Entrepreneur Beginners Guide
“Be Prepared to Lose It All”
If I didn’t make it in this world, I would probably be homeless. I gave myself that little to fall back on.
—Shawn Wayans, actor, producer
I sat alone in my apartment staring at the wall in front of me. I wondered bow I was going to make ends meet. My company wasn’t making any money at the time, and my pride prevented me from asking for help. I was at an all-time low, and I had no one to talk to about it. I felt miserable and extremely lonely.
During the next few days, I carried on as usual and hung out with friends to try and lighten my spirits. I was good at hiding my feelings of despair. Besides, 1 felt like I had to act normally be-cause my friends and family thought I was rich. They had no clue that I could barely pay my rent and other basic bills. III had mentioned my financial struggles, they wouldn’t have believed me. In their opinion, I was one of the many young dotcom superstars prevalent in the media during the time. In other ‘words, they thought that I was well-off enough to retire at the age of twenty-one. They would never believe that I was on the verge of losing it all, including my own mind.
I eventually overcame my low point, but it was a difficult learning experience. It was the first of a few times when I felt like giving up because the pressure and stress were so great. However, each crucible has prepared me to better deal with challenging times. Despite the emotional strain and tremendous stress, I was determined to remain an entrepreneur. Every time, I was able to come out on top and to grow more combatable with my ability to avert disaster, but it doesn’t always happen that way for every-body.
Rarely do entrepreneurs talk about how bad times can get. If we do talk about them, we gloss over them, minimizing and maybe even making light of the experiences. We joke about eating lumen noodles or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We laugh about not having any money to pay bills or messing up our credit. All of these experiences are much easier to talk about once they have passed, and we find ourselves in a position of relative comfort.
Instead of avoiding the difficult conversation or glossing over it, remember every now and then just how depressing times can get. Contrary to popular and glorified belief, even as an entrepreneur you sometimes won’t know where your next dollar is coming from. You may consider filing bankruptcy. You may feel like you have to role-play among friends and family who admire your entrepreneurial courage and envy your fictitious bank account. You’ll have days when you just want to curl up in a ball and sleep your worries away. In the pursuit of their business dreams, entrepreneurs have sacrificed marriages, family time, financial stability, health, and the list goes on.
While I will always be an entrepreneur and I tout the many wonderful reasons I choose to be an entrepreneur, I know that this is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. I also know that a lot of what we see in the media is hype. Not every entrepreneur is making lots of money and living the perfect life. At no point do I want to give people a one-sided view of entrepreneur-ship, because it’s not reality. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak. If you aren’t prepared to lose it all, then you should definitely do something else.