by Guest Blogger . June 28th, 2014
By Jeffrey Fermin
Let’s start with some of the pros:
I know what you’re thinking, nothing can go wrong with that, right?
Well, I’m here to warn you of some of the stresses that come along with taking the entrepreneurial route.
There are certain aspects of it that will help you grow as a person and as a leader, but it is a long-winding, uphill road, that you will have to go through to obtain success. For those that do make it and don’t give up, they’ll tell you that the journey was well worth it.
Here are some of the stresses that come from having “freedom” as an entrepreneur.
I made a decision to go on a tech start-up journey over lunch at a fast food place with my buddy. I’ve been on the road, living out of suitcases, living in basements, and even lived in a different country. All for one bit of hope.
Remember, our society is tailored to believe that life is supposed to be a certain way. You know, you go to school, you get a job, get a family, get a mortgage on a 4 bedroom castle, you watch TV shows and buy the products from ads that you watch, maybe go on vacations twice a year, and repeat it till you reach your demise.
Let’s face it, the safe route absolutely sucks.
People will always want you to fail. And I’ve had my own friends tell me that I’m ridiculous for wanting to pursue a dream.They have even tried to talk to me about getting other positions within jobs that I’m qualified for.
It’s your job as an entrepreneur to believe in yourself and to avoid the “advice” of those around you. You’ll have to grow thick skin and a hard skull (unfortunately for me, thin hair), but keep your eye on the prize.
The beauty of the aforementioned “bit of hope” is that it’ll take you on an incredible journey that’ll hopefully allow you to reach an amazing destination.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not just doing it for the pay, merit, or even respect. You’re doing it because you want to be recognized for taking a chance and achieving greatness when others told you that wouldn’t.
All the other tangible things that come with success are nice, but to say that you did it your way, is the greatest feat that you can achieve.
Although the bullets I had mentioned in the beginning, make it seem like you make your own hours and that you have a lot of flexibility, it can actually be detrimental to your growth, as you’ll probably will opt to work even longer than what you usually would at a “normal job”.
If you do become overly obsessed with your project, you’ll begin to notice that you’ll lost a lot of leisure time, which may make you seem more productive, but it will indeed lead to your burning out. I know, because it has happened to me, my co-founder, and even my investor.
I remember feeling stressed and burnt out, like my life felt meaningless, and if my project didn’t take off, it would’ve been a sad chapter in my youth. I even contemplated quitting my project (that I had worked on for 2 years). I read all those horrible stories about young entrepreneurs and how depression is a part of the gig. Then I realized I didn’t want to quit, I just wanted to change.
I began believing in work life balance and began changing my routine. I was thankful to have an amazing investor that allowed me
Originally, I was showing up to work at 10:30am, leaving at 6pm (oftentimes, later), taking breaks to go to the gym and really starting to have fun with my leisure time. Eventually, I started reading up Lifehacks about making my body work better, so I started waking up early (6 AM), going to the gym, and starting my workday off at 9 AM, to finish at 5 PM.
I basically forced myself into a routine of working 9-5 PM, after avoiding working these hours. But I definitely developed a positive outlook for my career and individual growth.
You’re going to have to figure out what do customers want? How do you sustain a business? How do you keep your employees happy? How can we make the product/service better?
If you have don’t have a financial background or a business person to work with, you are in for a treat. You’re going to have to become sharp on a lot of business aspects to prove to your investors, customers, and team, that you know what you’re doing.
Learning on the go is a bit of an adventure, but it has worked out well for me and my cofounder for the past two years. We’ve learned how to fail fast, and adapt to our settings.
But just remember, you’re always going to have a stressful situation when starting up and learning to maintain your business. There’s going to be product pivots, blown schedules, mistakes, and you better hope to not run into any issues back at home.
It’s a stressful gig and it’s not for everybody. I will admit that as my company is now nearing a good destination, I can honestly say that I’ve learned to love the journey to get to where we are at.
Every twist, every turn, every moment of doubt, but most importantly, the team that I’ve had around me to keep my head screwed on right.
This is not a profession for the weak of heart, this is for risk-takers, the badasses, the ones that don’t want to accept the mundaneness of normal living and the ones that will always want to make the world better.
Stress will always be there, but having real freedom within your occupation. So accept and embrace the stress, and keep your eyes on the prize.
All images are part of the Public Domain
Jeffrey Fermin is cofounder of Officevibe, an employee engagement platform that encourages collaboration through team building activities. When he’s not working on his product, he spends the majority of his time reading, writing and meeting new people.