Make More Happen

The Truth About Entrepreneurship That Isn't Mentioned Nearly Enough

The Truth About Entrepreneurship That Isn't Mentioned Nearly Enough
Image credit: markus spiske | Flickr

Our society craves instant gratification -- we want things now and we want them fast. We are able to rent movies on demand, use our smartphones to have a personal driver waiting outside within minutes and Chipotle’s Twitter feed goes nuclear if someone has to wait in line for more than a couple minutes to get their burrito.

Entrepreneurship is much cooler than it was years ago, with entrepreneurs seen as modern-day rock stars. The thought of being an entrepreneur is extremely appealing, which has led to an onslaught of products and courses with names similar to:

  • How to Earn Six-Figures in Six Weeks
  • Build a Six-Figure Online Empire on Your Laptop Working at the Beach
  • Make Money 24/7 While Your Sleep With This Automated System
  • Become Your Own Boss and Make Millions by Tomorrow

Related: The Hard Truth of Entrepreneurship: You Will Suffer

The truth is, entrepreneurship is hard -- it’s hard as s**t.

There are no shortcuts or magic formulas to make piles of cash appear in your bank account overnight. You have to work ridiculously hard and anyone telling you different is trying to sell you something.

So why are there so many deceiving products and courses to lure in, and eventually disappoint, aspiring entrepreneurs? It relates to the very first sentence in this article -- instant gratification. Would there be excitement and interest for course and product titles such as:

  • Work Several Years for Little to No Pay
  • How to Get 3 Hours of Sleep a Night and Constantly Be Stressed
  • Quit Your 9-5 Job and Work Twice as Hard
  • Learn How to Secure a Non-Guaranteed Paycheck Overnight

Those titles wouldn’t sell because they wouldn’t excite anyone. Would entrepreneurship be a sexy topic if there were stories published daily about all the failures and crushed dreams? Not a chance. Instead, unicorn startups that receive billion-dollar pre-revenue valuations are featured.

Related: 4 Things I Learned After My First Year as an Entrepreneur

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again -- the truth about entrepreneurship isn’t mentioned nearly enough. Entrepreneurs need to know it’s going to be hard and quick success is rare.

You have to go in fully understanding failure is possible.

Entrepreneurs are brave individuals -- knowing that there are no guarantees and putting it all on the line takes guts. Without risk, there is no reward and I would go as far as to say that you should embrace failure. You don’t want to expect it, but fully understand that it’s a possibility and be committed to learn from it if you do experience it.

You have to be willing to put in the work.

While a lot of courses and programs being sold promise minimal work, it just isn’t reality. Sure, there are rare exceptions, but ask most successful entrepreneurs how their days looked when they were just starting out and I'm willing to bet that they included heading into the office before the sun was up and leaving well after it went back down. 

You have to be willing to work. Everyone has the time, but not everyone is willing to dedicate it to building a business. Gary Vaynerchuk said it best -- “Stop watching f***ing Lost … if you want this. If you want bling bling. If you want to buy the Jets. If you want to do s**t. Work. That’s how you get it.”

You have to be willing to constantly learn.

A successful entrepreneur is never done learning -- he or she is constantly looking to absorb information and insight. Even with little to no free time, a successful entrepreneur is making time to read books, network with like-minded people and establish relationships with mentors and influencers. There is no "off" switch, especially when it comes to learning.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but amazing things can happen when you understand that overnight success is rare and you are ready to work your ass off.

Related: There Are Many Things That Suck About Being an Entrepreneur, But It's Totally Worth It