Entrepreneur Myth #1 Busted:  Work-Life Balance.

“Entrepreneurs who believe in work-life balance are most certainly not successful or they should have a corporate job.”  This is the opinion of my highly successful entrepreneur’s friend and I seem to agree with him.  In fact, I do believe work-life balance is a myth and no serious results can be achieved without entrepreneurial sacrifice.

The Entrepreneur Coach Challenge

As an entrepreneur coach & marketing consultant I am constantly faced with people who want results, but they ‘don’t have time’ to do something about it.  They want to start a business, but when? Saturday braais or Sunday picnics take precedence. Always.  My highly opinionated entrepreneur brother goes as far as to say that running is for people who don’t have a business.  And yes, I understand where he comes from.  Years ago when he started his first construction business, his ex-partner went for afternoon runs, while he had to sort out the sales.

If it is important to you, you will make the time.

It is no secret that if something is important enough for you, you will find the time to make it happen.  Even if it means getting up earlier so that you can finish your blog, before your 04:30 run.  And yes, there is nothing like socializing with your friends while on your early morning run. This is where the secrets get spilled while you burn around 1000 calories per social. Or you can use your exercise time, to catch up with the latest ExpeditionBusiness podcast.  You can even do social media while you soak your sore muscles in the bath.

Entrepreneur Sacrifice trumps motivation.

Have you seen all the highly motivated people around you?  They share the most amazing motivational quotes on WhatsApp and every other possible social media platform imaginable. Just don’t ask them to get up and do something out of their comfort zone!  

I recently had a discussion with someone whose business is going down the tubes thanks to load-shedding.  There is no chance of getting a loan or an additional overdraft.  But he is not prepared to sell his caravan to pay for a new solar system which will help him keep his business afloat.  Something which could have solved the problem in an instant.  Cause selling his caravan means he cannot go on holiday at the end of the year.

Stability

Most people dream of starting their own company.  They could be brilliant with event planning and have all the know-how but cannot get themselves to take the plunge into the unknown.  The stability of a monthly salary, even if it is a pretty shitty salary (and they constantly complain about it), is just too comfy to sacrifice.  If you haven’t already sacrificed a comfortable, well-paying, stable job to follow this route, odds are you’ll have to make some kind of entrepreneurial sacrifice before you can move forward to get to your entrepreneurial dreams.

Work-Life Balance

When you become an entrepreneur, the lines between your working life and your personal life become one big blur. You’ll start thinking about business even when you’re away from the office, sometimes because you want to and sometimes because you can’t help it.  And when you work from home it becomes one massive blur all the time.  But, if the latter helps you to save money, who cares about work-life balance? Especially if you love what you are doing.

Even though we are all for a balanced life, the reality is that it is highly unlikely that this is something that is achievable if you want to make a success of your business.  This is where the choice comes into play.  Do you want to be low on cash forever, or are you prepared to skip a social or two?

When I grew up, my dad was often in the hot water with his family who organized one social event after the other.  He couldn’t attend a lot of these events due to work commitments.  Years later he did get a couple of apologies, as he had to help them out financially.

Sleep

The amount of sleep required is a highly debatable subject.  I do believe in 8 hours of sleep most of the time.  In fact, I am pretty quick to give up a movie or social, to ensure that I do get enough sleep in.  But even if I do get to bed at 20:00, eight hours of sleep is highly unlikely if I have to get up at 02:00 or 03:00 to make the deadlines that have to be made.

And yes, this does assume that you do get quality sleep once you do fall asleep. Fortunately for me, this is one subject I have extremely little knowledge of. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. And the higher the stress levels, the quicker I sleep.

Cutting the Budget

I have seen a lot of start-up entrepreneurs who thought that the fact that they are working for themselves equates to the fact that they can spend as much money as the money that flows in.  After all, they can deduct it for tax purposes.  Whether or not you have more room available on the tax side, is irrelevant when it comes to saving for a rainy day.  Or the day when the tsunami hits.  Thanks to my entrepreneur father, I have been exposed to entrepreneurs and their antics my entire life!

I can still hear my mother asking my dad ‘why can we not drive a Mercedes like so-and-so,’ when I was still in nursery school.  Unbeknownst to my mother, my father was lending that same so-and-so money so that he could stay afloat in his business! 

If you are used to keeping up with the Jones, this is the time to take stock of whether you really and truly want to be successful and make the entrepreneurial sacrifices. Alternatively should keep good ties with your kids as you might need to move in with them one day when your money runs out.

Comfort

That wrapped-up on a cold winter’s day feeling is another entrepreneurial sacrifice that you will have to make to be successful.  As an entrepreneur, you will find yourself constantly in uncomfortable situations.  It almost reminds me of that person who yearns to run the Comrades but is not prepared to get out of bed when it is cold and rainy or the wind is blowing.

Being an entrepreneur means the buck stops with you. You’re going to make decisions you’ve never made before and start tackling issues that you never thought you needed to tackle. Stepping out of your comfort zone is part and parcel of what it entails to be an entrepreneur.

My motto on entrepreneurial sacrifices

I have a simple motto when it comes to making entrepreneurial sacrifices. In fact, this motto is applicable to almost every situation in life:

“You can complain once. Maybe twice. But if you do not get up and do something about the situation, you have to keep quiet and stop complaining.”

If you are not prepared to make an entrepreneurial sacrifice of any sacrifice for that matter, you are not at liberty to complain.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is exhilarating! It could replace all those pills that you have been taking. The only feeling that trumps this exhilaration is knowing that you have made the sacrifice and it was worth it.

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