that believe that the most intense moments of starting a business are the early stages. Yes, the early stages of running a business are especially tough, but it is ridiculous to assume that things get simple and easy after a few years. One of the main goals of a business is to grow. Growth takes time.
The process of expanding a business is no simple feat. The amount of research, networking, legal aspects, and general decision-making can take up a large amount of your time. As a result, you are often exhausted, burnt out, and even experience hopelessness and depression from the stress and strain.
This is exacerbated when people realize that results don’t come as easily as they were made to believe.
It is in these situations that business owners learn the necessity of fundamental leadership skills. Being able to confidently Delegate and outsource the time-consuming aspects of your business will keep you sane. Just look at the dimension of marketing, which is something that many business owners try to do along with their managerial roles.
Unless you are some sort of multitasking God, this is virtually impossible to sustain over a long period of time.
Sensible business owners realize that even though it costs money, hiring a marketing agency can take a significant load off their shoulders. Such smart decisions allow entrepreneurs to concentrate on crucial aspects that require personal attention. A marketing agency that takes care of the growth of the business is but one example.
Responsibilities like sales and promotion are best left to experts who can use established connections and expertise in fields like digital marketing, search engine optimization, and advertising. The best leaders find a perfect balance of delegation vs. personalized management for all the other critical business dimensions.
Yeah, it’s pretty tough.
2. There’s Always Uncertainty
One of the biggest challenges that business owners face is dealing with the fog that hides the future. When you work as an employee in a company, you know that you can count on your income to come in regularly. There may be a few exceptional situations that cause uncertainty, like recessions or sudden layoffs, but by and large, life is stable and predictable.
A business owner has none of these guarantees. Every moment contains the potential for great success or sudden failure. To make matters worse, many factors are simply out of your control. All you can do is captain your ship through the storm, adjusting and adapting to each changing wind.
This sounds adventurous and exciting, but if there are people that depend on you, like your family, the lack of stability becomes a major cause of concern. Every moment of uncertainty doubles your stress, especially when you have to pay mortgages, school fees, and any personal or business loans you may have taken.
It isn’t uncommon for things to seem perfectly fine one day, with everything looking stable and predictable, when a sudden development in your field makes your business obsolete overnight. As technology keeps conquering the world at a scary place, this possibility becomes inevitable.
We aren’t saying that technological progress is something to be scared of. We are simply trying to say that those who fail to adapt fall behind significantly.
3. Your Personality Changes
This is more of a side effect that stems from the life of one who runs a competitive business. Many of the decisions you make impact the lives of your employees and the people you deal with on a daily basis. It’s not for the faint of heart. You have to be able to fire someone who might be a great person but who brings the business down.
It can be a lonely time when you no longer have colleagues to joke around with and blow off steam. You are the highest authority now, and the responsibility is a heavy thing to bear.
It will feel like the only people you can have honest conversations with are your family, your friends, and your therapist.
Your family is only partially able to relate to the experiences you talk about. The few friends you stayed in contact with start to drift away. You also come to realize that your therapist only listens to you because you pay them $120 an hour.
It’s easy to become jaded, pessimistic, and bitter in these times. Often, you are innately aware of these transformations happening in your life, and the feeling that you can’t stop them is exhausting. Business owners pay a heavy price for their success, and the “Was it worth it?” question can be difficult to honestly answer.
While the above descriptions of a business owner’s life are accurate, they represent but one facet of the many that give us a complete picture. For a lot of people, the freedom that being an entrepreneur gives you is worth everything else. There is something quite addictive about seeing an idea blossom and grow into something massive.
Every single career choice has a dark side. Traditional employees working in a company might have the benefits of steady pay and predictable work, but they also have to deal with a depressing and repetitive life, limited earning capacity, and an overall lack of flexibility or opportunity to be truly creative.
The world runs on entrepreneurs. They are the job creators, the future of a country and its economy. The people that know what they are getting into truly have the power to change the world.