1. Depression is a real thing for entrepreneurs. It’s not all sunshine and roses.
Back when I had my first consult with brand marketer Mike Loomis, he told me, “Be careful of burnout. You’re young, and you don’t think it’ll affect you—but you can’t do all of this on your own and you’re going to burn out.”
I didn’t believe him because entrepreneurs think they’re invincible.
I have experienced burnout more than once as an entrepreneur. It’s debilitating just like it is for anyone who experiences depression. Apathy is usually the poison that leads to depression. You’ve been busting your hump for months, and nothing is happening. Boom! Apathy. You’ve pitched your idea to 100 people, and no one has responded. Apathy. You’ve worked your butt off on this huge project, and the client hates it. Apathy.
All it takes is a lethal dose of “I don’t care. If I’m trying this hard all the time with no results, then why should I bother?”
Solution: Practice self-care. Go back to your why. Watch Kelsey Humphreys’s sensational video on burnout.
2. The emails will never stop.
I never realized how many emails I’d get as a business owner. Why didn’t anyone tell me this? Sometimes, I feel like I'm more of a secretary than a businessperson.
Solution: Categorize and file away. Dedicate a certain amount of time to email. When you’re answering emails throughout the whole day, it’s soul-sucking. Unsubscribe like a mad person. And for heaven’s sakes, delete stuff.
3. Feast or famine can break you down mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I’m either so overwhelmed with projects that I start looking like this guy below, or I’m in the fetal position, wondering what on earth I’m going to do with no clients coming in. There’s hardly ever an in-between.
Solution: Take advantage of the feast by squirreling away extra income to prepare for the famine. Get ready for the feast by outsourcing to professional freelancers you trust and spreading out projects so that they don’t overlap.
4. You’ll be drawn to new friends. And that’s okay.
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
An entrepreneur is a whole other breed of animal, and sometimes it can be difficult to hang out with the same ole herd when you’re chasing after a different prey. (Look how philosophical I am.)
You’ll find yourself drawn to successful people—individuals who will mentor you, show you the ropes of business. You wind up making new friends, and maybe as much as you want to hold onto your old group of buddies, it’s just not feasible.
What you need to understand is this: it’s okay to have new and like-minded friends.
Solution: If you’re the average of the five people you hang out with the most, and that average scares you, then get new friends.
5. Workaholism will destroy you and your family.
It’s a known fact that entrepreneurs are workaholics. I’ve always said that entrepreneurs don’t have a 9–5 job; they have a 24/7 job.
When you create a business from the ground up—and that’s what entrepreneurship is, something you created, you take on the financial risks—it becomes your baby. You don’t want to leave it. You want to stay home every Friday night and take care of it. You check on it constantly and talk about it constantly.
What you don’t realize is that you’re smothering your baby and everybody is super worried about you.
Solution: Look, you’re always going to work hard to grow your company. But you have to hire a babysitter at some point and take a break, or else you’ll get the baby blues.
(Hello, preaching to myself here.)
What surprised you about becoming an entrepreneur?
An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. Her blog posts have been featured on popular websites like The Book Designer and Positive Writer. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.