I scream that for a few reasons:
- Although there is some luck related to what I’m doing and how I got here I certainly think I put in the hours and the effort. I believe a wee bit in luck (I thank goodness everyday that I was born in a beautiful country with a loving family-that is luck, unless of course you believe in reincarnation in which case I guess you earned that too) but for the most part life is what you make of it. So no I’m not ‘lucky’ I’m a hard worker who realized the full potential of one of my visions fairly early on in my life. I said ‘screw traditional life paths’ and off I went on my own journey.
- People see the happy and glamorous part of my life, travel, writing, talking, meeting, doing fun creative stuff but really that is only 1/3 of the story. I am also a banker, a receptionist, an accountant, and every other person it takes to run a company. Is it hard? Yes. Would I change any of that in a minute? No. I do love what I do but I honestly think sometimes that people who think I’m lucky to be doing what I do think that the only thing I do is wake up in the morning and walk from my bed to my office and the money roles in; I wish! People always see what they want to see and for some reason it always looks better then what we have. I can assure you there is nothing easy about this and after many years there are still many evenings and days where I think to myself ‘what the hell am I doing?’
- I have made a lot of really hard decisions (notice I did not say sacrifices because I believe that word means I had hardship or that I regret some of the things I did) along my path to live this “dream”. When I was younger I gave up lots of time with friends and family to be on the road with a sports team, to speak at a seminar, to run a workshop, or to be coaching at an international event. Those things are never easy to give up but if you want to make it work then you have to, at least for a little while. Even now when I think of my future with a wife and kids and everything else that grown ups are expected to do I sometimes have a hard time seeing it. I love my work, which can be both good and bad. I say this because when you love what you do you sometimes can be married to it. So now I’m faced with making decisions about marriage, where I want to live, how many kids I want? If I want any? These are not easy decisions but all things that on some days don’t make me feel very lucky. If I had a decent paying job maybe my life would be simpler, maybe it would even be completely different, but at the moment this is the life I have chosen.
Now all of this might sound a bit like whining to some of you but I want to be open and honest about just how ‘lucky’ I am. I want there to be no surprises when someone comes to me and says that they too want to be an entrepreneur. I don’t speak with rose coloured glasses on so I figured I best not write with them on either.
I have worked with many clients (in my earlier years) who have told me they want to live their dreams but really are not committed to making the changes and taking the chances that they need to make it happen. That is one good reason why now I work with the committed, I work with those who are ready to make the leap. There is always a way to make a change, this I have learned from working with every type of person under the sun.
Now are there good sides to this dream? Absolutely! there are plenty. Taking a day off is the easiest thing in the world, working when and for how long I want is set by my own levels of ambition and desire. Oh perhaps this week I will work at the cottage! I get to do the kinds of things I want to do on a daily basis, and most months the pay is pretty friggin’ decent (that took some time to make happen but believe me if you work hard enough and can adapt to change and don’t fall too in love with your ‘amazing’ idea the money will come). The best and worst thing about entrepreneurship I find after having lived it and talked to so many others about it is that you are the captain of the ship (hopefully not a certain Italian boat captain); That means you make all of the decision, good and bad.
So what is the lesson in all of this? Well Entrepreneurship is a dream indeed. However, it is a career choice that for most can look like a duck gliding along the surface so calm and elegant when in reality all along the ducks feet are furiously paddling just to stay afloat. Everywhere we look there always seems to be a better life or a better ‘thing’ so before you jump into entrepreneurship be smart about it. Take enough time to discover if you, as a person right now, have the skills or are willing to take the time to develop the skills an entrepreneur needs (these are vast and many and different for every individual) in order to be successful (whatever the hell that means. Maybe when you have a spare minute figure out what success looks like to you too).
With all of this I say HAPPY ENTREPRENEURING! Go out and make it happen because believe when you get through all the bullshit it can be a whole lot of fun.