The Quiet Price of Entrepreneurship

By Chris Cancialosi

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Read a selection of articles in most business publications and you will, undoubtedly, find more than a handful that explicitly or implicitly refer to entrepreneurs as stalwart heroes in some form or fashion. While there may be some level of “courage” (comfort with risk, ability to thrive in nebulous situations, ability to envision a future state that others can not, etc.) the overwhelming amount of content of this nature continues to reinforce a myth about entrepreneurs as mighty warriors who don’t blink in the face of danger. Adding further to this cycle, especially here in America, is our national culture of showcasing success and of loving a good underdog story.

Unfortunately, showcasing successful underdog entrepreneurs who have “made it” doesn’t really tell the full story. For every success there are multiple examples of failure- each one leaving indelible scars on those involved. For some, these failures may serve as the inspiration to try and try again while, for others, it may result in wounds that become insurmountable. Furthermore, even the entrepreneurs who do make it, in most cases, do so at the expense of many things in their lives, each adding stresses to them as individuals that are difficult to measure.

Jim Jacobs, President of Focus Insite, has felt the pressures of growing a business. In an effort to grow his business, Jim found himself maxing out his personal credit card just to make payroll. He gained 35 pounds and drank constantly due to the stresses of having to provide personally guarantees in order to stay afloat. “Growing a business needs constant predictable cash flow,” Jacobs says.

But what is the true cost to the entrepreneur?

The answer to this question will vary from person to person based on a variety of external factors such as financial stress, extremely irregular work schedules, difficulty with relationships as well as internal factors such as personal resilience and the emotional toll that entrepreneurship can take.

Simon Slade describes other potential costs that entrepreneurs must pay in his article for CNNB where he discusses factors like the need to sacrifice security, the required investment of a massive amount of headspace, and the potential loss of control as they follow their visions. And what about stresses that are induced by completely external means such as changes in the macro economy that are well beyond an individual’s control?

An added aspect of stress in these situations includes those entrepreneurs who attempt to start up a business while simultaneously holding down a full time job- the infamous side hustle. Kevin Namaky, CEO of Gurulocity, started his business later in life while working a day job to keep up with financial commitments. “In reality, most entrepreneurs are small business owners riding a roller coaster [they] just wish would stop. They’re older people, often your neighbors. They’re parents or even grandparents. They not just twenty-somethings living it up in the city. They’re not only software developers trying to get VC finding, strike it rich and sell out the same day,” Namaky Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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