Entrepreneur, business owner, independent… Is it really for you?
Bonjour my peacocks!!!
I hope that you are doing well, that you are healthy and in peace… Today I am here to disturb your peace at some point… I want to talk to you about the hurtful truth about entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur myself, I have been to quite good successes at my level but also, I have been to some failures (turned to be great lessons).
I heard and red a lot about “how to be an entrepreneur” or “7 signs you are ready to start your own business” and more… If you Google these, it means that you are ready to be ready to start something new. But unfortunately, I also heard a lot:” Lya, you’re so lucky, you do what you love…”, “That’s your passion, so it doesn’t count…” etc etc. But DAMN!!!! Accounting, legal stuff, marketing for example are definitely NOT my passion but I have to do it all!
I know 2020 is just the perfect time to start a new venture… That’s what a lot of people think, and I think it too BUT having THE idea, the motivation, some savings, this epiphany is great but so not enough…
Not later than last week (November 2020), one of my acquaintances told me that she wanted to start a new business because she is tired of her life… I heard her so many times saying that, that I barely listen now… But this time she said that she is serious about it. So I tried to warn her about the reality of starting a new business and how difficult and challenging it is. Sure it is an amazing journey, but you need to be mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually solid to be your own boss. And as I already knew, she was in total denial with the hardness of being an entrepreneur… I just wished her good luck and sent her a lot of love and support!
I also heard many times people complaining about their salary:” If I make $4000 a month, it means that my worth is really $8000…” WHO THE HELL TOLD YOU THAT??? Do you know how much time, money, energy, sweat and tears it took your boss to create your job? You haven’t thought about that one huh?!? Your boss had to create a company for you to get that job… And to create that company, it costed her/him a lot of money, a lot of headaches, a lot of failures, a lot of doubts, trainings, lawyers and legal annoying meeting, a lot of trials… a lot of everything! (Of course I’m not talking about the bosses who makes billions and really underpay their employees).
So if you think that you are exploited by your boss, that you can’t stand your co-workers anymore, that you have a bigger purpose and mission than working for someone else: hey it is your time to shine! But I just want you to understand that the entrepreneurial journey is not just fancy, glamorous, sexy and cool! This is just the visible part of the iceberg.
An entrepreneurial mindset is being aware that you are going through a lot! It is an emotional and mental rollercoaster. You will first of all, make sure that your idea is not only a great idea for you but it is a great idea that will serve a community, a large panel of people. Don’t forget that you don’t do business just for you (I truly hope that you won’t be your one and only customer!). You have to study a market and make sure that you answer a demand OR that your product and/or service will be very much needed. For instance, I do not recommend to open a pet shop in a neighborhood with few pets owners, and where they lack more grocery stores and other useful shops than a pet shop that is not primordial to the area.
Then, you have to make people try your products/ services. You need feedback on your offer: if it is valuable, buyable, necessary, if it creates a need, what can be improved etc.
You have to understand that being your own boss is a loooong ass journey! It is extremely hard to be profitable in a very short period of time. You need to learn patience (and meditate). My wish for you is to get profitable as soon as you start, but let’s be realistic: it might not happen. It is not a sprint, it is a marathon^^
Fear should not hold you back to do what needs to be done. Everybody is afraid, it is a normal, natural and necessary feeling. But you have to overcome that feeling. Just get rid of your limiting thoughts (so easy to write right?!?). As a business person, you will take numerous risks… Choose them wisely.
You will go through a lot of doubts and you will probably “fail” many time during the process, but this failures will be lessons for your business to be at its best. That is why it is extremely important that you balance your life, that you take care of your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health; otherwise you will just drown. The so called “me time” is extremely important when most of your time is dedicated to the others. And that is the reason why I do what I do: I guide you to self-care, self-love, self-esteem, self-healing through holistic and creative activities.
Surround yourself with other SERIOUS entrepreneurs, more advance (it is always better) or who just started like you but who are on their way to success. And please, please, PLEASE remove toxic people from your life. The last thing you need, is having in your circle, people who do not believe in you, who doubt you or are jealous that you are changing and not them. That you are doing and not them. People who undervalue you or don’t see your true potential because they, at some point, are struggling in their lives, are definitely not needed. It might be hard to distance yourself from them but this is how you evolve. The entrepreneur life is hard and stressful enough, you will have a good amount of doubts and uncertainty, so you don’t need anyone else to bring extra negative feelings in your life. Negative, pessimistic, problems finder people are not welcome into your life.
You might also be misunderstood by your peers, and in serious lag because you don’t have a 9 to 5 anymore. The good thing is that you will create your own schedule BUT you need to have strong discipline to keep up with your schedule.
