Well, I’ve wasted the entire day today.
I planned on making a video for my Youtube channel. I spent hours shooting it, editing it, and scripting it, but it fell flat right in front of me.
That’s five hours I’ll never get back, and it’s an entire Friday wasted. Come to think of it, I took the entire day off yesterday, too.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m an entrepreneur. I am dependent on myself for income, daily tasks, planning for my future, and business strategy.
If I make a misstep, I’ll be toast. If an algorithm changes, I’ll be toast. I remember years ago my biggest goal was to be independent, work my own hours, live on the other side of the world, and write about whatever I wanted.
Well, here I am, and it’s an absolute blessing some days and a complete clustercuss on others. Here’s why it sucks.
Be Ready To Always Worry About Finances
I am on a financial hamster wheel. I had a chat with a good entrepreneur friend of mine the other day and he admitted to having relatively severe anxiety from worrying about the future.
I do, too.
In fact, last August I nearly worried myself into a Crohn’s flare up. My face broke out like I was back in high school. I had bumps all over my back, too. It was embarrassing.
And when does this financial worrying end for us? I get that you can get laid off in corporate America too, but it’s nothing like this.
My main revenue stream could dry up tomorrow. I could say goodbye to $3,500 per month in the snap of a finger. I think I’d be able to generate something new and recover, but scrambling in the aftermath of that would be a major kick in the groin for me.
Entrepreneurship culture is so quick to glamorize this lifestyle. The custom hours, the Bali life — but nobody talks about the significant financial risks, the burnout, the overworking.
The Things You Love Doing Will Turn Into A Cage
I’ll be honest, this week I’ve been burned out. I just don’t care to finish most of my tasks. I don’t know why I’m burned out, but I am.
Entrepreneurship is about creating freedom for ourselves, but sometimes this very freedom can turn into a cage.
For example, I love writing. I’ll never not love it, but there’s days I really don’t want to write anymore, and writing is a big part of my revenue stream.
What do I do now that I’ve turned something I love into money? In some ways this is an even worse cage to be in compared to being stuck in corporate America.
What else is there to do in my off time? Before I might write after Dinner to calm myself down. Now what? I just spent all day writing — I don’t want to write anymore.
Ironically I still write to calm myself down, but now it’s to calm myself down from the utter terror that I’ll run out of money. I’m writing not for the fun of it — I’m writing to stay afloat financially. So weird.
I Worry I’m Too Spoiled
If I ever had to go back and get a real job, I worry I’d become suicidal. I really do.
I couldn’t bare working a real job before, which is why I quit like 4 jobs in a row to pursue freelancing. At least then there was a roadmap to something better. To me, that better life included writing about whatever it was that I wanted to write about and getting paid for it.
Okay, here I am, living the dream. Now I want something else? The problem is, there’s not too many other hobbies that I have.
I could review movies for Youtube (I love watching movies), but that would end up feeling a lot like work at some point, too.
What do we do when we’re exhausted from the very thing that used to cure our exhaustion?
This is a bad place to be in. In many ways, this is a place that can lead to a lot of the vices those in corporate America turn to. Drinking, drugs, other things. What else can make me feel better? When I don’t have any other hobby to turn to, what do I do then?
And Then There’s The Overworking
Because we’re masters of our own fate, and not beholden to clocking in and out, it’s easy for us to overwork ourselves.
Happened to me for a year and a half before I snapped out of it.
Entrepreneurship Is A Never-Ending Ferris Wheel
The circle never stops spinning. For most, there is no such thing as making it big and sitting on the spoils until you die.
It is a game where people that are infinitely sharper than you (and more hard-working) are flooding onto the scene every day. What happens when you’re burned out and can’t stomach writing any more blog posts? What happens when a young buck on the scene comes on and doesn’t mind writing two blog posts a day?
This is a hard game. It can be a won a variety of different ways, but most times it favors the ones who are still hungry, and sometimes entrepreneurship makes me gag.
Staying sane mentally is probably the biggest challenge I’m facing right now. This game is not for the faint of heart. It’s not just about working hard and being smart, it’s about staying sane and not descending into madness — like Khaleesi.
And while I’m half-joking as I write that, there’s another part of me that’s serious as a heart attack.
Do These Things To Maintain Your Sanity As An Entrepreneur
- Take random days off.
- Diversify revenue streams so when you’re bored of doing one thing you can do something else while you recover.
- Make friends with other entrepreneurs to share frustrations.
- Don’t spend 14 hours in your room working every day.
- Worrying is like alcohol. In moderation, it’s fine, but too much does absolutely no good.
I hope that helps.
Article originally written at The Startup @ Medium by: Tom Kuegler