Read This Before You Decide To Become An Entrepreneur

If you do it for the right reasons, it can change your life forever.

Entrepreneurship is a trend these days. What used to be a defining journey, something done only by those who were willing to sacrifice everything in order to achieve it, is now just another “in thing.” It’s been reduced to selfies, TikToks, and wearing shoes without socks.

Glance through social media and everyone is an entrepreneur. It’s gotten to the point where the word has lost all sense of meaning. From your friend who started that business washing cars one time, to your mom who sold a few items of clothing on eBay, everyone claims to wear this badge of honor now.

And I get it. The title has a certain appeal behind it. There’s a kind of gravitas in telling people that you “do your own thing” for a living.

I’ve had many conversations with people when, after I’ve told them that I started my own business, they seem to be overcome with jealousy for my “lifestyle.”

You’re an entrepreneur?! That must be amazing. I can only imagine — being your own boss, living the high life, sleeping on a bed of money. I want a piece of that pie, too. Maybe I should become an entrepreneur, too?

I always smile, and say “maybe you should.” But on the inside, the truth is, maybe you shouldn’t. After all, is entrepreneurship really all that it’s made out to be?

The problem is really quite simple. What you see from entrepreneurs who have come out of the other end and “made it” is so far from what you’re signing up for in the beginning, it’s enough to reduce you to tears.

When you decide to take on the mantle of the entrepreneur, you’re starting right at the very bottom of the barrel like the rest of us ,  and it ain’t pretty down here. The reality is that entrepreneurship is extremely difficult. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve experienced it all; at times it’s damaged my mental and physical health. It has strained my relationships, especially with my fiancée. I’ve had the power, water, and internet turned off in my workplace several times. It has emptied my bank accounts. I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to get clients to pay what they owe me. I’ve had clients not pay at all. And it never lets up. It has demanded 120% commitment, even when I’ve only had 100% to give.

And even if you do fully commit and sacrifice everything in sight, success won’t come quick. Worse, it may not come at all. According to statistics released in The Ultimate Startup Failure Rate Report, 90% of startups fail. That’s a sucker-punch to the gut. Depressing right? This data hasn’t been included to put you off—it’s here to provide a dose of reality that the entrepreneurial world tries it’s best to hide.

A 90% failure rate amounts to a lot of time, dedication and sacrifice, for nothing.

Entrepreneurship has caused people to lose literally everything. It’s not something to be embarked on lightly. It’s not something to do because your friends are doing it or because you saw how much money Kendall Jenner makes on Instagram and thought you could do the same.

And yet, the number of startups and entrepreneurs increases year after year. While some of this rise can be attributed to the current “gig economy” and the age of the “side hustlers,” a lot of it comes from people chasing a lifestyle that they are so falsely sold.

Everyone forgets that what they see around them are only the stories of those who made it. And even out of those who are successful, many only share half their story as to how they got started. The rest are just great at bullshitting.

If you’re becoming an entrepreneur believing it’s the miracle cure your life has been waiting for, or that you’ll become the next overnight success, you need to think again.

Once the dust settles and you realize that your reality is very different from the dream you were sold, shit is about to get really hard for you.

The truth of the matter is that entrepreneurship is overhyped and overglorified.

But, it can be a wonderful thing.

If you embark on the journey for the right reasons, it can change you and your life forever.

It opens up the possibility to learn vast amounts of new skills. It can help you grow and develop as a person. Entrepreneurship presents opportunities like no other line of work could. It leaves the destination unmarked, allowing you total control over where you want to go. You can live your passions and help others to achieve their dreams. Hell,  you could even change the world.

Forget the dreams being sold to you by the “entrepreneur life.” Forget all the “fake it till you make it” bullshit that consumes the entrepreneur space. When you go into the journey fully aware of the realities that lie ahead ,  it really could be the best thing you ever decide to do—for 10% of us.

About the author
Founder, maker, writer & editor Read more articles from Stephen on Thought Catalog.

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