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Question for all entrepreneurs

Discussion in 'Mindset and Motivation' started by SARubin, Apr 27, 2018.

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  1. SARubin

    SARubin Member

    When it comes to your business, do you own your life? Or do you just own a job?

    This question came to mind the other day while I was talking with another business owner I know.

    She was feeling a little stressed out from the daily grind of being "the boss."

    She went on to say... "The money is great. But even after 3 years of running this business, there always seems to be a problem that needs my attention. Whether it's dealing with an unmotivated employee, a customer complaint, or a vendor that doesn't deliver as promised.... It's always something."

    My friend continued by saying, that when she first started, she thought she was going to own a business. But now it seems like her business owns her. It's taken over her life, and she barely has any time for herself.

    As I listened to her, I was reminded of the old adage... "one definition of an entrepreneur, is a person who's willing to work 80+ hours a week, just to avoid a 9 to 5 job."

    Well, I could certainly relate to where she was coming from, because I've been there (got the T-shirt, the bumper sticker, and the battle scars to prove it)

    But these days, I have a slightly different outlook ( I dunno, maybe I'm just gettin' too old and tired, to waste my energy worrying about every little thing that comes along? ) ...

    Sure, my career is a big part of my life, and part of who I am. And yes, stuff still happens that stresses me out, and makes me wonder why I even bother trying sometimes.

    But for the most part, I enjoy the process of being an entrepreneur. (most of the time)

    These days, I see most business problems as challenges. And I'm often eager to prove I can conquer them. (like taming a wild beast, and turning it into a house pet.)

    Of course, there's also the challenges that simply aren't worth the investment of time, energy, or cost it takes to overcome them. So we do need to pick our battles, and either outsource those issues or file them away, and move on.

    Anyway, the last couple days I've been casually asking some other business owners if they enjoy what they're doing? And the life they're living?

    I've gotten a range of answers, from "it's stressful" to "it's great," and everything in between.

    And now I'm asking the same questions here...

    Do you enjoy what you're doing, and the life you're living?

    Do you like being a business owner, or entrepreneur (with all of its ups and downs)?

    Do you feel like you're making a difference in the world? And in peoples lives? (are you living on purpose?)

    Or, do you wake up in the morning, realizing that being your own boss simply means you've created a job for yourself? One with a ton of responsibility... and a boat load of stress... (and hopefully a decent paycheck) ?

    I guess there's no right, or wrong answer. Only personally subjective interpretations.

    So, what do you think?
    Edvin and djbaxter like this.
  2. Edvin

    Edvin MVP Member Top Contributor


    This is a great post.

    I am among first generation immigrant from a third world country.
    Both my immediate and extended family have picked-up the entrepreneurial stick to provide for their families.

    Though I have yet to be an entrepreneur, I've observed first hand the 5am to 12am (19 hours) seven days work week and the challenges/pressures that imposes on the families. I've even seen an entrepreneur succeed financially within the family circle to only have lost his family due to impact on family dynamics.

    For many hard working people, having their own business is the only way to earn a decent living for their family.
    Yet there are few, at-least from the outskirts, that appear to be running their business as a co-pilots because they have evolved their business to be self-sufficient entity.

    As an outsider, I keep thinking about The E-Myth (I highly recommend it), which talks about turning the business in to self-regulating and operating machine by establishing processes. It uses fast-food stores (i.e. McDonnald) as an example where everyone knows their tasks because of established process; for instance, when was last time we worried about food being under/over cooked by a teenager preparing our food.

    For new up-comers such as myself, we are still in denial and are dreaming of greener pastures in entrepreneurial endeavor. Without passion, belief, vision, and maybe a dash of ignorance we would never get started.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018, SARubin and djbaxter like this.
  3. Small to Feds

    Small to Feds MVP Member Top Contributor

    I endured the large corporation world for many years, learned much (good and bad) and then went on the move.

    Bureaucracy, greed, politics and a corporate extension of the Pentagon wasting huge amounts of tax payer funds for the benefit of top executives had soured my soul.

    A funny thing happened on the way to a different job - it was like a moving template - the places and the faces changed but the issues stayed the same in corporate venues of the Military Industrial Complex.

    I found my place in small business and running my own enterprise consulting to them.

    I learned we are most at peace when we are in sync with our personal value system and when we are permitted to pursue our values in our personal and professional endeavors. If we cannot achieve that harmony we will seek change.
    SARubin, djbaxter and Edvin like this.
  4. djbaxter

    djbaxter Administrator Moderator Member

    Great thread! Thanks to everyone participating. :)
    SARubin likes this.
  5. SARubin

    SARubin Member

    Yes Edvin,

    When I quit my last job (some 25 years ago) a big part of my mindset was that "I was all done working for someone else, and making them rich, while I did more work than they did."

    So I went out on my own, and soon discovered that there was a whole lot more to it, than just doing the daily work. There's the administrative and paperwork, estimates and invoices, sales and marketing, etc. All of these can quickly turn into full time jobs by themselves (and I wasn't getting paid for any of it)

    In fact, more than once I was convinced that I had merely quit working for one idiot... and now I was just working for a different idiot (hey, at least I kept my sense of humor)

    But you're right... If I had been more pragmatic way back then, I probably would have just stayed an employee for the rest of my life (looking back on it now, I am so glad that I was ignorant to reality :D)

    And thanks for the recommendation. I've heard of the E-Myth, but haven't read it yet. Your recommendation could be the "tipping point" (Malcolm Gladwell reference;)) that finally gets me to buy the book.

    All the best,

, Edvin and djbaxter like this.

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