Why Your Entrepreneurial Venture Shouldn't Be All About the Money Money shouldn't be your first consideration for your entrepreneurial venture.
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It took me 16 years, a pandemic and lots of money shelled out for amazing coaches to appreciate that just because I could do something well, didn't mean that was a path for me. Can you relate?
Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, where he wakes up, and it's the same day over and over again? I remember waking up many a night unable to go back to sleep, feeling that today was essentially the same as yesterday, this week the same as last, and last month was the same as the month before … You get the picture. However, what was really terrifying, cold sweat-inducing is when the entire year felt like a repeat of the last. I was living Groundhog Day, but even worse, because Bill Murray got a do-over, and I was losing years.
For me, I was floating through life, keeping up with the infamous Joneses and climbing the ladder. However, with time, the excitement quickly faded. While still successful on paper, the work became a soul-sucking drag, and I was only enthusiastic for the weekends. By the way, that's become my number one indicator of burnout — when my emotional state is more tied to what day of the week it is than anything else.
I am not alone
As evidenced by the Great Resignation, an extraordinary number of us are feeling the need to make a significant change. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the "quit rate" is hovering around 4.5 million folks per MONTH, which is 3.3% of the total employment force.
That's almost 40% of the workforce quitting per year. Could there be any greater signal that we are all looking for searching for something meaningful right now?
We thought we had it made
Pre-pandemic, I was commuting every week. The crowd of us that gathered every Monday morning at the airport thought we had it made, a great place to live, and separately, a great place to work. We had a routine that seemed to be working. The pandemic brought it to a screeching halt. Overnight, I was home with the family 100% of the time, and it changed my perspective on what's actually okay.
Seemingly on the other side of the pandemic, it's now hard to remember that there was a time when we didn't know if the world was going to turn into a real-life version of the movie, I am Legend. Do you remember the empty roads, parking lots and closed parks? For a lot of us, the pandemic gave us time and forced us to think about what is actually important and question what seemed like a given. I would absolutely never commute for work again, it just wasn't okay with the life I intended.
Between the Great Resignation and us entrepreneurs out there starting businesses at an all-time high, again it was clear a lot of us were looking for a change.
We might have been a little hasty
The urge to make a change and the lure of more money painted a picture of greener pastures somewhere else. However, a recent UKG study now shows that:
Forty-three percent of job-quitters admit they were better off at their old job.
Of those not fully satisfied in their new role, 62% agree, "The job I quit was better than my job now."
Forty-one percent of people feel they quit their job too quickly.
Fewer than half of job-leavers left for a pay raise.
Nearly 1 in 5 people have already boomeranged back to the job they quit.
So, it's not actually about the money
It turns out, you aren't wrong if you find yourself unsatisfied with your current situation. However, you might be wrong if you jump for the perceived greener pastures. For us entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurial siren call is strong and so is the lure of the instant riches social media would have us believe is one decision away.
I was convinced mid pandemic that I was going to start up a multi-family syndication fund. I've been investing in real estate for over 16 years and constantly have people ask how they could get in or partner with me, and that it was the logical solution. I spent more money than I care to admit to hire a coach to launch and land with both feet. On paper, it was going to be perfect. I have a great background as a CPA, a hands-on investor for over 16 years, and I lived and invested through the great recession of 2008-2009 — I was meeting all the right people, found a partner, etc. My old self was coming back out, I was thinking I've got the chops, I was sought out, nothing can stop me, the earnings opportunity was more exciting than ever, but I paused ... I stopped and asked myself: "I can do this, but should I?"
Tony Robbins famously said, "Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers." In reflecting on that quote, I started to ask myself better questions. What did I really want? Okay, turns out that one was a bit too hard to start with, so then I asked myself what I didn't want. If you've never sat down with a piece of paper and asked yourself what you didn't want, I highly recommend it. It's a cathartic experience. Talk about getting clarity really fast on what was off the table.
For me, a few highlights like commuting every day, being required to be in an office for any amount of time, bound to one location came off the table. Being able to work remotely, the ability to interact with people all over the country/internationally both in-person and virtually were extremely important. Building a network of really interesting people doing amazing things, and most importantly, being not only helpful but making a true impact, ended up on the table.
Two things stood out to me:
Money wasn't ever mentioned
Being a syndicator was out of alignment. Whew, that was a close call.
Don't get me wrong — money makes the world go around, so its always going to be important — but by asking the right questions, I was able to avoid making a mistake that could have locked me into a marriage to a business/career I wasn't meant to be in. For me, a couple of subtle changes to my strategy, and I've pivoted to becoming a professional passive investor, investing in others' syndications and bringing anyone who wants to come along my journey with The Limited Partner Community and Podcast. Those subtle changes brought me fully in alignment.
Will you avoid becoming a statistic by asking yourself the right questions? I'd love to hear what you came up with!