Dark confessions straight from an entrepreneur's heart
'Anyone who says an entrepreneur can find a work-life balance is most likely wrong.'
The three of us had just about settled in cross legged position for late-night dinner into the newest Korean restaurant when the first phone rang. A knowing look passed amongst the three when my friend walked away to begin a call, which would last for over an hour, followed by an unexpected call on my phone from an investor, who found JetSetGo very interesting, and then of course, the third friend’s phone ringing with a very angry dissatisfied customer. Most of dinner went by with all of us holding conversations with our phones, like many other dinners, which usually happens after weeks of each of us cancelling on the other.
Anyone who says an entrepreneur can find a work-life balance is most likely wrong. Your business is your husband, wife, baby, mother, best friend and house. If it isn't - you are in all probability doing something wrong. And why shouldn't it be? If your business is not your first love, then the chances of it succeeding are slim.
The peculiar loneliness of entrepreneurship
In the three odd years of my journey as an entrepreneur, building something from scratch, I have lost friends, lived out of unpacked boxes in unfurnished houses, eaten more takeaway than the rest of my life, missed important family events, taken friends and family for granted, made enemies, burnt through my savings, gone through endless nights without sleep, worked out of cafe's simply for a change, learnt to love things I hated, learnt to do things I didn't deem possible, answered the same questions again and again and again, dealt with people asking me the most uncomfortable questions about my personal life, been an emotional wreck, feared failure, had things crashing on my shoulders but have to put on a smile for my team, forgotten what a vacation was, had friends envy me for all the wrong reasons, fought a lot more than I thought possible, and literally had a whole human being in the form of a mountain of clothes occupy the other half of my bed.
This probably makes me sound like the unhappiest person in the world, but this is where you are wrong. When I receive a call from a happy customer telling me what a wonderful experience they have had with us or a call from a customer, who tells us how we are actually changing things, it makes up for everything I may have gone through in past. This call makes everything worth it! So what I am trying to tell you is –yes…there is a bad, dark, and an ugly side to entrepreneurship, which you cannot avoid. But if you've decided to make it work for you, you have to give it your 110 per cent.
Make your work the biggest motivation
To me, a CEO is just a fancy designation, but in my view, it actually stands for ‘Chief Everything Officer’. You will never be able to switch work, there is nothing called a weekend or time out. It's your job to make sure the Internet in your office works at the same time making sure every customer is happy, figuring out how to grow your market reach, and working out how to grow revenue and focus on entering new markets. Overwhelmed? Then you are not cut out for the role of being an entrepreneur. You have to deal with everything - everyone - everywhere.
You'll slowly notice your friends inviting you out lesser, your social circle changing and you leading a life very different to the one you imagined as an entrepreneur. Do not expect people to understand the hardships it has taken you behind that story, which came out making you sound like a hero; do not expect support from others - you are your biggest support system, biggest motivator and doer. It's up to you to stick it out and come out shining - live up to your dreams.
Entrepreneurship is not for the weak hearted, but for the brave, strong and undefeated. Are you?