Money, Sex & Partying: Considering Entrepreneurship? Fat Chance Without Sacrifices

sex_at_workHere is an idea for a game show. It’s called “Who Wants to Be a Entrepreneur?“. We get to take a snapshot of the contestant’s lives and who ever makes the most sacrifices, wins! Woo-whoo! And what do you win? A life of more sacrifice, commitment, discipline and hard work with the slight possibility of making it big.

Don’t we all want to live the good life? Obviously, behind great success, lies greater sacrifices. I can say confidently, that many young entrepreneurs are not prepared for the journey that lies ahead. Either was I. While starting my first business, I thought all the money would just flow my way and I would be out playing while all my friends were working. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening.

I think it is the exact opposite. But, there are two differences here. I absolutely love what I do and it is not considered work to me. And by putting in a lot of hard work now will pay off for me when I am a late 20-something, and can do anything I want, whenever I want for the rest of my life. Or you can just work that 9-5 for your boss for the next 40+ years of your life.

Don’t worry though. You will have plenty of time to enjoy life when you are in your late 60’s, although you may not feel as confident in your swimsuit at that point while your sitting on the beach. So, why not start enjoying the beach now? Let me take you on my journey of sacrifices. You make these sacrifices; you can be hanging out on the beach with your drink of choice with a fat pineapple hanging from your glass.

Sleep

It is easy for me now to say cut back on your sleep, but back when I first got started in business, I would have to drag myself out of bed every morning. 8 and even 9 hours is what I would need every night to operate. It wouldn’t help that I was still going out 3-4 days a week at this point. Time magazine says,

Studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hr. a night, as they report, live the longest. The big surprise is that long sleep seems to start at 8 hr. Sleeping 8.5 hr. might really be a little worse than sleeping 5 hr.

My sleep time actually got shorter and shorter them more excited and passionate I got about what I was doing. I know many extremely healthy people that go on 4 hours of sleep a night. 4 hours?!?!?! Your saying, “I love my sleep.” Yeah I did too, but there is not as much time for sleep when you are enjoying life.

I have cut back from 8 hours to 5-6 hours of sleep a night. I feel better that I ever have. And it is not just about cutting back on sleep either. You also want to start going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier. It is such a great feeling to accomplish more in your day than most people before they even wake up. You may feel that right now you cannot operate on 6 hours of sleep. I will give you the secret. You ready? Love what you do.

Sex

What?!?! I have to give up sex? Don’t get me wrong here, I love me some sex. Relationships are quite difficult for young entrepreneurs. I get asked every so often “what is the best part about being an entrepreneur?” Some say the money, the freedom, the lifestyle, working from home or spending time with family. My response always remains the same. The best part about being an entrepreneur is the person you become. You are probably wondering how this affects your sex life. Well it does tremendously. We are constantly growing. I feel like I am on a path of self-discovery not even 3 years into my journey. There are two reasons you will make sacrifice in your sex life:

Standards Improve

While finding yourself and continuing to grow and improve, your standard for the opposite sex will continue to improve. What originally attracted you to the opposite sex now may turn you off. Hooking up with the hottest girl in the bar is not important to me anymore. Call me a loser and I will chuckle. I don’t want to be pushing a girl out of my bed when I have work to do. Trust me, it is not like what you heard in all of the rap songs. Besides, I am thinking about the long term. I want to find a match that is interested in business and making a difference in the world.

You Get Out Less

You may be working late into the night many nights and by not spending much time going out to bars or hanging out with friends, your chances of scoring go down dramatically. I think a great place to look would be in church on Sundays. My buddy Gabe is an entrepreneur and he met his girlfriend through his church.  And she is a really cool girl too!  I will really have a hard time talking to women at the

Partying

The party bus may stop here. This may or may not apply to you. I was a machine. I used to go out 3, 4, 5 days a week and get smashed. It was fun until I went to the doctor one day and he ran some tests that revealed some irregularities with my liver. Pretty sweet wake up call, huh? I am good now and I am not an “anti-partying” guy. You do what ever the heck you want. I really don’t care. But you will not succeed running a business with that kind of lifestyle. First off, you will not have the time because you will be working so much. And second, it takes some serious coin to uphold that type of lifestyle. Especially if you go out in the city of Chicago.

