Being an entrepreneur is more of a lifestyle than a label. It’s a lifestyle that, at times, involves negative balance bank accounts, high levels of stress, lack of sleep and overwhelm… and honestly? I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I recognize that it’s hard for some people (most people?) to really understand. With my experience and talents, I’m confident that I could land a decently paid position at a design firm or agency somewhere in the country. I could have a savings account, REAL health and dental insurance, afford to register my car and not have to panic about how I’m going to pay the rent at the end of each month. I could be secure. I could have a cushion. I could buy things when I need AND want to. But I would be completely and utterly dead inside.
Being an entrepreneur pursing my passions, ideas and purpose is hard at times. Anyone who says otherwise is lying, or saved up plenty of money before making the leap. I didn’t. Instead, I found myself increasingly miserable as I moved from job to job. My pay, position and quality of projects increased quite quickly over the course of my “career” life… but my happiness deteriorated rapidly. And one day, with no cushion and definitely no real plan… I quit my job. I had been toying with the idea, as always… but that day, I just knew. I HAD TO QUIT. And at the moment I made that decision, I felt an incredible sense of optimism, joy and freedom. Sweet freedom.
It would be a couple of years before I realized my true purpose and began to follow my real passions… and during those couple years there were many ups and downs, supplemental jobs and stress induced tears. There still are. I sit here today with past due bills, looming payoff dates and severely low finances… but I am absolutely beaming on the inside. I am fulfilled and I am happy. I am creating and building things that I believe in.
I would sell absolutely every single thing (excluding Max :D) in my possession that isn’t absolutely necessary to building my businesses in exchange for one more day, week or month of giving it all that I have. Of bringing my ideas and passions to life. That is what entrepreneurship means to me. It’s more than working for yourself or having freedom. It’s about what you are building or creating. For me, it’s about making a real difference in the world and lives of others in a way that I could never accomplish being employed by someone else.
What, if anything, does entrepreneurship mean to you?