If Business is Hard Work, You’re in the Wrong Business

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I’m the first to admit that launching a business is a ton of hard work. You’ll be on the go from the moment you wake up in the morning to when you crash your head on the pillow late at night. You’ll have less time to spend with family and friends. And from time to time, you will feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster.

Yet here’s a question to consider. If launching a business is so tough, why do so many entrepreneurs become serial entrepreneurs? Why do they launch businesses over and over again?

Money can’t be the answer. Once you’ve made enough to keep you and your family secure, there’s no reason to go back into business.

Are entrepreneurs gluttons for punishment? Maybe, but I don’t think that is it.

The truth is, launching a business is thrilling. It’s a heck of a lot of fun. Even the word launch suggests this.

Think of the other main context in which the word launch is used: when rockets launch into space. Sure, a rocket launch is stressful for all those involved. In the days leading up to the launch, scientists on the launch team work around the clock. There are a ton of different factors to consider. Yet would anyone on the launch team want to be doing anything else? I don’t think so. They’re living their childhood dream. They’re sending a rocket into space, people!

On the one hand, launching a business is hard work. On the other hand, it’s not really work at all. Most of us think of “work” as spending time doing things we don’t want to do. When we’re working, we’d rather be elsewhere. That’s empathetically not true for entrepreneurs. If you’re not enjoying the ride, you’ll never succeed.

I’ve got two friends, both from the same place, both running a business in the fashion industry. Both are natural leaders.

One is constantly on the verge of going broke. The other is a billionaire.

What’s the difference between them? The billionaire enjoys her work. More than that, she only gets her hands dirty in aspects of the business that she loves. She’s aware of everything that goes on in her business, but she puts her time and energy into what matters to her. For everything else, she hires other people to help.

The struggling business owner, meanwhile, tries to do everything herself. She works in sales, product development and administration. She can’t do it all, but still she tries to it all. It’s a recipe for burnout, and it’s not good for her business either.

Business is hard work. You’ll put in your fair share of hours. Not every day will be easy. But unless you enjoy what you do, you’ll struggle to succeed.
Here’s to work being more like play. Now isn’t that the life you’ve dreamed of?

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