Partying just gets old after a while. You realize that the people that you meet out don’t give two-shits about you. Giving this one may be tough for you if you are one of those social bees. Just start adding in some friends who are entrepreneurs. You will start to realize that it is fun to go out when other “working people” can’t.

Television

I just heard a freaky statistic on the radio yesterday and I will link it up when I find the source. By the age of 75, most people will have spent an average of 12 years watching TV. I think I just threw up in my mouth. At the rate I was going, I would not doubt it. Every time I would get home from work, I would plop my ass down on that couch and kill brain cells for 2 hours.

Here is the neat thing about entrepreneurship. Your life starts to become more interesting that the fake people you see on the TV. I like to watch baseball and football games every so often, but find myself disconnecting from the “real world” and it feels great. I find it so funny if someone asks me if I saw a certain show. We not only spend 12 years watching TV, but another year talking about what we saw. Again, you just flat out won’t have time to watch TV.

Money

Be prepared to be broke.  Unless you come from money, there is a good chance you will be out of it for a while.  I could easily be making a great living in corporate America if someone wanted to hire me.  You could not pay me enough.  It is just not worth it.  I’d rather be broke and happy.  I could not say that when I first started my business.  I was so driven by the money which is why I kept going broke.  If you think it is as easy as coming up with a business plan and you are going to be injected with cash, you are clueless.

I have bootstrapped the development of my whole business.  There are times where I literally had to scrounge up money in the couch to have money to feed my dog.  Pretty embarrassing, I know.  Would you live in poverty for the next 5 years to live the rest of your life with total abundance?  Here is the interesting thing.  When money starts to flow to you, it comes with such great force, you will be wondering where it has been hiding your whole life.

Friendships

Your income is an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Do I have your attention? You are going to find most of your friends doing the same things, talking about the same stuff 30 years from now. You are growing and they may be not. It can feel like they are holding you back. You will be talking about the big dreams that you have and they will be first to bring you back down to earth. Do your friends support and encourage you to take action on your dreams? For me it was more about the partying. Everyone I hung around with would want to get smashed every night. It was a matter of survival for me with deteriorating health and the actual dangerous situations I would put myself in.

The only ones we can change is ourselves. You are fighting a losing battle if you are going to try to get your friends into business with you. Lead by example. Make changes in your own life and the right people will follow you. I still see those friends every so often and I honestly love them to death. Many have truly supported me and you know who you are.  I would go above and beyond for any of them if they needed help. Your friends may not understand that misery loves company. It can hurt them to see you do well. That is why it could be best for you both to go your separate ways until you get things rolling. You will meet again.

Free Time

You will have ALL the free time in the world as an entrepreneur. The question is what will you do with it? No one will dictate your schedule. You have to be the one to put your foot down and realize you can take your vacation time now or later. Almost all my free time is dedicated to my business. Actually, my business is all the time. It is my baby. I still do the things I love to do. There is no down time though. There is no time for TV or playing solitaire on your computer. Get used to it. I actually start to feel guilty when I take time away from my business. Here is a tip. Think about some of the things you love to do. Maybe it is walking your dog, riding your bike, reading, yoga, or swimming. Whatever it may be, when you first wake up, do to the most important thing you must do as well as the thing you love to do. Your day will feel quite fulfilled. It won’t be a question about doing the things you love in your free time because you are doing them everyday.

Family

This may be tough for you to deal with.  There will be times where you have to make that decision on spending time with family or building your business.  Only the really lucky people will always be doing both.  Just this past weekend, I had to miss my little cousins birthday party because I am working on the launch of a new course.  It must be done.  I have set deadlines for myself.  It is the toughest decision you probably will be making.  Also, if you are a young couple, maybe kids right now are not the best option.  It is a rocky road running a start-up.

We all have choices.  If we based them all on emotion, we will do what feels comfortable every time.  When we are comfortable, we are not growing.  What sacrifices have you made in your life to live the lifestyle YOU want?

{photo by: Wopular}