Everyone is becoming an entrepreneur these days. Such a loaded word can mean so many different things to people, but the constant that remains true in any definition is simply:
You need to put in the work.
Entrepreneurs work long hours for themselves so they don’t have to work fewer for somebody else.
Entrepreneurs live their lives like nobody will so one day they can live their lives like nobody can.
These mantras personify what it means to be an entrepreneur and sound great when you have no other way of describing what you do to “normal” people, but what is it that makes an entrepreneur truly different?
I don’t believe for a second that just because you’ve chosen not to work for somebody else that you’re inherently “better” than those who do.
While not quite working on their own terms, many people with “regular” jobs can be just as—if not more—hard working than entrepreneurs. The kicker is it doesn’t matter if they love what they do or not, which many entrepreneurs you hear about could never tolerate.
You could argue “work harder not smarter” all day, but being both an entrepreneur or an employee require hard work no matter how you look at it.
It’s Not Just About the Work: The Devolution of the Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is many things, and no one thing define what one is. I’ve considered myself one ever since I was 16 and that declaration changed my life in many ways.
Through many ups and just as many downs, I’ve done things and made decisions that have brought me to the top of the world and ones that have completely shattered my heart into a million pieces. I’m still recovering from both.
You see, opportunities that were once given to you such as a consistent paycheck, a schedule, and social availability are not options for entrepreneurs.
The luxuries of planning out your finances for the month, scheduling free time with friends, and being able to enjoy mindless things like watching television become trickier.
(ever watch TV and feel restless, like you’re supposed to be doing something else? Well, you should probably act on that)
In fact, you’ll find that keeping friends who share different values and different aspirations in life aren’t really as fun to hang out with anymore, but draining (i.e. most of the people you went to High School with). Even the ones with the best intentions.
Now look, a reason why entrepreneurs get such a bad reputation is that they appear to think of themselves as above others. While some are genuinely shit-stains who do think like that, I don’t believe that has anything to do with the bigger picture.
Going from a life that was laid out for you to a life that depends entirely on your decisions to reach financial freedom or any goal you set out to do requires 100% of your energy.
If you’re really in it for the long haul, you’ll start to notice who in your life is helping you get to where you want and others who are distracting you from it.
You’ll start to notice the luxuries you “required” to live before, like your car, apartment, furniture, and most possessions are just that— luxuries. And who needs luxury when they’re down in the trenches?
People will start to see you as a colder person who’s “changed” from who they used to be. If they see your progress as a bad thing, they’re not your friends anymore.
Where’s Rock Bottom?
One year ago I had a much different life.
Today I’m moving from place to place until the next opportunity or rush of adventure springs up. I sold nearly everything I own and fit the rest into a storage unit. I’ll be back for it at some point.
There are many things I long dearly for from my “past life” and parts that make my heart sink into the deepest depths of my stomach when I think about.
Most see my life as a train wreck, but little by little I see it coming together.
Everything I have and am doing today was by choice because I believe they are the next best steps for me in my journey to creating my life. I know the hardships will pass, because it’s only temporary as I chase what I desire most. I will not be chasing forever.
Just because your social status changes, you go broke, you lose friends, or even become homeless does not mean you’re a failure. You only are if you care that others think you are.
Everything I just listed is me right now, and while I’m painfully aware of my hardships, I’ve also never felt more clear and determined in my entire life.
This freeing mindset, this devolution of yourself, is what will get you to the level of determination and clarity you need in your own life if all else has failed you.
I Talk About Entrepreneurs, But Here’s Who I’m Really Talking About
I believe everyone is an entrepreneur. Even if they don’t fit the typical definition (whatever the hell that even is), we’re all playing the same game.
We’re all trying to get something out of life—
whether it’s a promotion at work, making more friends, or even getting in shape at the gym, we all possess the qualities of an entrepreneur based purely on what we desire.
You’ll find after a while of working towards whatever it is you do desire that the only difference between you and someone who has what you want are your limiting beliefs of self-worth and what’s actually important to getting what you want.