Last night, I left the office at 10:15 pm. It was a long thirteen hour workday. This morning I’m sitting on my couch and I’m realizing that I didn’t get enough sleep. If you looked at my schedule yesterday, you’d probably label me a crazy workaholic. Next week, the demands on my schedule will be even worse. I’ll probably work until midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for our May training class. It will likely be a 60+ hour week for me. I’ll miss dinner at least twice and Sarah will have to tuck the kids in bed. Because of business responsibilities, I’ll also miss a family trip to Vero Beach. It might sound crazy, but I’m not even upset about it. In today’s post, I’ll share one of the best kept secrets of entrepreneurship.
Yes, it is busy. It’s always busy. Because I love my business and entrepreneurship, I have a way of keeping things busy. We just landed two new marketing clients and I have another prospect pending. By Monday morning, I’ll have an inbox full of emails waiting for me. To top things off, I’ll be ironing out the last minute details for our May class. In entrepreneurship, sometimes there will be huge demands on you. Next week, will be one of those times. I’ll make some personal sacrifices for the sake of the business. People who aren’t entrepreneurs would judge me. After all, what kind of Dad works until midnight? Isn’t that why you started a business? Isn’t family more important than business? Until you’ve walked in an entrepreneur’s shoes, you really can’t judge. But entrepreneurs know something that W2 minded people will never know.
What’s that Whistling Sound?
That’s the entrepreneurial bombshell that’s about to land on you. Sometimes I get an email from people telling me that they can’t start a business unless it is 100% secure and guaranteed. Um, if it is secure and guaranteed, then it’s not a business. I get others who tell me that they only have 5 hours per week to work on a business. Really, only 5 hours? Lastly, there are those who aren’t willing to risk even a single penny to start a business. So, in a nutshell, they want a business that pays them lot of money each year, which takes zero time, money, or risk whatsoever? When you find it, please email me so I can start a business like that. Some existing entrepreneurs are no different. They are W2 minded people trapped as business owners. They want to grow their companies by 300% but aren’t willing to invest any money in marketing? More excuses! They can’t afford the monthly marketing payment. They want a guarantee. They want security. I’ve heard a million excuses. Most are very short sighted. People see the upfront work, money, time and risk, but often ignore the longterm upside. They are risk adverse and paralyzed by fear. This type of person will do as little as possible to get by, but expect the maximum return. Truthfully, this type of person shouldn’t start a business. Furthermore, this type of business owner is the worst type to help with marketing. No amount of convincing will do. You can’t change them. They are not entrepreneurs.
Ready for the bombshell? Starting a business may be the hardest thing you ever do, but it could give you a life beyond your wildest dreams. No, it isn’t all about making money. That’s only part of it. Entrepreneurship is also about time, family, giving, and flexibility. It is about FREEDOM! But Matt, didn’t you just say you’ll be working like a dog next week? Didn’t you say you’ll be away from family? Yes, I did. But… I’m writing this on a Thursday morning. I’ll be leaving in a few minutes. I’m headed to Orlando International to pick up my big brother. We’ll be grilling steaks tonight and catching up by the fire. Tomorrow we’re headed to Tampa for a Ray’s game. We’ll relax at a hotel before heading home for more family time. We’re both able to hang out at the same time. Why? We’re both entrepreneurs!
Aren’t You Libby and Mattie’s Dad?
Kids, and even parents, come up to us all the time and tell us they see us every morning. Yes, we’re those crazy parents who walk our kids to school every day. I love it! The schedule goes like this. A short five minute devotional starts at 7:32. We leave the house by 7:37. The half mile walk to school is always filled with crazy conversations. By 8:05, my wife and I arrive back home for our 2nd cup of coffee and a short talk. We’re known at the school because we’re there all the time. In the last two weeks, I’ve been to the Central Florida Zoo twice. Why? Because this dad made it a point to go on field trips with his little girls. Last Friday morning, we didn’t come straight home. It was awards ceremony day. We didn’t realize it then, but being there would be a huge blessing for us. Libby’s school would be awarding a very special award for character. Only one kid in each class gets this award and it is a huge deal. Then we heard Libby’s name. Wow! My wife and I couldn’t hold back the tears when Libby won. We were there! We showed up! And we could do so because of our business.
So, when non-entrepreneurial business owners refuse to invest money in a marketing campaign with us, it really is fine. I can’t change or even help them. When people tell me I’m CRAZY because I had to work late, I don’t really mind. I sleep well knowing I’m a good dad and husband. When people tell me they could never start a business because of the work, time, or money, it doesn’t bother me. Actually, I feel bad for them because they just don’t get it. To them, security is only in a W2 job and being led by someone else. To me, the best kept secret in entrepreneurship is flexibility. It is the freedom that it gives you to choose. Yes, there will be ups and downs and you may even fail at a couple of businesses. Remember, entrepreneurship isn’t easy and it was the cause of Sarah and I losing everything. Don’t give up though! Failures pave the way for future successes. Keep fighting for it.
I’ve posted some pictures below from our recent adventures.