Entrepreneur life: These words bring a feeling of excitement over me. I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur for pretty much all my life.
As a kid, my dad built a business from the ground up, it was a magazine company in the heart of San Francisco in the ’90s. His journey introduced me to the glamorous (or maybe I glamorized it in my mind) world of entrepreneurship.
To me, entrepreneurship meant you worked in coffee shops, spent your days hanging out with cool people, and then stayed up late the night before a deadline.
Hmmm…. thinking about it more critically, I painted a very glamorous lifestyle of an entrepreneur. Perhaps you could say it was a distorted image.
But, there is more to the reason I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Why be an entrepreneur?
While I watched (and glamorized) my dad’s entrepreneur life, I also watched my mom and her work life. She spent over 20 years working for the Government. She left the house early in the morning and regularly came home after dinner. Her days outside of the home were 12+ hours long. And, there were several times where she’d get home from work and walk directly to the computer to continue working.
I guess my glorification of the entrepreneur life was for a specific reason. I wanted to have a lifestyle more like my dad’s — to schedule work on my terms, have some freedom to hangout with cool people, and work in a coffeeshop.
Uh, it makes more sense as to why, given the opportunity, I would totally live in a coffee shop. And, practically do at times. When the staff knows you by name and texts you the iced tea flavor of the day… you might be there too often.
When I started building my private practice, I still had this glamorous expectation of entrepreneur life. Ok, at times I still do even though I’ve since left my private practice behind.
The whole experience has not been as anticipated (shocker right?!). Apparently, my view of entrepreneur life was a result of attending business classes at the University of Dunning-Kruger.
Haha, that is not a thing. But the Dunning-Kruger Effect IS a real thing!
As I started my private practice, I had an incredible amount of confidence. People had been asking me for years to start one, so… I’d have people lining up to work with me when I was ready. Right?!
Spoiler alert: The confidence came to a screeching halt as soon as learned being a private practice owner required me to do more than provide nutrition counseling. There was a lot of behind the scenes stuff I didn’t know about — technology, marketing, business management, etc…
Thankfully, I was able to tap into a few resources.
Getting Support as a New Entrepreneur
When I finally made the realization being a solo-preneur without a support network was a recipe for disaster, I started seeking out help and support from others.
First, I found a mentor through the SCORE program which is an organization that matches senior citizens to give back to help entrepreneurs. Bonus, when you work with a SCORE mentor, it doesn’t cost you money which is excellent when you are just getting started.
Self Development was the Most Important Part
The next piece of the puzzle was something that most probably wouldn’t be able to guess… I worked with a mental health specialist. She helped me to uncover the roadblocks I had placed on myself. Yes, I created my own barriers to success. If I had not worked with her, I probably would have failed at the whole entrepreneur thing a long time ago.
We worked on many things, including a deep belief that I was not good enough unless I was striving for perfection in my business. Whew, talk about uncovering some deep, painful memories. But, once I worked through those, I could see myself and business in a new light.
The mental health specialist also helped me work on my relationship with money. I love helping people. And, I am happy to help people regardless being a business owner. So, there were times I had a hard time asking for money. Or, there were times I didn’t ask for my worth. I’ve worked hard to push past those issues.
As an entrepreneur, I have had to learn a lot. Not just about business, but about myself as well. The self development threw me for a loop but ended up being more important than anything else.
Tell me about yourself
- How have you imagined entrepreneur life? Is it similar or dissimilar to what you have experienced?
- I will hands down admit it is not at all what I expected, but it has been far more rewarding than I ever would have imagined..
- What type of resources have you used to improve your knowledge as an entrepreneur?
- Have you done the personal work to help you move through your own road blocks?
In the end
Thanks for taking the time to read today. I hope you feel better about your view of entrepreneur life – which I’m guessing may have been a little different than reality.
Then again, if I am the only weirdo to have such a severe miscalculation of what it is like to be an entrepreneur, let me know too.