Entrepreneurs: 6 Things You’ll Sacrifice on the Road to Success

So, you want to be a successful entrepreneur, hunh? Experienced entrepreneurs will all tell you there are sacrifices to be made; budding entrepreneurs usually have no idea what’s coming.

Following are 6 things all successful entrepreneurs need to sacrifice in order to realize success in business:

1. Free time goes out the window when you’re an entrepreneur.

Obviously, time has to go at the top of any list when it comes to what we sacrifice in order to make a living. We only have 24 hours to live in every day and at least 6 of those hours have to be devoted to sleep. Of the other 18, any entrepreneur will tell you that at least 12 of those hours has to be devoted to pushing your business ahead. Employee management, customer service, marketing, product development and even labor if you run a business that requires you to be out in the field. All these and more will take up a large percentage of each day, from the moment you launch until you sell the business and/or retire.

2. No job or financial security for entrepreneurs.

Though security in life is guaranteed nowhere, entrepreneurs always have to push this one to the back of the priority list. Get a job working for Walmart and that job will likely always be there if you do your job properly. Work for yourself and suddenly you don’t really know what the future holds. Plus you have however many employees that are now relying on you to run your business properly and provide security for them and their families.

Things entrepreneurs give up to be successful

3. Entrepreneurs don’t get the personal time they used to.

Few people consider this sacrifice when they set out on their dreams of kicking the drudgery of stamping a timecard for the man to the curb and working for themselves. However, after a few or several months working as entrepreneurs, you’ll start to realize that you just haven’t been doing the personal things you used to enjoy so much anymore. This goes double if you also have a family to care for. I came to this realization early on, when I’d realized after six months of working for myself that I hadn’t been to the mountains for a mountain bike ride in half a year. What a change from the near daily rides I’d once made the time for. Truth is, I’d dove too hard into my work and just hadn’t taken stock in devoting time to the simple pleasures and relaxation that particular hobby gives me.

4. No sleep for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

I’ll be the first entrepreneur to admit that I don’t lose too much sleep due to my work. I don’t lay awake at night losing sleep over things that went awry during the day. I get 7 hours every night, rarely does this change. However, there are lots of people out there who just can’t get it all done working 6 – 5 and so have to burn the midnight hours doing whatever. If your social life’s important to you, you might find you have to sacrifice sleep in order to get out to the clubs or other events you want to take in. Then there’s businesses that never sleep….

5. Lots of potential health hazards when you’re a busy entrepreneur.

This sacrifice hit me right between the eyes; I didn’t even see it coming. I quit my last J.O.B. back in 2009. I weighed a solidly-built 200 pounds at that time. By mid-2010, I was 240 with a soft gooey center and a 5 espresso-a-day — washed back with another 5 cups of strong Italian coffee — daily habit. I ate everything in site and washed it back with some of the strongest coffee beverages known to man. By 2012, after a series of scary health-related symptoms including panic attacks and trouble breathing, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and hypothyroidism. No doubt these problems started before I even began working for myself, but sitting in a chair all day long and slogging coffee like it was my last day on earth didn’t help. Essentially I didn’t take care of my body while working and didn’t bother to exercise (see #1 again) like I’d used to. It can happen to any entrepreneur, but it doesn’t have to happen to all, if they take their health seriously!

Protip: If you’re an entrepreneur, get your blood tested regularly and don’t forget about your yearly standard blood tests either.

Advice for entrepreneurs
Image Credit: Matt Madd/Flickr

6. Quiet time goes out the window when you’re an entrepreneur.

This could also be titled “sanity goes out the window”. Everyone needs a little quiet now and then. When you’re an entrepreneur, there’s always noise. Even if it’s just the noise of a customer over an email, you still here a voice other than your own talking to you. There’s noise in your head to get the job done, or fix a problem with the last shipment or service call to their house. When working a regular job, there’s always time for downtime. Even parents get a little bit of quiet every day — after getting past the infant stage!

Share your thoughts…

Leave a comment telling me something you guys have sacrificed as entrepreneurs that’s missing from the list.

Main Image Credit: lauren rushing/Flickr