When you’re sweating through a traditional corporate gig, it’s tempting to zone out and dream of quitting your job to work on your business full time.
You can see it now: Flexible work hours, a down-the-hall commute, and a dress code that encourages yoga pants. What’s not to love?! Life as a full-time entrepreneur will be fabulous!
But hold on a second. Although there’s clearly many good things that come with entrepreneurship, that doesn’t mean it’s all smiles. In fact, there are moments when it down right sucks.
Here are a few reasons why running a business may not be for everyone…
1: Your Work Hours Can Balloon
Lori Greiner (as seen on Shark Tank) said it best: “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”
At times, you’ll find yourself working on your business all the time. And we mean. All. The. Time. Any spare second you get will be used to tackle your giant to-do list. For example, you may find yourself hard at work while in the car traveling (hello, hot spot!) with your family, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, late at night after the kids have gone to bed… You name it.
Owning your own business is an investment in more ways than one and you’ll likely find yourself investing more time than you would at a structured, corporate job. And if your business isn’t your passion, the hours you spend working won’t feel like they’re worth it.
2: Schedule Schmedule
It’s clear that entrepreneurs work plenty of long hours and odd days. After all, even though the grass might be greener on this side of the fence, you’re the one who has to plant, water, mow, and weed it. Yikes!
While you’ll no longer have to punch a time clock, this lack of structure can lead to some crazy scheduling. Your days are dictated by your customers, networking events, your own goals for your business, and anything else that may come up.
As much as entrepreneurs would like to think we have complete control over our schedules, we are merely managers of it. Entrepreneurship grants us the ability to go on a class field trip with the kiddos or squeeze in a mid-morning doctor’s appointment; however, we may need to make up those hours later (and then some).
To have that kind of flexibility, you’ll need more than just coffee – you’ll need a truckload of determination and discipline.
3: Want Work-Life Balance?
You may need to look elsewhere. As much as we hope and would like to keep our personal life and business life separate, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case with entrepreneurship.
If you love the ability to clock out and just be done for the day, owning your own business may not be a good move.
At times, your business and personal life will become one. Due to the number of hours entrepreneurs work (see point 1), your personal and professional lives will occasionally overlap… and/or merge into one single entity.
While this isn’t always the case, there will be times when you just can’t avoid it. If you’re determined to make your business thrive, you have to accept that (occasionally) work-life balance is just not realistic.
The good news? If you’ve made it this far, you most likely have the one ingredient that we all need for this journey: Grit!
If this post hasn’t scared you off yet, then you’ve probably got the fortitude to stay in business for the long haul. (And believe us, it’s not all late nights and 24/7 work. There are plenty of amazing perks of entrepreneurship!)
The important thing to remember is that the ups and downs of entrepreneurship are similar to the ups and downs of life. There are the good times, bad times, amazing times, awful times, and everything in between.
In spite of these unique challenges, we wouldn’t dream of trading our entrepreneurial journeys for careers in the corporate world. We have a feeling you’ll feel the same.
Good luck and happy leaping!
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.