The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship

Starting your own business sounds like a bed of roses right?

You get to be your own boss.
You get to work your own hours.
You get to do what you love.
You get to spend more time…at the beach/with the family/fishing/whatever floats your boat right?

It’s the dream drifting through the head of every budding entrepreneur.

Don’t get me wrong…I celebrate those who are willing to start their own business.

I’m one of them.

But there is a dark side to entrepreneurship that many people don’t talk about.

Let me tell you, it can be very lonely.

You’ll find yourself in a bubble where the only other people who will understand what you’re going through are other entrepreneurs.  While your family and friends might be proud of you, they are watching safe from the sidelines. They aren’t the one in the arena with the blood and sweat on their brow.

Perhaps you head off to attend your local business network breakfast where you meet other entrepreneurs and business owners. You break bread, share some referrals, laugh and pat each other on the back and say how great it all is and go on your way for the rest of the week.

But you still haven’t been heard…deep down.

There needs to be an AA for entrepreneurs….

John: Hi my name is John, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 9 months now.
Group: Hi John!
John: I got the lonelies this week and I nearly fell off the wagon. I need help.

I feel ya!

I’ve been there…in fact, quite recently.

So what do you do? Attend another business breakfast? Sure, I’m not dissing business breakfasts, in fact, I recommend them.

Build yourself a support system. Find another entrepreneur that gets what it’s like to be on this journey. Establish a relationship where you can truly share what you’re feeling. I will often phone an entrepreneurial friend and have a chat when things feel a little rocky and it makes a huge difference.

Beware that you don’t make it a pity party though. Sometimes it’s enough to say “I’m having a tough time at the moment and I just need to have someone who understands what it’s like to recognise that and let me know it’s going to be okay”.

If you are still struggling, perhaps needing advice on the actual running of your business, then I highly recommend finding yourself a coach or mentor that can guide you on your journey. Coaches and mentors can provide you with a clearer perspective and can give you advice that will help you get unstuck.

I’ve had many mentors over the years, some for marketing, some for mindset, and some for business strategy. All have been valuable and helped me greatly when I needed it.

I personally provide coaching for my clients specifically around their business strategy, pricing and packaging, lead generation and sales…but I’m the first to offer a referral if you need help with inventory systems or financials. That isn’t my zone.

So find someone that is great at what you need help with and get yourself unstuck.

Finally, your mind doesn’t function well when it is feeling overwhelmed.   It is critical to give your mind a rest.  Take some time every day to still your racing thoughts (this doesn’t include sleep).

Scientists have confirmed that meditating every day creates enormous positive impacts from greater focus, less anxiety and stress, greater immunity, better cognitive skills and creative thinking.  Even just 10 minutes a day can have a huge impact and there are a ton of free meditations online.  I often just search on YouTube for a guided morning meditation and follow along.  Some of my clients love using the app Headspace

So if you’ve read this far, I’m guessing that you’ve perhaps experienced some of what I’m talking about or perhaps your in it right now. I want you to know that I see you, I know how you feel. I’ve felt that way myself. You are not alone.

Finally, some sage advice from the 1970’s that’s still relevant today…


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