There's a very real emotional toll as well. Aside from excitement, hopefulness and that fabulous heart-pounding adrenaline that comes with a great business idea (if you don't experience this, why are you in business?!), there's just as many moments filled with frustration, fear, insecurity and stress. These moments, among other things, are part of the price you pay for being an entrepreneur.
182.5 hours per year
If you're going to survive the stress of being an entrepreneur without losing momentum or health, you've got to take care of yourself. And since nothing does your body and mind more good than daily exercise, that means working out at least 30 minutes a day. #NoExcuses. I read somewhere that most successful entrepreneurs work out for a minimum of 30 minutes per day and eat no more than 200-300 calories in junk food. Well, whether that was true or not, it make sense. I was in business for 9 years before I realized I'm not invincible and began taking personal health seriously. And now I find myself craving the fresh mind and energy that comes with my daily workout!
Unless you're already a sales pro, when you start out, you're scared. Like crazy scared. Deep-breathing-in-your-car-before-a-sales-consult type scared. But as you do more and more appointments, talk to more and more leads, get shut down a few hundred times, get more yes's, and ultimately begin to build your clientele, your fear minimizes. Eventually it will be nothing more than a friendly reminder to give every client your best in every appointment.
Because starting a business can be all-encompassing, it's very likely that you'll lose some family time. But you can cut back dramatically on just how much time we're talking about. Consider making your business a family affair. Invite your wife or husband to work that trade show with you, get your kids to give marketing materials to potential clients at the show... If you make your loved ones a priority, you'll find time.
Entrepreneurship will most certainly cost you your boredom. Never again will you wonder what you're going to do today, tonight, this weekend... Your schedule is now officially full - with business, clients, brainstorming, problem-solving, exercising, family time, and, if you played your cards right, the odd vacation. Embrace it!
A regular paycheck
If you don't have start-up financing/investors, you need to be okay forgoing a regular paycheck when the moment (and cash flow) calls for it - particularly in the beginning. For example, there may be times when you find yourself having to choose between paying your employees or yourself. If you choose yourself, you won't be in business very long.
When you own your own business, it's doubtful that you'll want to call in sick. Why? Because you're invested. This is your baby and you can't wait to help it grow each day.
Want to avoid all hidden costs? The solution is simple; have the perfect business model, unlimited financing and loads of profit built into all product pricing. You'll also want to become immune a fearless leader and sales guru who is immune to criticism and seamlessly masters cash flow on day one. Easy, right?
Jennifer Goulden is a marketing go-to-girl for small Ontario businesses and global non-profits, a wedding marketing strategist for some of Canada's most sought after wedding gurus, a product and business photographer, a website and graphic designer, a master of SEO, and a total tech addict. She manages dozens of social media accounts, marketing campaigns and websites that see well over 5 million page views each year.