Being an entrepreneur isn't easy. The movies and media sometimes make it look glamorous -- entrepreneurs and people in business for themselves get to be their own bosses, they set their own hours, and do what they want. Everyone tries to suck up to them.
Often, those things are true, but what they don't show you is that you have to make tough decisions as a boss, that you have to work long hours to get all the work done, and often, you get stuck with the jobs that nobody else wants.
Sometimes, it can be so hard being an entrepreneur that everyone around you wonders why you don't just give up and get another job, already. I burnt the candle at both ends for years, all while gracefully managing controversy and scaling my fledgling business. I know what it takes to grow a thick skin and to dig deep to determine your true goals.
So what keeps entrepreneurs going?
Money? Certainly not in the beginning, when you might be making ends meet trying to get your business off the ground. It's the passion you have for what you do.
Passion is what fuels entrepreneurs, and is responsible for leading to their eventual success. Entrepreneurs have been told at some point in their lives to follow their passion, and the difference between them and everyone else is that they actually decided to do it, no matter how difficult everyone said it would be.
Passion without a plan, without action, and without hard work won't work. But without passion you'll run out of energy long before your actions yield the desired result. Although passion alone isn't enough to create success -- you still need training, foresight, hard work, and the right team, it is absolutely vital to your success as an entrepreneur.
While everyone else has worked all week, perhaps doing things they don't really enjoy, producing results they don't really care about, you, as an entrepreneur, worked for a cause that you believe in. Now that has to be energizing. You might be tired, but sometimes, your work doesn't even feel like work.
That energy will keep you going when the tasks are unpleasant, the money isn't coming in, and your physical energy has been sapped. It will fuel your business when the economy gets tight and the competition gets fierce.
I asked a friend of mine what how passion played a part in his journey through the business world, and you might relate to his story. Nik Sharma of Hint Water says, "When I realized I didn't have the safety net of a college degree, I began working 18-hour days. Today, 3 years after graduating high-school, I'm the director of marketing at one of the fastest growing beverage companies."
How do you know if you're passionate about your job?
What should you even be doing? Ask yourself a few questions. What would you do if you were independently wealthy and didn't have to worry about paying the bills?
What do you really believe in? What do you want to be known for years from now? How are you building your legacy? What are you really good at? What can do you that will allow you to continue to grow as a business person and as an individual?
Your answer to these questions is what you should be doing.