The One Thing You're Tired of Hearing When You're an Entrepreneur
Running a business is more than a full time job and some people do not really get what you do, some question why you are doing it and some think it’s a cute side hustle. But it is not! Trust me, running a business is anything but cute… these dark circles didn’t just appear from nowhere, these white hairs didn’t decide to come in for the party… running a business is not cute. But honestly, that’s not the worst thing an entrepreneur can hear. But let’s back track a little bit.
To the average person, running a business sounds hard and yes they do not truly know all the nitty gritty details and all the tabs open in the mind of an entrepreneur. But they know it is not easy. However, what they don’t know is truly the struggle it has been to start a business, and when people finally start to remember and realize you own your own business it has been at least six months. Right? And when you start to really make a profit and see those numbers go up is a bit later than that… after countless errors and late night stress eating cookies n’ cream ice cream, duh! Yet… after meeting people and explaining my business and what we do, the one thing they almost always say is “You are so lucky! How fun to run your own studio!”
Yep… Luck. That had everything to do with my success.
People, stop telling entrepreneurs they are lucky… because we are not. If we were, we would be the ones winning the lotto. Running a business is not about luck, it is shear determination. Starting a business is being okay with not knowing anything and looking it up. In the past three years of freelancing and then starting an agency, I have devoured books on efficiency, how to run a business. I have a slew of podcasts that have practically given me an M.B.A. And while most people are online shopping or watching spoilers of GOT, I have spent my time reading articles on how to improve my business, looking up what a “CRM” is, experimenting with platforms to ensure my workflow is at the absolute best it can be… because hey… I do have to do it all and I do not have a little leprechaun at the end of the rainbow reminding me to send that email or follow up from that proposal. So when I hear “You are so lucky!” I am a bit dumbfounded. Luck had nothing to do with building a business, or getting clients.
It would be like you getting that promotion over Daryl because your hard work showed off and you killed it last quarter, would you be happy if someone from the office said: “Oh! You are so lucky!” No!! You would want to hear “Congratulations!” Or “That’s fantastic, way to go!” Or “Keep up the great work” or “I want to hear more about your promotion let’s meet up for coffee” its the same thing for an entrepreneur. Now, we don’t need praise, though everyone could use a pat on the back (read above about the ice cream trauma) but saying that we got where we are with our business because of luck is demeaning to all the late nights we have pulled through, all the sacrifices of learning to start a business while friends were out having a good time, or spending money on a master mind rather than getting those new pair of shoes, the list goes on and on. And just so you know, I am not complaining. I absolutely love my job and most entrepreneurs do… I mean why would we be going through this jungle of emotions if we didn’t fully love what we did or were 100% behind the reason why we decided to start a company. However, respect the process. Respect the dedication. Respect our enthusiasm. Saying we are lucky is not respect nor is calling us cute.