286: The hardest part about entrepreneurship

People start businesses because they want to build something, add value to a market, make money, and build a better life. There’s a big problem though: most people don’t have the patience to seriously pursue entrepreneurship. If you’re not willing to wait a long time and work hard now on something that will pay you back years down the road, it’s going to be hard to ever start your own business.

We live in a world of instant gratification. If you get a job, you get paid two weeks later, and you can start spending and buying and upgrading your life. Entrepreneurship is not like that. It takes a minimum of three years from starting a business for it to get fun and for you to live the lifestyle you want. You can replace your income earlier than that, but you’re still working hard on the business. The rewards outweigh the costs of entrepreneurship around the three-year mark, and that holds people back. Most people aren’t willing to do something that pays them back three years from now.

Eventually, in three or five or ten or more years, you can work shorter weeks, have more money than you would have made at a W-2 job, and it’ll be a lot of fun, but those don’t come right away. I started Storage Squad about ten years ago and my partner and I are in an incredible position now, but it took time and energy. Entrepreneurship is like leading a healthier lifestyle or raising a family–you won’t see the rewards until much further down the road, but it’s worth it.

Entrepreneurs know that early on there’s a gap between the value they provide and the money they make. You’ll be adding value to the world through what you do, but the money will come down the road. People chase instant gratification, but the key to success in life is delaying gratification and reaping greater rewards in the future.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.