The life of an early-stage entrepreneur isn’t glamorous. The idea of working your own hours and taking time off whenever you want is a pipe dream. Instead it’s a relentless game of inches with many disappointments and frustrations along the way. Momentum seems to take forever to build and you’re always just one day away from throwing in the towel. You persevere out of bloody-mindedness and you keep going that bit longer ever hopeful that the tide will turn your way. And for some, it does.
My early journey involved working late nights and weekends for years on end. I lived in constant fear of meeting the weekly payroll bill and would wake up in a cold sweat worrying that a ‘monster’ competitor would suddenly emerge that would destroy me. I felt guilty for years because I was a ‘crap’ boyfriend never able to do anything socially with my girlfriend (now wife) or her friends because I was working all the time. I gave up all of my hobbies and other interests because I had no time to focus on them. I had no money, drove an old bomb for a car, ate $5 Thai takeaway most nights and my credit cards were always maxed out.
It’s not a glamorous story but a common one for many entrepreneurs. Even worse the chances of success are low and most ventures either fail outright or never reach any reasonable scale.
So is it worth it? In my view, absolutely. I’d do it all over again too. Sure it’s a big sacrifice, especially early on, but if it works it can change your life and that’s reason enough to have a red hot go.