The entrepreneur lifestyle is a waterfall of blessings: make as much money as want, work from anywhere in the world, do what you love, throw out the rulebook. But, as an honest woman, I cannot look you in the eyes and tell you it doesn’t have its drawbacks, too.
I like to delicately refer to these as the “hard to swallow pills” of the entrepreneur lifestyle. Just like the big hunky multivitamin you take every day (or should; friend to friend: get on that), the benefits are worth it. But it doesn’t mean we all don’t cringe on the way down.
And, also like your multivitamin, they’re only particularly worrying if you’re not expecting them. Just like failing to hone an entrepreneurial mindset, if you don’t brace yourself for these challenges of the entrepreneur lifestyle, it could be to your detriment.
Familiarize yourself with these difficulties of the entrepreneur lifestyle so that they won’t surprise you and shake you off of your path to greatness.
6 Hard-To-Swallow Pills Of The Entrepreneur Lifestyle
Brace for impact: these will all rock you at some point of your journey to living your best entrepreneur lifestyle.
1. It doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what you get *done*
Working all day, week or month on a blog post, eBook or product line doesn’t mean anything.
Oh, and research. Don’t get me started on research!
Researching exhaustively without action doesn’t matter. Writing an eBook and never publishing it doesn’t matter.
Now, of course growth, experimentation and learning, yada yada – no, I would never dock that part of the behind-the-scenes process. But as an entrepreneur, aka a person who makes themselves a living, it doesn’t matter what is currently in progress behind the scenes.
What matters is what you get done. What you publish. What you list for sale on your shop. What you send to your email list.
Even if you’ve been living the entrepreneur lifestyle for a long time, this can still sneak up on you. I started on my journey in 2017, but still just in 2021, I was snubbed by this hard-to-swallow-pill again.
I was working on my template shop for months. I sent many arbitrary “launch days” on the calendar but never fulfilled them because my templates were still being improved. Even though I knew that it only mattered what I got done, I still felt pretty good about it. I told myself I was making so much progress.
But progress can be deceptive. The pacifying feeling of progress is one of the enemies of the entrepreneur lifestyle.
Be a completer. Don’t spend too much time progressing without actually publishing, creating listings, listing the new sales page.
2. Growth and development are slow
….and there’s no shortcut, except to keep going.
This touches on one of my business mantras: hard work is the shortcut. To arrive at your destination, you must spend time (years, for many people) putting in the work to build, develop and improve whatever ecosystem makes you money.
It’s like my favorite metaphor for the entrepreneur lifestyle: being employed is like riding in a car. Even if you’re tired, if you underperform, or a project falls through, you’ll still arrive at your destination: you’ll still get your paycheck.
Being self-employed, on the other hand, is like riding a bicycle. You have to pedal every day to arrive at your destination. If you pedal slower, or take a break, you arrive that much later.
Eventually, you can outsource things and electricize your bike, if you will. Which actually leads right into the next point:
3. Money actually can buy a good bit of happiness
Controversy – fire emoji. The old adage is true that money can’t buy happiness…. in life. But in business, money actually can do *a lot* for your happiness.
Money lets you outsource the things that you don’t like or aren’t good at, can buy you education to handle tasks more efficiently and overall take a lot off of your shoulders.
You don’t need a lot of money to start, and using free tools for processes like client workflow can actually be even more efficient that heavy paid softwares.
Set yourself financial goals and work towards them just like any other goals. If not for the money itself (I know not everyone is money-motivated), aspire towards the improvements to your ecosystem that money can provide.
And, in case anyone is feeling this: it’s not bad to aspire to making money. It doesn’t take the heart out of your business to want it to be very profitable, or whatever other money insecurities are lurking around trying to sabotage you.
My personal financial goals are to start making $1k passively a month from this blog by the end of 2021. Truthfully, I have *no* idea if it’s achievable, but I don’t believe in setting realistic goals.
Speaking of making money, how do you make money?
4. The Entrepeneur Lifestyle Requires You Selling Something
The fuel for a creator, sadly, is almost never money. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? But you must sell something if you’re going to support yourself.
Even bloggers who get millions of readers a month and make a living exclusively from ad revenue are selling something: they’re selling the dream or lifestyle associated with their blog.
You don’t have to know what you’re going to sell right away to get started, especially when it comes to blogging. People who want to blog but have no idea how to turn it into a business should start blogging anyway. Use your blog to find out what you want to do, and then use it as a springboard.
No one has it all figured out when they begin. Honestly, I think the backbone of the entrepreneur lifestyle is being able to figure things out as you go. But remember that
You can sell..
- Digital products such as templates, eBooks, trainings
- Physical products such as stickers, coffee mugs, totes
- Time exchanges such as coaching, freelancing, services
The thing you’re going to sell can (and maybe should) be something that comes easily to you.
Just because past jobs might have been difficult and unenjoyable doesn’t mean your way of making money has to be. It’s completely okay (and actually really smart) to make money doing something that you enjoy and comes naturally to you.
Your entrepreneur lifestyle will be more sustainable and more profitable for this.
5. Very few people will completely get what you do
It’s actually a very rare thing to find people who you genuinely jive with *and* who understand what you do for a living.
The majority of the public won’t understand what you do for money. As a result of their own lack of understanding, some people will therefore reject what you do as valid. It’s gross, but you should expect to encounter this at some point in your entrepreneur lifestyle.
And remember how we were talking about making money? The more money you make, the more abrasive people will find it. That’s their issue, not yours.
Insulate your business and goals from people who will be anything less than supportive (more advice on that here), and build strong relationships with other entrepreneurs in your life, even if they’re digital friends who you’ve never met in real life.
There’s no communal coffee machine where you’ll bump into these supportive and ambitious friends; you have to find them yourself. Essentially every part of the entrepreneur lifestyle is left up to you, which leads us right into the next point.
6. You are your own worst enemy
I’m referring to productivity, energy, undue stress, procrastination… whose ears are burning? Are you guilty of this?
When you don’t have the money yet to outsource (like we talked about in point #3), everything is on your shoulders. It’s probably the most difficult part of the entrepreneur lifestyle.
Some of these struggles will just be tangible growing pains of learning to be efficient working online, and others will be emotional.
Self-sabotage is a real, imminent threat for entrepreneurs, especially new ones. Insecurities around setting ethical prices, pitching potential clients or publications or producing products have to be overcome.
If you’re worried that you’re not established enough to really live the entrepreneur lifestyle, consider this checklist.
- Get rejected
- Have to keep improving
- Will sometimes feel out of their depth
There’s no initiation process to the entrepreneur lifestyle; no one will send you a letter in the mail telling you it’s time to pursue an online biz that will offer you everything you want in life.
Develop your sea legs of the entrepreneur lifestyle. Recognize self-sabotage. Keep going. Your happiness and income depend on it.
Hard-To-Swallow Pills Of The Entrepreneur Lifestyle Conclusion
I won’t lie to you the entrepreneur lifestyle is an uphill battle in the beginning. And, depending on how your work goes, the “beginning” could last for years.
That’s not failing. Taking time to make your dream entrepreneur lifestyle isn’t failing. Failing is quitting.
Please don’t quit. Your dream entrepreneur lifestyle is so worth it.