Thinking of launching your own company? Entrepreneurship is full of excitement, risk and--if all goes well--rewards. But success doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without sacrifice. In fact, most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that they gave up a lot in order to get where they are today.
Here are five sacrifices that you can expect to make when making the leap:
1. Social life
When you work for yourself, you dictate your work/life balance--right? Well, yes and no. While becoming an entrepreneur may eventually allow you more control over your own time, chances are you’ll have less of it to invest outside of work in the very beginning. So say goodbye to your “weekend warrior” status. If your motto has always been “work hard, play hard,” prepare yourself to do more of the former--even on weekends. Although some social relationships will inevitably suffer as a result of your hard work, don’t forget to maintain communication with your friends and family. Even if you see them a bit less, they will be your lifeline during the most challenging times of your launch.
2. Financial security
Chances are, your funds will be limited and spread very thin when you’re first starting out. You may have even invested a good chunk your personal savings to realize your dream. Although careful planning and budgeting can minimize your vulnerability, giving up a guaranteed monthly salary inevitably means losing some security--are you ready?
If sleeping late and spending hours at the gym are part of your routine, prepare to make a change! Any entrepreneur will tell you that when you’re first starting out, you’re never not working. While you may have less time for your spin class and yoga mat, the extra hours you put in at work are an investment for your business. However, knowing when to take a step back and reconfirm your priorities is crucial to running a successful company as well. Matt Makris, founder of EM Search Consulting in Chicago, says, “After a year, I started setting boundaries for myself. I work about 8 hours per day, then stop. Working long hours will burn you out and make you less effective when your job involves critical thinking and problem solving.”
4. Material objects
We’re not saying that you have to sell everything you own to succeed. Just know that you won’t be able to buy everything you want when your company is still getting off the ground. You need about two years to confirm your concept and drive substantial results to start spending. Wait until you’re wildly successful to buy that boat or toy drone and keep your eye on the larger prize--your company’s winning future.
Making all of the above sacrifices means sacrificing comfort as well. It’s only normal that giving up sleep, time, money and luxuries--both real and intangible ones--would render you a bit uncomfortable. But there’s a reason why all of the self-help and how-to books tell you to “step outside your comfort zone.” It works!