Are you a Successful Entprepreneur? What is Success, Anyway?

successful entrepreneur
Successful entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are hard-working group of people – while many of us dream of financial freedom and location independence, most of us won’t make it (an exception would be The 4-Hour Workweek’s Tim Ferris.) The rest of us will need to take care of our business 18 hours a day, 7 days a week – even more. Some of us wish that there were 28 hours, not 24 hours available in a day.

The side effect: Burnout. Many entrepreneurs are just tired; most of us lack sleep, leading to many health problems, such as insomnia, depression and many other illness. Many of us don’t eat right; we even skip lunch because we are so busy – even if we did eat, we don’t eat right: junk food, fast food and Starbucks (LOL – just kidding on the Starbucks, but you’ve got the idea.)

Robert Kiyosaki mentions that many of us are trapped in a rat race – living from paycheck to paycheck. While this rat race usually refers to those working for an employer, in reality, many entrepreneurs trap themselves in a rat race, too.

Self-employed and sole proprietor are those who feel the burden the most, while some business owners running a 500-employees company also trapped themselves in their businesses.

Many entrepreneurs are using their family as an excuse. “I have a family to feed.” “I want my family to live a good life.” While those are great causes to pursue, many entrepreneurs are sacrificing their quality time with the family to pursue those. Sometimes, all your wife and children want from you is to be there for them, spending some quality time with them; sometimes, money doesn’t matter much – there are so much things in life that are more important than money.

Bottom line – most, if not all, of us is busting our guts to achieve success, making us forget what success is really mean.

What is success according to

I define entrepreneurial success as our ability to achieve both our entrepreneurial/professional and personal goals.

Success is when you run a successful business and invest in the right kind of asset while you still have time for your personal endeavours, such as quality time with your family, pursuing your passion, and so on.

Success is when you are healthy and being lively – this is important because from the people I know, I conclude that while they are financially independent, their health is not in a good shape; all share with me one major culprit: They work hard; so hard that they “abandon” their personal wellness; they don’t live healthy – mainly due to emotional pressure in pursuing their dream.

What the benefits of having all the success and riches but you can’t enjoy them to the fullest, anyway?

The thing is, you can’t turn back time; time is you best asset. In entrepreneurship, we could fail 100 times and always get up 100 more times, pick up the pieces and start all over again. But in life, you can’t stop time (I wish I could!) – when you fail, you need to learn from your failure and move on; there’s no use lingering in the past. Your ability to accept failures as part of your life and as power to help you achieve greater things in life is what I call success.

How to live well

Living well is living a balanced life. There are times to work on your business, there are times to “work” on your personal life.

To live well, we need to allocate our time better, in such a way that we can accommodate both worlds. You need to increase your productivity. There are communities and training programs to help you increase your productivity, not only in work, but also in life. But there are some issues need to be settled before you start your journey.

Before you start anything to increase your productivity, you need to have the right mindset about “work.”

I’m not an expert on this, but from my own experience, “work” is a must. Since it is a must, it must be enjoyable.

Many of us are dreaming about retirement; doing nothing on the beach in Bali seems like a good retirement idea. However, from many stories I heard, the truth is darn bleak; retirement brings you depression and sickness; some of the retired entrepreneurs and business owners I know wish they didn’t retire in the first place – some even afraid of retirement.

Tim Ferris, in his 4-Hour Workweek book also echoes that fact. When he finally made it – outsourcing his entire life to enable him living in any part of the world at any given time, he does felt lonely; while he has all the free time, his friends don’t. Tim even recommend readers to plan to do things in the 24/7 free time; to keep pursuing things in life.

You see, you are not designed to be a proper beach bum. We need to pursue things in life – we need to keep working. Even the beach bums I know are still working on some business projects. So far, I can’t find someone who is retiring, doing nothing, and be happy. The first few months may feels great, but retiring by doing nothing for a year or so will start doing bad things to you, mainly health problems.

To live well, you need to work; not necessarily in a money-making sense, but you need to keep pursuing your passion. Working in or establishing a non-profit is one path many successful entrepreneurs take; the community has given much to them, and they feel that it’s just right to give back. This gives entrepreneurs a reason to keep working, even when they don’t have to.

So, as a conclusion: A successful entrepreneur knows how to balance his/her life and live well in the process. Keep looking for ways to achieve that, as it’s well worth it.

What’s your story about success? ‘Care to share with us?

Ivan Widjaya
Pursuing the real entrepreneurial success