The Highs and Lows of Being an Entrepreneur
They say that being an entrepreneur is one of the loneliest jobs on the planet.
But they also tell you that it’s one of the most rewarding ones that can create unlimited freedom for you, too.
So which really is it?
The truth is, entrepreneurship has its mixed bag of highs and lows—and we probably wouldn’t want it any other way. In this article, we’re going to take you on a journey to which so many other entrepreneurs can relate.
Let’s take a look at what it means to go from a low to a high as an entrepreneur—and how to achieve it.
From doubt to confidence
This one is tough because confidence doesn’t come easily. But without confidence, you won’t make it in business—or any other area you want to be successful in life. Because confidence is so important, having very little of it (or none of it) is a major low for any entrepreneur. It’s a vital quality, and without it, the success isn’t in your hands.
When you aren’t confident, you find it hard to approach investors and customers with your idea. Why? Because in your mind, it just doesn’t seem good enough. To start overcoming this particular hurdle, seek feedback and assurance from those closest to you. Sometimes all we need is to hear our best qualities voiced by others.
If you need a quick confidence boost, practice power-posing. Studies have shown that simply faking confidence by putting your body in certain positions can actually make a difference psychologically.
Another tactic is to explain something you know well, even if it has nothing to do with your business. Doing so helps remind you that you have the capability to master something, even if it’s new territory to you.
Making decisions helps, too. If you shy away from making decisions, we can assure you that you won’t grow in confidence. The more decisions you make, the more decisions you get right. And then you start to think, “Hey, maybe I can do this — maybe I am good enough.”
The more big calls we make, the more our confidence grows.
From qualms to trust
I’m sure you’ve seen them: those young, inexperienced managers who take charge of teams, only to fail badly.
Why? Often it’s because the team simply didn’t trust them. Perhaps some senior employees thought, “This chump isn’t any older than me. Who does he think he is coming in here thinking he can tell me what to do?”
If you launch a small business, there’s a chance you’ll be working with people who are more experienced than you. If you don’t have a track record to speak of and are pretty much a nobody in the business world, this can cause a lack of trust in you until you go out there, work hard, and earn it.
And that’s an amazing feeling. Like, “Wow, these guys actually trust in me because of how I’m leading them. They’ve got more experience than me, but they’re looking up to me, and I’m responsible for them.”
How to build trust? You need to lead by example: Be a hard worker, a warrior who gets in the trenches and does what you want others to do. Make good on your promises and show your own commitment to the cause.
It’s also important to communicate. Don’t be a closed book and don’t ignore your team members. Get in and among them. If you manage remote employees, check out this resource for staying connected.
Take the time to get to know each team member personally, too. This will help you to forge stronger bonds, and it will improve and enhance trust.
From impetuosity to patience
Impatience is one reason entrepreneurs feel the lows of business ownership, because often what you want hasn’t materialized as quickly as you’d have liked. But impatience is a bad habit, and one you need to get out of.
Impatience can cost your clientele, employees, and your sight on your goals. Most good things don’t happen overnight. They take hard work, perseverance, and trial-and-error.
Going from impatience to patience is a matter of changing a bad habit for a good one. This requires a lot of motivation on your part because you need to be sure that having patience is going to grant you results.
Entrepreneurship is a long-term game where results don’t rush to show up, and it has no place for impatience.
From frustration to motivation
There will be days when you question why you are doing this. There will be days where you’ve just worked for 14 hours straight and wonder, “Why?”
The rewards aren’t here yet, you’re tired, and you’re missing out on important time with your family or friends.
What’s the point?
You need to find your higher purpose—that which drives you at all times and makes you become incredibly self-motivated. You work harder and better because you have a reason for why you are doing what you are doing.
We all have different motivations. Some entrepreneurs are motivated by freedom, others are motivated by their family and the fact that entrepreneurship is going to provide the most security for them in the years to come. Others are motivated by a genuine desire to change the world, while others want to leave a legacy.
Once you’ve found your motivation—your reasons for doing this—those long days at the office won’t feel so bad anymore. Each day is another gift, another chance to achieve what you’re setting out to do.
All in all, entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. The good news is that if you are willing to look for solutions understand all lows have an upswing, entrepreneurship can lead to a life you’ve dreamt of.
Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of and Nightwatch—a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out the Nightwatch blog and follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Fresh small business insights and ideas delivered weekly to your inbox, gratis.
Strategic Planning Roadmap & Worksheet
The annual strategic planning process involves a lot of moving parts. This roadmap serves as a checklist to give you a bird’s-eye view of the process to help you think through your goals and the milestones through the year to keep you on track.