For Subscribers

Sacrificial Rites

In the ceremony we call entrepreneurship, it's often family, friends and finances that end up on the altar.

By Michelle Prather

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You hear countless "happy" stories about single moms who've turned family recipes into multimillion-dollar businesses, or Disney and Microsoft dropouts who used their corporate training to turn themselves into Internet icons. It's no wonder there's been an entrepreneurial craze lately-creating and running successful companies looks so darned easy. Forget self-help books-entrepreneurial success stories are some of the most inspirational things in print today.

Glaringly absent from most of those cheery stories, however, are the mental stress of not knowing whether you'll have to steal that next roll of toilet paper from a public restroom because future income is so uncertain, the ill will of loved ones who didn't make your to-do list, and the recurring migraines from two hours of sleep per night and a diet of fast food and coffee. Instead, they're glossed over with a thick coat of "But now our sales are (insert commendable figure), and our client list is 100 strong." It's not just the media's fault. Getting a business off the ground is somewhat analogous to natural childbirth: The pain is so excruciating, you begin to doubt you'll make it through-you might even cry out "No more!" But when you're presented with that beautiful bundle, those tortured thoughts become sweet memories . . . most of the time.

Continue reading this article — and all of our other premium content with Entrepreneur+

For just $5, you can get unlimited access to all Entrepreneur’s premium content. You’ll find:

  • Digestible insight on how to be a better entrepreneur and leader
  • Lessons for starting and growing a business from our expert network of CEOs and founders
  • Meaningful content to help you make sharper decisions
  • Business and life hacks to help you stay ahead of the curve

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Thought Leaders

The Collapse of Credit Suisse: A Cautionary Tale of Resistance to Hybrid Work

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for business leaders to adapt to the changing world of work and prioritize their workforce's needs and preferences.

Business Solutions

Learn to Build a ChatGPT Bot for Only $30

If you want to see what AI can do for your business, grab this course bundle today.

Data & Recovery

If You Have a Business, You Have Passwords to Manage

How a password management system is crucial for entrepreneurs.

Business News

'I Don't Feel Like It's Unreasonable': A-List Actor Refused Service At Hotspot For Not Following Dress Code

Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe had quite the afternoon after trying to stop at a Japanese steakhouse in Melbourne, Australia following a game of tennis.

Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.