Starting a Business is Like Willingly Letting People Beat You Up Daily

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You should never start a business. You shouldn’t even think about starting a business. Get a job, be smart about the way you use your money, and live happily ever after.

Don’t waste time on self-education, or trying to improve, because life is not about winning. Enjoy each moment, eat, travel, and have as much fun as you can.

Starting a business is one of the worst ways to invest your time because more than 95% of businesses fail. Why waste so much time and energy on something that has such a low success rate?

Being an entrepreneur is like going to a martial arts class and asking the instructor to use you for all the demonstrations while making it as real as possible. And also letting all the students practice on you.

It is like willingly going into a dark tunnel without a flashlight… without anyone else… without even knowing if there is a way out.

You have to be a bit crazy if you want to be an entrepreneur.

But what if you go to that martial arts class every day, take a beating, and you survive. What if you start getting tougher? Maybe you even start to learn how to defend yourself. Maybe the students will get tired of fighting you because you just don’t give up.

I have to confess that Matt and I are a bit crazy.

We haven’t just started one business… we’ve started many. BizLatte is proof of our craziness. The blog was started knowing that we would have to write at least 2 articles per week, for the next 2-4 years, before we even see some type of growth. This means 2-4 years of giving before even thinking about taking.

If you are reading this it’s because you are a bit crazy too. Don’t fight it or deny it, embrace it. Use it to your advantage.

Yes, you have to be a bit crazy to embrace (and sometimes even enjoy) the journey of going through the dark tunnel of entrepreneurship. But something magical happens after you start to embrace the darkness instead of fighting it or complaining about it.

We are here to tell that there is light on that journey! Today, we want to share with you some insights and what we’ve learned in our entrepreneurship journey so that you can find the light… or at least learn how to embrace walking in the dark.

Run While You Still Can

MATT:

Running a business is simultaneously the best and worst career decision I have ever made. Each day is a constant vacillation between amazing highs and pits of despair. In a single day, I might start completely dejected and wonder what I am doing with my life, and in the afternoon I am ecstatic because a deal just closed. 

It really is a path only a few should take as it’s incredibly difficult. Let me put it this way. Do you have a tattoo? Or have you ever seen someone get a tattoo? Then you ask them, “did that hurt?” If they are honest, they yell, “hell yeah that hurt, someone just jabbed me with a needle continuously for hours!” That’s the real answer. I myself have numerous tattoos and can’t stand when people say, “no, tattoos don’t hurt.” Yes. They. Do!

The same is true for being an entrepreneur, running a business is painful and should only be attempted by the bravest individuals. But I digress. Instead of writing about the pain, let me explain why entrepreneurship can actually set you up for tremendous success.

I started Elisha Consulting in July of 2015. Immediately, I was profitable and it was almost a curse that I landed a large contrast in my first month. The reason it was a curse is that I thought it would be easy to attain clients, it’s not. Since launching the business, there has been no constant. Some months are amazing and others are terrible. Yet, there are a few things I have realized about entrepreneurship.

  • I am learning at an incredible rate.
  • My skills are expanding dramatically.

Entrepreneurship has taught me that doing something on your own is some of the best experience available and I would have no issue finding a high-level job because of the pace of learning and expansion of skills.

Elisha Consulting is a digital marketing shop. If I was not running it, I would likely be at an agency working in a specific area, probably campaign management. Instead, I have been fortunate to learn quickly out of necessity. Since launching my business, clients have asked for items outside my expertise. Those requests required me to learn HTML/CSS, basic JavaScript, Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Now, I feel confident in numerous areas whereas if I was at an agency, I would likely not have the opportunity to learn outside my current area of knowledge.

Then there are skills outside of marketing. Over the past 2.5+ years, I have written proposals and contracts, invoiced clients, and numerous other administrative tasks which most people take for granted. When professionals at large companies give me advice, I listen respectfully and then counter with a few questions. They usually say, “just reach out to ABC and do XYZ.” My questions become:

  • What if you didn’t have an email address?
  • What if you didn’t have presentation materials?
  • What if you didn’t have a department telling you pricing and product specs?
  • What if you had to write the proposal?
  • What if you had to invoice the client?

My point is that as a business owner, I have had to do all of the IT, admin, and other day-to-day items on top of the actual service I provide. Why is that important?

If I searched for a job, I have experience with many high-level items which most people never do in their career. Think of a Principal or Partner at a consulting firm. Their primary job is to find clients. Many consultants don’t perform well when they are finally promoted to Principal/Partner because they have no idea how to find and close deals.

Wrapping everything up. Entrepreneurship is a daily struggle. At least once a week, I wake up in the middle of the night in fear that it will all fall apart and I will need to get a “real job.” Yet, it’s also an amazing journey. I truly love the work I do, I am passionate about the success of my clients (some would say obsessed), I am able to work a close friend, and I have a vision for Elisha Consulting which is so delicate I dare not share with others but I am constantly nurturing that vision as it will one day become a reality.

In the meantime, I am learning and growing. If you are called to this life, you will have the same experiences. Reading these paragraphs should have done one of two things. One, made you realize this life is not for you, or, two, your heart was racing as you know entrepreneurship is your life’s purpose. For those in the second group, go towards your purpose carefully and embrace the long journey.

ALEJANDRO:

There is no try in the journey of the entrepreneur. 95% try.

There is no work-life balance in the life of an entrepreneur. 95% want work-life balance.

There is no way to avoid the struggles and challenges that will make you doubt if you should be an entrepreneur. 95% can’t handle the pressure.

How can you be part of the other 5%?

Obsession.

That’s it.

This is what Elon Musk thinks about it:

“Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing you know that… you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.”

Kobe Bryant also has a video talking about obsession.

It’s no coincidence that these two world-class individuals, in two very different areas, have the same mindset.

If you’ve been called intense, then you are on the right path. You have to get obsessed with what you are doing if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. Go read all the books you can find on the topic, watch the TED Talks, attend events, find a mentor. 5% are obsessed and make it happen no matter what.

You have to be always on if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. Take no days off because life will find ways to make you take no days off. If this sounds like “too much” for you, then you don’t have it in you to be an entrepreneur.

Stop trying to find work-life balance. If you want to win in the game of entrepreneurship you have to outwork everyone else. Talent will only get you so far. 5% work hard and smart and show up every day.

The game of entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You will be told "No" on a daily basis. You will get people looking at you like you are crazy because you work from home, or because you don’t have a “real job”. Some days you will feel like the universe is against you and you might have to curl up and cry to take off some of that pressure. 5% learn to rest but never quit!

If you are still here it means you are not scared or afraid. Congratulations. Entrepreneurship is the best thing that you will experience.

Stay strong because it will all be worth it. All of those struggles and doubts will make winning one of the most amazing experiences of your life. You will be able to have a positive impact on the lives of many.

Being part of the 5% takes having a strong understanding of what it takes, and having the tools to make it happen. As entrepreneurs, we want to see others around us success.

For that reason, we created the One-Day Accelerator. This is a session where we sit for a full work-day with entrepreneurs to help them set strong foundations and strategies for their business and give them the tools and resources to start executing right away.

Join the 5%

Get in touch with us if you are ready to be part of the 5% and want to learn more about the Elisha Consulting’s One-Day Accelerator.