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5 Sacrifices Made On The Road To Entrepreneurship
So, you’ve chosen to follow a career in entrepreneurship? Starting your own business can be, without a doubt, a very profitable and fulfilling venture in the long term. But you need to be aware of the five risks that many best-selling multi-millionaire biographies often fail to mention.
And the harsh truth is that the first few years are going to be tough. You will either borrow or invest your own money. Relationships will be put to the test. Time will be scarce. Chronic fatigue will become the norm. Comfort will turn into a luxury. All of which are hurdles that take many budding entrepreneurs by surprise. Often, they end up throwing in the towel and calling it quits.
On the bright side, you will have the grand opportunity to do the things you love for a living. You will also get to be your own boss! Finally, you will lead a comfortable life that many could only dream of. Just remember that entrepreneurship is a two-way street, so the more time and effort you put in, the more your sacrifices pay off. But let’s start from the beginning.

5 Sacrifices Made On The Road To Entrepreneurship

1. You Will Keep a Low Financial Profile

To the uninitiated, entrepreneurship may seem like an easy way to make money. Unfortunately, during the first couple of years, you will be mostly treading on thin ice. One of the first sacrifices that every entrepreneur eventually makes is giving up their stable, nine-to-five job. Without a steady source of income, your only options are to either seek out investors or resort to personal and/or family funds in order to get your business up and running. Once you get the ball rolling, your next step will be to generate sales to get that income back.
And here is where things get a bit tricky. Starting a business from scratch means you have to cover many operating costs without seeing a return on investment for weeks or even months. To avoid this pitfall, you need to do solid research and come up with a plan that will push your product or service on the market. Having a money reserve large enough to sustain your company during the initial months is key. Preferably, you want one that can last you an entire year.

2. Your Social Life Will Take a Hit

As an entrepreneur, you will often find yourself hard-pressed for time. With your predictable daily schedule gone, you will rarely have an opportunity to hit the gym, watch a movie, or hang out with your friends. Your family will also grow tired of you constantly dropping valuable time together in favor of urgent business matters. As the balance between work and social life slowly slips away, you may be tempted to let family matters take a backseat only to end up deeply regretting your decision later on.
While it takes true effort to kickstart a business, that doesn’t mean that you should keep your closest people in the dark. Explain to your friends that this is only temporary and that you’ll make it up to them as soon as you get back on your feet. Tell your family that you are doing all the hard work now so that all of you can enjoy a much better life later. In short, do whatever you can to earn the support of the people you rely on. Let them know that everything will go back to normal once your business sets sail.
[RELATED: Time Management: 7 Ways To Simplify Your Life To Grow Your Business]

3. You Will Have Little to No Free Time

As you know from experience, the world of business is an extremely competitive place to be in. To gain an edge over the competition, you often spend your downtime honing or learning new skills to help you promote your products or services better. At other times, you invest those extra minutes or hours off work catching up on administrative work or planning your business agenda for months ahead.
Couple that with the standard 14-hour shifts that entrepreneurs usually enjoy and you have a recipe for a burnout, no matter how passionate you feel about work. And once your motivation falls apart, your business is sure to follow. To avoid overworking, make sure to set a date where you dedicate your free time to unwind and recharge your mental batteries. It could be a passive type of entertainment like watching TV or some work-related hobby, minus the actual work. Feeling rested will allow you to easily tackle tomorrow’s challenges head-on.

4. You Will Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

When you run your own business, multitasking becomes second nature. You have to do all the work that would be normally handled by employees and make split-second decisions that can make or break your company. Entrepreneurship is often times unpredictable. You will have to leave your comfort bubble multiple times a day and think creatively to deal with obstacles.
A classic case of decision-making comes when your company inevitably grows in size. It falls on your shoulders to carefully weigh the pros and cons of either hiring employees locally or outsourcing the work overseas. The pricing of your products or services is another conundrum that only you can solve. So it always helps to have a well thought-out plan. To avert a potential crisis, try to predict where your business is headed and brainstorm for solutions. You want solutions that apply to every outcome you can think of, whether positive or negative.

5. You Will Be Under a Lot of Strain

Entrepreneurship requires many things done then and there and, unfortunately, you are the only person who can make those happen. As your business evolves, you often end up burning the midnight oil to meet harsh deadlines that you’ve set yourself. Caffeine will become your best friend and your bed will turn into yet another convenient place to read your emails instead of one where you can have your good night’s sleep. You may even receive business calls as late as 2 a.m. that you, of course, will need to promptly answer.
This push-it-to-the-limit, “you snooze, you lose” attitude that so many entrepreneurs adopt can quickly take its toll on your health. It can potentially lead to anxiety, insomnia, or even chronic depression. It can also limit your productivity and you will feel dissatisfied with your work. A good way to prevent this is by setting a sleeping schedule (preferably between 7.5 to 9 hours) and vigorously sticking to it. This will prohibit you from sabotaging your natural circadian rhythm and help you recover faster from you last all-nighter.

A Few Final Words

The way of the entrepreneur is rocky and riddled with what may seem like insurmountable challenges. You need to learn how to make the most of your limited resources, find a delicate balance between business and life, make difficult decisions on a day-by-day basis, and sleep as much as possible to protect your body and sanity.
Above all, you need to tap into your passion that sparked your entrepreneurial spirit in the first place. What you do is not only beneficial to your clients but to your family and personal growth as well. None of the world-famous millionaires, not even Henry Ford or Steve Jobs, enjoyed an overnight success without going through countless hardships first. But this is just a part of the learning process. With enough dedication, your children may one day inherit a legacy that they (and perhaps the entire world) can be truly thankful for.

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