The life of an entrepreneur is exciting right? Absolutely.
But not in the way that non-entrepreneurs may think. They may look at their jobs – the routine “nine to five” – and think that the flexibility and freedom that comes from owning a business would be amazing. This is true. Freedom and flexibility is amazing, for those who achieve it; however….
Freedom and flexibility in a business is not a guarantee. It is a reward. It has to be earned
The process that an entrepreneur goes through to earn a “profitable business that runs without them” involves significant effort, and many, many long work filled hours.
Most of us are familiar with the term “groundhog day“, from the Bill Murray movie. The concept of each day being the same, over and over and over again. Many people get discouraged when their life resembles a “groundhog day” in some form. Particularly in an employee context – where they are having to perform the same routine activities each day, over and over again.
Here is the thing that non-entrepreneurs often don’t understand (and successful entrepreneurs fully embrace):
Daily routines (that can often seem boring or monotonous) are present, and in fact critical in the life of a successful entrepreneur as well
Getting a business to the level that it is 1) profitable and 2) runs on its own is a very inspiring, but difficult task. Anyone who has ever done it knows that it isn’t a “nine to five”. Not only do you have to do many long and often monotonous tasks, but sometimes the work day never seems to end, and failure rates for new businesses are extremely high.
Doesn’t seem that compelling to be entrepreneur does it? Just hold that thought for a minute.
I want to make the case that it is compelling. It is exciting. It is worthwhile – in spite of the reality of having to go through those long “groundhog” days.
Here is why it is worth it:
The act of creation renews you. The pursuit of mastery inspires you. When you dedicate yourself to something greater than yourself (like a business) you don’t view life the same way that you do when you are an employee
I recently heard a brilliant comment on this topic from the magician Penn Jillette (the tall, talkative one in the Penn & Teller magic duo). He talked about the monotonous task of having to practise a trick several thousand times before he performs it, and then even worse, the fact that some of his tricks he has performed consistently for the past thirty years. His response was brilliant:
I’m living my thousand years of groundhog day. That is a rare thing in life. When you have something you want to say from your heart and you get to say it over and over again, and get it better, get it right. The audience gets to hear me say, for the first time, something I’ve said a thousand times. I should be able to get them feel how I want. That is the art. The Art is Groundhog Day.
You can live groundhog day and love it. You love it when you are creating and performing your Art. Your business is your Art. Embrace and love the “groundhog days”.