There are a lot of really wonderful rewards when living the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Freedom from a boss and the ability to design your day are just two of the benefits that the self-employed woman enjoys more frequently than her business contemporary who works in corporate America.
No matter where you work, at times the grass always looks greener when it’s on the other side of the fence. The freedom to work for yourself comes with a lot of unexpected surprises, exposing the real truth of what it’s like to run your own business. Here are five of the top misconceptions about living an entrepreneurial lifestyle.
When you work for yourself, you work fewer hours
Many entrepreneurs do not allow themselves to “turn off,” and instead will work long hours. Because many entrepreneurs work from home, it becomes difficult to draw a line between work activities and home activities. In the beginning of their careers, many women entrepreneurs find themselves sacrificing both their personal and family lives to meet business needs. Working late nights and weekends seems to be the norm. And just like most women, female entrepreneurs struggle to find a functional work-life balance.
You can do it all yourself
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves. This can lead to both emotional and physical burnout, and possibly the failure of the business. Most self-employed women learn in the beginning to eliminate any process or task that doesn’t add value to their business. Creating a support team is necessary for every successful entrepreneur. Whether that team includes a coach (like me!), an assistant, a house manager, an accountant, or a social media strategist, each businesswoman knows best what she needs to support her in her own personal striving for success. Does Lisa Vanderpump do it all herself? Hell, no!
Entrepreneurs must be young and take huge risks
Let’s face it—as Americans, we all love a real rags-to-riches story. We adore hearing about folks who had nothing or were close to losing it all and then suddenly became enormously successful.
Why do we love this stuff? For one reason, we Americans love an underdog. Another reason is that if someone else can succeed after being pushed down, then success is possible for all of us. We like hearing that too!
However, the true reality is that success doesn’t come out of nowhere and it doesn’t come overnight. Successful entrepreneurs have usually worked late nights and weekends to get their business started, and often while employed in a full-time day job.
Likewise, just because a person is an entrepreneur, it does mean that she is young. According to the Small Business Association, more than 63% of American adults plan to work during retirement. This type of encore entrepreneurship is quickly becoming the new normal.
You’ll have a lot more time
This is one of the biggest myths of all—in fact, free time is a rarity for the new entrepreneur. When starting their business, many self-employed women sacrifice their personal time in the beginning so they can have more personal time down the road. Some folks believe that entrepreneurs do their work from beach chairs or the neighborhood Starbucks. The brutal truth is that most entrepreneurs work out of a basic home office. The working days are long beginning early in the morning and often lasting late into the night. To the beginning entrepreneur, sleep can sometimes be as precious as money.
Entrepreneurs need just one great idea
This one actually hurts to think about. Many small start-ups work extremely hard for several years, existing on miniscule budgets. The entrepreneurs examine the performance of their product and their company, learning from failures and using those lessons to make their end product much better. Consequently they can’t stop at just one product. That product must be refined, changed and adapted to best serve the needs
As you can see, the entrepreneurial lifestyle is not all glamour, glitz, and glitter. There’s a lot of hard work involved and that hard work requires enormous self-discipline. However, when a person’s company is successful because of all the hours spent away from family or home, the solo entrepreneur can feel a great deal of satisfaction because she knows that she–and only she–is responsible for bringing her fledgling but successful company in to the world.