As of the last year my husband and I decided to pursue entrepreneurship. “What a fun idea.” I thought to myself, and it is. Until it gets tough. A large majority of start ups fail within the first year. They cost a lot of time, money, and resources.
Recently our generation has romanticized the idea of entrepreneurship. It’s caused us to view multi-million dollar companies as “easy” and a “sure fire way to success”. In reality most business that endure to success are messy and filled with blood, sweat, and tears. (Extra on the tears. I’m talking Guac at Chipotle extra).
I knew it would be hard work to be young, married, and making “just enough” while pursuing such things. While many disparage wealthy individuals, I look up to them. It’s very easy (if not mindless) to say “Oh that millionaire was given all of their things in life, they’re spoiled, they’re this or that.” But in reality those individuals worked their asses off to get where they are.
I challenge anyone who feels this way to create a start up, and invest your time and resources into it. It’s not rainbows and cake, it’s more like the feeling of soreness on day two after your first workout in six months.
No one told me about the intense feelings I would have about being an entrepreneur.
One of the first things you will discover on your road to success is loneliness. The more you learn and understand the more people drift from your responses. It seems a great many people want to be wealthy, but not one person wants to put in the work. As a 21 year old, female entrepreneur it seems hopeless to try and speak to anyone who is genuinely willing to grind for their dream (if they even have a dream at all). Needless to say this makes it harder to communicate with friends and family.
You will also experience intense motivation as people tell you that you will not make your goals. This comes in many forms. A comical smirk, failure to keep you accountable, discouraging words, ignorant statements, and altogether disbelief.
People love to tell you “You Can’t”. The more I speak to my generation the more I realize we are a generation of “I Can’t” and “You Can’t”. The few that shrug off that statement are the few that actually have a dream worth making. The other’s provide intense (and often much needed) motivation.
Deep Rooted Doubt
Deep rooted doubt has been, and always will be there until the day I die. I never expected the smallest of things to set me on a panicked riddled day. “Am I making the right decision?”, “Is this too much of a risk?”, “What if I fail?”. Sleep goes missing a lot when this happens.
Doubt is one of the greatest obstacles my husband and I have faced. I think we are coming to the point where we’re like “We’re young without a ton of debt or responsibilities! Let’s make some faith jumps!”.
However, that is one of the most difficult decisions to make in life. My husband has been supporting the both of us in encouragement and hard work. I’m very blessed to have such a great business partner and lover in the night time (any Psych lovers out there?).
I’m sure you must be thinking: “Sierra, seriously? You just said most start ups fail. Didn’t you expect to be disappointed?”. Well yes, but I had no idea how much or how frequently I would be disappointed. Mostly disappointed by my own failure. This year I’ve been learning how to fail, and for a Type A, perfectionist that can be a huge issue. Thankfully through life I’ve had really supportive parents who have been my biggest fans (Thanks mom and dad). Failing is never fun, but when you’re taking such big risks, it really impacts you when they don’t work out. It’s just another thing to fuel doubt. Push through it! It will be worth it.
Pursuing entrepreneurship has been one of the most difficult things I have done (and I haven’t been doing it long). It has made me enjoy the little successes in life. Like seeing the difference in someone when you remember their name, make a work contact, or see a project through to the end. So far it has been an amazing journey filled with learning. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but for those who really love it; keep going. It will be worth it in the end.
Truthfully I’m half telling this to you, and half to myself. Remember the “why”. Why are you doing this? I personally want to create a legacy for my family. One with Financial security and Biblical living. I want to make an impact for the Lord in business, dance, and the publishing world. I believe those are the talents the Lord gave to me. Don’t squander your talents! We only regret the things we don’t do! You can do it! Keep pushing past the obstacles. Focus on the Lord, and remove your doubt! I look forward to doing business with you and crossing paths!
Sincerely, a fellow entrepreneur