This is part of a series of articles that I'm writing about my journey as a business owner. In the nine years since I started, I've failed a lot, I've learnt a lot, and for sure building a business is much harder than I imagined.
But I'm still learning — every day — and so each day I get better and so does my business, and I've realised that is the most important thing.
These articles are about some of the most valuable lessons I've learned along the way.
Call yourself an Entrepreneur? You're not
It's a bit like being called a hero; it has no value if you do it to yourself.
"Entrepreneur" is a word others will use to describe you if you exhibit entrepreneurial traits;
it's not a job title.
I've come across people who embody an entrepreneurial spirit, but they don't describe themselves that way. They see themselves as business people, leaders, marketers or job creators. And aside from anything else, they're far too busy running a company to
care about the semantics.
So, if you're attracted to the idea of being "an entrepreneur" because you think it'll be exciting and glamorous, or you like how it sounds, or worse still; you think it'll be
easy — let me give you some advice.
Get a job.
You'll be happier, live longer and probably make more money.
The life of a business owner is anything but those things; it's a hard, continuous, unglamorous slog. You'll fail more days than you succeed, work more hours than you knew possible, and
it never stops. Not even when you go home, the pressure and stress are always with you. And at the end of it all, 99% don't have
anything to show for it.
Simply "wanting to be an entrepreneur" won't get you through all that.
But if you want to serve a group of people, by producing a great product or delivering a
fantastic service; and you're prepared to start a company to do that -
then maybe you are entrepreneurial. It's a long journey, not a destination, and it can be enormously rewarding.
Sharing the journey is important too, having a good team, friends and family to ride the highs and lows with. The days when you have a big win; when your belief is validated or your perseverance pays off are
so much sweeter because of how hard it is, and those you share it with.
If you're embarking on your journey — I wish you good luck.