The Three Sacrificial Lambs of Entrepreneurship3 min read
Sacrifice is not a topic which can be covered in a 700 word article, it spans way out past the horizon. To be an entrepreneur means sacrifice of all kinds in several parts of your life, yeah that part too. I would know, I’ve been living this for a while. You sacrifice spending time with friends and family, you lose sleep several nights a week, and you have to sacrifice junk food, because it will make you unhealthy at some point, not to mention lessens your already disturbed focus, and some will even sacrifice their health for that contract or deal you’ve spent months working on (guilty).
If you’re single, you have one less problem, but if you have a significant other, you need to speak with them. They will no longer be your top focus for a while (and in some cases, the business will always be the main focus), and they have to understand that thoroughly. You will need support, someone to cheer you on through the good and bad, someone to drop lunch on busy days, someone who will not crucify you for missing anniversary dinner because you’re working your tail off. If you can’t get that from your significant other, foresee hiccups down the road. The reason why I tackle this first is because some people just don’t understand when you start a business, that’s all you think about. It’s a risk, and you don’t want to fall short of success so you have to put everything you have into it. This is NO reason to break anyone’s heart – just saying. Just know that some people, not all, cannot handle being number 2 in someone’s life, especially to a business.
Friends and family relationships are also included. Don’t expect that since you’ve taken the dive to work for yourself means you have more time. You don’t, and every last second means that you need to do something positive for the business. So those places you used to hang out in all the time? Expect them to become a stranger to you. Those 100+ friends you have? Expect that number to reach to 5-10. And the hundreds of family get-togethers? Expect to miss a good few. It isn’t all bad, you’re busy. And busy in business is good. [busy-ness = business]
Every entrepreneur knows that sleep is sacrificed. When you decide to take that dive, remember that for a while, it will just be you, so Betty that accountant girl? Yeah, you’re doing her job. And the janitor’s job, and the secretary’s job, and the marketing department is all you and you’re the chief IT technician. Know that you will be an entire enterprise, until the business builds, and you can hire some help and you’ll be working more then than you are now. 5-6 hours a night is a common sleep cycle for most new entrepreneurs, and I recommend a nap or two during the day. A nap will help you relax for just a bit, and you’ll be more able to function on less sleep that way. There are different sleep cycles you can experiment with also if you’re really interested in maximizing time.
Money is the next big sacrifice. You have to budget like a pro when you just start out. Do you want the next mobile phone? You can’t have it. You can’t have it because the one you have right now works fine and that sort of spending will hurt you big time in the long run, especially if you have left that job you spent most of your life doing. There is no job security in entrepreneurship. There is no insurance plan, no sick-leave, no paid vacation. Every cent you spend wrongly, will hurt you. Do your research, spend your money on the right advertising and make the most of free stuff.
Keep healthy if you’re going into business. Daily aerobic exercise and yoga bring increased focus, and you’re able to think clearer. Watch your diet like a hawk. Take the stinky vitamins.
You CANNOT afford to get sick. You get sick = business pauses until you’re better. Remember that.