Unsightly undereye bags? Check.
Pseudo social hibernation? Check.
A limitless future, though? Check.
Becoming an entrepreneur is more than just a pipe dream for many people. After being sorely underprepared by a college education that really didn’t lead us to where we wanted to go, many of us ask questions like, “why the hell would I work on someone else’s dream?” We’re a generation of freethinkers, people with strong opinions, and a sense of entitlement that many say goes unrivaled by any other generation in history. So what does this mean?
We’re well-suited to work for ourselves. Cue the dream of working from anywhere, sipping exotic drinks on an exotic beach while your Macbook air magically chimes with notifications that you’re getting paid. If Instagram is any over-exaggerated indicator, this is all very possible.
If you’ve got a skill, you can make it work for you. Using the internet as leverage, many people have gone on to make six figures or more simply by being “high level” copywriters, life coaches (a completely unregulated field), starting digital communities, or inventing something that makes the world better (or worse).
Being an internet/digital entrepreneur means you can live the remote lifestyle and jet off wherever you please to swing through jungles and watch the most obscure sunsets possible. It also means you can pay off your student loans, throw a peace sign up to the days of stressing about your rent, and even contribute in philanthropic ways like a young boss.
This is the really good end of the really good. What many people don’t discuss is the time and effort it actually takes to get there. Granted, there are ways to facilitate rapid success with genius marketing tools, but you’ll have to learn those too. You’ll probably have to have a regular job in the beginning.
You do get to make your own hours, sleep in as late as you like, work in your pajamas from your kitchen if that’s what you’re into, but you will be living, breathing, and dreaming about how to take action each day on building your empire. And for some, that can be exhausting. Taking the entrepreneurial leap means serious dedication, probably long hours, and sometimes periods of isolation while you’re holed up like a mad scientist trying to get your stuff off the ground.
The ugly side is: you’ll probably fail. And that’s OK. The lessons learned from failure are some of the best. It only makes your next idea even better. Overcoming fear, self-doubt, and anyone who doesn’t believe in what you’re doing is a huge obstacle. But, those who surmount it have serious confidence, strong will, and are pretty much unstoppable because they’ve been able to do what they set out to do without second-guessing their capability.
When you start something big, your friends might change. People might have a lot of questions. You’re going to have to learn about managing time and money in ways you never have before. You’re going to have to be on top of your responsibility and professionalism game, even though the temptation of no rules means that’s going to be hard sometimes.
That’s the name of the game. The good: complete freedom. The bad: you’re going to have to work really hard, but maybe not for too long. The ugly: failure is always possible, but it’s an invitation to become an even more resilient, don’t-take-no-for-an-answer version of yourself.
A little hard work never hurt anybody. Sitting in a cubicle from 9-5 for 40 years definitely has. So, what are you going to build?
This article also appears on LinkedIn and is published here with the permission of the author