It’s the end of the Prep School series. Bittersweet, isn’t it? Before you head out into the entrepreneurial world, let’s go over what we have learned. (Well, what you have learned. I already knew this stuff.)
- Some friends and relatives won’t understand that you need to prioritize your business over socializing, at least for the first few years.
- You’re going to be broke for some span of time.
- There may be people in your life who expect you to not charge them for the goods or services your company offers.
- You’re probably going to work every single day, and some of the folks around you will have a hard time understanding that.
Owning a small business is not the norm. The percentage of people in the US who own their own business has varied between 12% – 14% over the past five years, but that still means at least 75% of people are not entrepreneurs. Unless you run in heavily entrepreneurial social circles–and again, LET ME IN if that’s the case–there’s a good chance very few around you own a business. So yeah, they may not get your lifestyle until you explain it to them. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m a big believer in learning about the work schedules, lifestyles and priorities of my friends and family so I can understand them better. If you’re going to ask those around you to understand where you are coming from, you’ve got to do the same for them.
If you are considering opening your own business, it’s important that you understand the sacrifices you will likely need to make. Then you’ll have to weigh them and against the advantages of being your own boss. Once you do that, you should be able to articulate to your friends and family how your career will impact your life and why that’s worth it to you.
Everyone has their own reasons for opening their own business. I had three major ones. 1) I wanted to wake up and be happy to go to work. I had dreaded my jobs for too long and did not want to spend the rest of my working life hating how I spent the majority of my time. 2) I wanted be cold as little as possible. I knew that entrepreneurship would eventually bring me the freedom to live somewhere warmer during the winter months. 3) I wanted to be able to spend as much time as possible with my friends and family. Yes, I often had to miss out on get-togethers and parties during the early years (and still sometimes do now), but ever since I went full time, I’ve been able to do things like leave at 2:00pm–avoiding rush hour–to drive to another state for my brother’s birthday, help my mother prepare for our Big Italian Thanksgiving or take a friend to doctor’s appointment, all without using personal time or having to get permission. So although I’ve asked a lot in terms of understanding from those I’m close to, it’s so I can spend more time with them.
If you decide to open your own business, you’re going to be met with a lot of challenges. There’s no way around that. But if you have support from your family and friends, that will make it infinitely easier to face those challenges. If you don’t explain your lifestyle to them, they may contribute to the challenges you will have, and who wants that? A little communication goes a long way, so just do it.
Have a beautiful day 🙂