Too busy to read this blog...well I’ve got your back friend. I’ve recorded an audio clip, so you can listen to it easily.
I’d finally made the leap from the corporate world to full-time entrepreneurship. Something I’d been sitting on for most of my career.
I always knew the rigid schedules, water cooler talk, and repetitive work, were not my thing.
For a lot of people, even saying that doesn’t make sense to them. That is why I stuck it out for so long.
I was good at talking myself out of what I really wanted to do. But like most people, you reach a breaking point. And four years ago, that was me.
Desperate to break free.
But the leap into entrepreneurship wasn’t at all what I expected. My excitement quickly turned into despair.
I felt like I’d traded one jail sentence for another. Anyone who owns a brick-and-mortar or small business knows the work it takes to own and operate it.
I don’t blame you, I never really understood it until I was living it. And the endless messages of “build a business of your dreams” or “pursue your passion it’s worth it” made me believe that if I pursued the thing I was passionate about things would work out.
Call me naive. Tell me I told you so.
Are things I started to hear. Along with, “what did you expect?”
Fuck, not this.
I expected to love it.
I expected to enjoy more parts of my day than not.
I expected the ‘freedom’ that comes with entrepreneurship (or at least what people were selling me).
I expected to take holidays when I wanted without having to ask my boss.
I expected to spend my days doing things I loved.
And it was none of those things (or at least not for me). So I started to think maybe I was doing something wrong. Maybe you’re really not meant to love your work.
But the more entrepreneurs I talked to the more I realized they were feeling the same way in some capacity.
They were tired of riding the ebbs and flows of the business, wondering where their next client or customer would come from.
They worked extremely hard to earn a living.
They spent all of their time in the business but had very little time growing it.
They hated the uncertainty of things.
They felt like if they released control (or were not always present) their business would crumble.
When they lost customers it created fear and panic that their business wouldn’t survive.
To my relief, I wasn’t alone. But that still didn’t sit well with me. And the creative thinker and problem solver wanted to figure out why owning and operating a business didn’t meet the expectations of so many hopeful people.
I mean we couldn’t all be that naive, could we?
...was there something else at play here that was causing so many business owners to paint this picture that life as an entrepreneur was a total dream, full of abundance, joy, and happiness.
When in reality, they weren’t feeling that way at all. On the inside, they were feeling burned out from trying to keep their business afloat, and wondering when they’d get their next vacation.
I know my five weeks of corporate holidays started looking pretty damn good to the one week I was getting in my business.
Personally, I was feeling duped. Along with deep resentment and frustration.
I contemplated going back to corporate. I thought it would be easier to collect a healthy paycheck and not have to worry about all the things that come with owning a business.
But I knew that would bring more resentment and frustration. Deep down I knew this was the path for me. I just needed to figure out how to create joy, fun, and vibrancy in it.
I joined communities. Signed up for workshops and programs. I built a community of aspiring entrepreneurs. I coached artists, creatives, coaches, and consultants.
I spent two years listening to what entrepreneurs were saying. What struggles they were facing. I documented everything.
And coupled with my own lived experience, I discovered that as entrepreneurs (or creatives) we love to create. Our joy comes from building and creating things, solving problems, and helping people.
Not the other stuff that goes into running a business.
The tech issues.
The inventory management.
Dealing with customer complaints.
All of it. These are things you can’t avoid when running a business. And they certainly aren’t the things that drove us to pursue this path.
This is why I believe entrepreneurship stripped away the ‘joy’ of doing what I love. The added pressure (I put on myself) to get things RIGHT, instead of learning to love the process. All of the process, even the parts I don’t like doing.
I’ve spent the last four months trying things on with the intention of doing it to see if I like it or not. I let go of the pressure to get it right the first time. I released the belief that if I pick one thing I have to stick with it forever.
For most of us, it’s why we started our businesses. We wanted to create something for ourselves. We wanted to create something that would help others. We love creating and building things.
So let’s bring back the joy of doing just that. Let go of the pressure, control, and need to get it right.
You my friend have nothing to prove. And I believe when we learn to love the process, the stress will fall away.
I share more ways on how to build a successful business and the REAL journey of entrepreneurship in my weekly emails. If you want to sign up for a dose of truth in business, click the link here.
I’m also keeping it real over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.