You know, a lot of people will tell you that you can learn everything on YouTube and Google and books. There are a lot of free information out there. This is true but not only. If you want to make money: invest in yourself, invest in your business. First thing first, invest in a mentor: this is the key! He/she will show you the way to make profit and sustain your business. A mentor will teach you a lot, and once again, choose wisely. Do your homework for that, dig, dig and keep digging. You have a lot of ‘online, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook mentors’ nowadays…. It’s like everybody is a biz expert, a biz coach… Be careful of the clowns because there are a lot of them out there. I’m not a business coach so I can’t advice you on that, but I can smell the frauds. Since I don’t have money to waste, I’m very careful where I invest my money. For example, I signed up for the ” Business Class” by Sophia Amorouso. If you don’t know that girl boss, I invite to do your homework on her. She is an incredible business woman and I am beyond satisfied with her online class, that is really what I needed for my business. And it made me realize that I also need a one on one mentor because I like to have someone only focusing on me (and I got one). And trust me, it is way better than figuring everything out on your own for years. Your mentor will save you a lot of time and money.
It is very important that you belong to a community, so don’t forget to network, and networking is an investment, once again^^
If you can, invest in a graphic and web designer, community manager, accountant, lawyer, PR etc. But if you can’t… That is why entrepreneurship is hard af! Because at first, you have to do it all on your own! And think about a clear vision on your own of each aspect of your venture, not just the cool parts. You will spend way much more time working on your business than actually exercising it. It is a hard reality but the truth hurts! Just look at your favorite singer, their teams spend way more time on promoting, marketing than the artist performs. If you are not willing to dedicate countless hours to the “back office” of your business, just keep your job. You will do 6 people full time jobs on the top of yours (now do you remember when you only had ONE job to do at the company you were/are working at?) You probably think that I am over reacting but I am soooo not. Until you make enough money to hire people (or find great people to work with you for free or in exchange of something) you will have to work your ass off on a lot of duties you will probably despise. If you do not like marketing, promoting… You are screwed! This where you will spend most of your time. I have some people rejecting to work on their marketing, thinking than one little post per week on Instagram will bring them success, but then, they complain about their business not going anywhere… They prefer to focus only on what they like and are good at. Once again, owning a business is not an easy peasy thing. Most of the entrepreneurs will tell you that they have to spend more time on promoting than anything else (or pay for promotion). Look at all the promoting emails, mails, ads you receive everyday by multi-million dollars companies. They apply the same strategy over and over. You can have the best idea, be the best at what you do, but if no one knows you…
But marketing is not everything. You have to be and look trustworthy! So work intensely and deeply on your business. You need to own your street credibility (“street-cred” in Frecnh slang)
And once again, you will NEVER stop learning, going to workshops and trainings, being mentored… You will spend a lot of time digging on your business, understanding new strategies and methods, learning about your clients, the society needs and so on…
Oh… and DROP THE EGO!!! Ego is related to fear! Ego is very different from pride, but this is going to be for another article. As I just mentioned before, you will learn a lot because you do not have innate knowledge. Your ideas can be improved and/or completely changed. Don’t forget that you are NOT your business. So if someone comes with a better idea that will help your project, don’t take it personal ;-p Your ideas don’t necessarily reflect you… Never forget that. Even if some of your ideas really suck, it doesn’t make you a wack person. They are just ideas, not the whole project. And even if you have done your 5 years plan, your business plan, seen the big picture: nothing is frozen, and everything evolve. 2020 is the leaving proof! How many of us had to completely rethink our lives? How many of us had everything organized and ready in 2020? They what happened?
Your venture will evolve along the time, don’t be closed minded and stretch it.
Sometimes I wish my mind would have been different and that I would be pleased in a
non-entrepreneurial career but I just can’t… I don’t complain but it is really hard BUT it is so much worth it! I love leading, helping and being MY OWN BOSS, with the pros and the cons… I take them all!
In the business world, there is no room for a faint heart. You would better turn your Yang on. And keep you Yin to balance your life and remain the good person that you are, and the healthy balance that you want to be.
And do me a favor: don’t neglect yourself! You are the most important piece of your business. Without you, there is no business. It is very important for you to balance your life, to take few breaks to practice activities that you love, to eat healthy, to socialize, to have conversations not related to your venture, to meet up with people who make you smile, to love and be loved. Don’t forget to practice gratitude, to express how you feel, to vent, to move, to dance, to laugh, to enjoy, to have fun, to rest and to drink plenty of water^^
I could keep going on significant examples that you need to consider before starting your business but I think that you’ve got the idea (wink wink!).
That’s all for me.
Peace and Kiss.
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