Why It Absolutely Sucks To Be An Entrepreneur

Big Takeaway: Being an entrepreneur sucks if you’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur. If you can’t handle stress, you’re useless at marketing and sales, you think being “heart-centered” is what it’s all about, or you’re not prepared to take extreme ownership for your own life… you’re better off getting a job. If you can handle all that shit, the sky is the limit.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 27 seconds.


Being an entrepreneur sucks.

It really does.

It's challenging. It's difficult. It's tiring.

Some of the absolute most fucking devastating times in my life can be directly attributed to my decision to become an entrepreneur and work for myself.

Over the eighteen years I've been doing this...

  • I've (almost) declared bankruptcy at least a dozen times,
  • My wife and I have considered splitting up at least twice,
  • I've missed important events in my kid's lives,
  • I've been through the depths of a soul-crushing depression (that lasted three years),
  • More times than I can possibly count I've found myself searching job sites in the middle of the night, desperately trying to convince myself that I'm not a failure if I go and get a "real job",
  • I've fucked up major business relationships that brought in about eighty percent of my income at the time,
  • And a whole lot more!

So why do I persist with this fools errand?

Because I'm pathologically, psychologically, spiritually, and probably a little obsessive-compulsively opposed to getting a job or working for someone else.

I hate it.

Always have... Probably always will.

Here's the thing:

Entrepreneurship is a violent, unforgiving rollercoaster.

There are massive highs, and devastating lows.

So let's talk about the highs.

In the eighteen years I've "followed my bliss" to "turn my passion into profits" (and other contrived bullshit that also doesn't make you any money), I've had the distinct pleasure of doing all this awesome stuff too:

  • I wrote a killer book called 7 Minute Mindset which sold all over the world, and made me REALLY famous in a TINY circle!
  • I gave myself a 62,000% pay-rise (yes, seriously) when I made a massive leap from turning over around $16,000 per year to making $99,800 in a weekend.
  • I met pretty much every "hero" I'd ever had in the business world (some of whom were awesome... others were assholes).
  • I was invited to speak at the World Internet Summit -- which had been a goal of mine ever since I was an extremely-broke-yet-wide-eyed Acupuncturist looking to make his own way in this crazy, crazy world.
  • I've travelled the world with my family, and worked from an apartment in the heart of Paris (thanks AirBnB), hotels in Scotland and Italy, a luxury serviced apartment in Bangkok (thanks A&D)... and I almost checked my email at Disneyland (but I successfully fought the urge).
  • And most recently, I've been invited to speak at an awesome seminar in San Diego, California in eight weeks.

There's more, but honestly I'm pretty tired right now -- my wife and both kids have been vomiting all day with food poisoning (thanks KFC!) -- so I'm sure you get the point.

Highs and lows.

That's the game. Them's the breaks.

If you can't handle the lows, you won't survive the highs.

So how do you actually make it as an entrepreneur?

You decide you'll do whatever the fuck it takes to make it.

That's the ONLY way you'll ever get through it.

And then you come good on that promise to yourself.

When you spend all day wiping vomit off your kids face, you still write a blog post at night.

When your wife almost dies unexpectedly from a random virus, you make sure your taxes get filed.

When you pull a muscle in your neck (or back... or leg... or shoulder -- or dislocate someone else's shoulder... sorry Stu) at Jiu-Jitsu class, you still get up early the next day, and get your ass to the office (or, the kitchen table, or the cafe, or wherever the hell you work from) and smash through that keynote presentation for your next workshop.

That's how I do it.

Because if you don't do it...

If you don't make yourself do it even when you don't want to...

If you don't take complete and utter responsibility for everything that happens in your world (no - not *the world* - YOUR world)...

If you don't quit making excuses, and just get important shit done...

Well, quite simply you're fucked.

And it'll be no-one's fault but your own.

So that's the reality of being an entrepreneur.

It's the best worst thing you'll ever do (apart from delivering your own son -- that was definitely better).

If you don't have what it takes... If you won't do what it takes... If you can't be what it takes...

Get a job.

There's no shame in it.

Save yourself the headache... the heartache... and all the other aches.

But if you're the type of person who reads this and feels like screaming "BRING IT ON!!!" at your laptop right now, then more power to you.

Get out there. Get after it. And do something awesome with your life (and for the world).

About The Author

Nick Cownie

When I was 13 a friend gave me a book on body language, and my obsession with understanding (and influencing) people was born. It’s lead me to the heights of entrepreneurial success, the lows of depression, finding and marrying my dream girl, meeting my heroes, travelling the world, writing my book 7 Minute Mindset, smashing most of my life goals before I was 30, and now to writing this blog.

2 Comments

  • Louise

    Reply Reply July 21, 2016

    Thanks Nick, absolutely spot on!
    Good on you for telling it like it is. 🙂
    Good on you also for saying there’s no shame in having a job and not wanting to go the entrepreneur path – it definitely isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure!
    All the best to you,
    Louise 🙂

  • Jennifer

    Reply Reply June 30, 2017

    An honest statement – maybe designed to put us off! I see the grey areas and see that I can become more entrepreneurial without losing my family values or sense of self. I will support clients as well as my new venture. I think freelancing to entrepreneur is an easier transition than a job to entrepreneur.

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