It's not getting clients – although that can be tough.
It's not the money – although that can suck.
It's not beating the competition – competition is healthy.
It's not the long hours or the non-stop work…
It's not the crazy client or the loneliness…
And it's not the daily grind – the unrelenting personal development work or the constant criticism.
The biggest challenge – is not being understood by our non-entrepreneur loved ones.
See, most of our loved ones who are employed don't get it. They lead busy lives and it's the only reference they have for comparison, so they don't understand why we're less available or why we say we're busy all the time. This isn't their fault – we do a pretty crappy job of articulating it to them, so I'm gonna break it down for you here…
We are the front end. We are the back end. We do all the client facing and fulfillment. Then we do the admin associated with it. When 6pm hits, maybe we eat a few bites before we begin our day on the back end. This is when we start the bookkeeping, accounting, web site development, marketing, email, payment processing, outreach and everything else we cant' do during ‘client' hours. They don't understand that if we don't do these things, we'll have to do it during ‘client' time tomorrow which will cost us money while prevent us from brining money in.
We don't get paid to take time off. It costs us a lot of money to be off. The money we won't generate and the money we'll have to spend to actually be off is way more costly than being paid for vacation. It costs us 2-4 times as much as it costs you to be on vacation.
This holds true for sick days too. Our sick and personal days cost us money!!!
Our loved ones also don't understand why we risk so much to be in business. They don't get just how much our hearts bleed to do what we know we're meant to do and serve our people. They don't understand our addiction to the constant danger of risking it all, but they also don't see the bravery and courage required to keep putting it all on the line. They don't get to witness the miracles that creates in the lives of those we serve.
If they could just understand this… If they could just get it… what would being an entrepreneur look like for us then? How would we behave differently? How would be different with them? Maybe we need them to not understand so we can continue to be renegades and stay addicted to being misunderstood.
In the meantime – if you need a little inspiration or recalibration while we're on this crazy journey, here's our manifesto…