The Cost of Entrepreneurship

I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning completely unable to sleep. Why? Because in 24 hours I was supposed to be on a plane en route to attend my kid sister’s wedding… and I knew there was no way I’d be able to get on that plane.

Edited to add: Please see the final “note” BEFORE commenting. :)

 
I dreading sending the email to explain that I wasn’t coming – and why. And I knew that no matter how I explained it, as someone who wasn’t an entrepreneur, my kid sister likely wouldn’t understand.

Being an entrepreneur has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. But it’s not all kittens and rainbows. There are times that you have to make tough decisions that seem like “choices” to non-entrepreneurs when they really aren’t.

I’ve been self employed via various different ventures for over a decade. I admit to being somewhat of a “serial” entrepreneur. I start a venture, dedicate myself to it for a few years and then – if all goes well – I get to reap the rewards (which to me is being able to do what I want, when I want, how I want). But there always seems to be another opportunity that comes up and (this is where the “serial” part comes in) I always find a reason to take it.

The first few years of starting a new venture are undoubtedly the hardest (in my experience). When I decided to come out of what my friends liked to call “semi-retirement” and start PushFire this year, I knew exactly what I was getting into. But, I definitely forget the LEVEL of sacrifice involved in building a company from the ground up every time I start a new venture. I tend to compare serial entrepreneurship with having children. You know it was hard, but you forget HOW hard it was until you decide to do it again.

To the “regularly employed” entrepreneurship means freedom and doing whatever you want. But seasoned entrepreneurs know better. We know that those benefits only come after you put in several years of hard time – and even then, it’s not always guaranteed. And those benefits come at a cost.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” ~ unknown

The costs of being an entrepreneur

Serial entrepreneurs will likely nod at many of the below. People thinking about becoming entrepreneurs need to realize that they’re going to experience the below. And I hope that people who are not entrepreneurs will get some insight into those that ARE via the below.

Time

What non entrepreneurs think:

time

The reality:

Beginning a new entrepreneurial venture means giving up your time now in order to have more time later. There is no five o’clock stop time in the beginning of a new venture. When you’re not in the office, you’re thinking of what you need to do when you’re in the office. When you’re at your kid’s football practice, you’re on your smartphone answering emails (but hey, at least you can attend the practice). Instead of watching Law and Order on the couch at night, you’re on your laptop creating proposals or budget projections. Going on vacation (or attending your kid sister’s wedding) becomes a nearly impossible task because leaving the office for four days for anything not business related is simply not an option.

You made a commitment to yourself, your partner(s) (if applicable) and your team to ensure what you need to get done to make the business a success gets DONE. And until you’ve reached the peak, time is your most important and needed input into a new venture.

Money

What non entrepreneurs think:

money

The reality:

Unless you have gotten funding (or a loan), then the money to propel your new venture is coming from you. I’ve never taken the funding route and instead have invested my own money and then reinvested profits from every venture I’ve ever started to build it to the level I want it to be. There’s no “fat paycheck” from a new venture. Know that if your short on cash at the start, you’re going to be eating hot dogs and Kraft Dinner for a long while before you start being able to pull any decent money from your new venture. And no that the return on that money is never, ever, guaranteed.

Stress

What non entrepreneurs think:

relaxation

The reality:

On top of the money and time involved, entrepreneurs deal with a hell of a lot of stress. Being responsible for the success or failure of a business is stressful. You’ll worry with every new hire whether or not you’re choosing the right person. You’ll worry if every item you choose to spend money on is a “smart” expense for the business. You’ll deal with a lot of self-doubt while needing to appear as if you know every move is the “right” move. Knowing that your success or failure effects your bank account (and the bank accounts of your investors if you have them), the livelihood of your employees, the families of those employees and the livelihood of the customers you are providing services or products for… it’s not for the faint at heart.

Relationships

What non entrepreneurs think:

relationships

The reality:

You’re going to be busy as hell. And as a result of the amount of time you’re going to have to put into your new venture, you’re unavoidably going to alienate people. You’ll forget to return phone calls because you lost track of time while proofing your new HR manual. You’ll miss birthday parties because a deliverable is due and you’re going to be spending your night ensuring it gets done. And because non entrepreneurs don’t understand your reality, they see it as a conscious choice and not as the absolute unavoidable you know it to be. Some friends and family will go from understanding, to annoyed, to insulted to not speaking to you.

In my early years of hard core entrepreneurship, I was single (or at times dating other entrepreneurs who “got” it). In my current years, I’m married to my business partner. But, if either of those situations does not apply to you, then you can expect any romantic relationships to get stressed over – and in some cases, possibly not survive – your entrepreneurial venture. If you have children, they’ll likely feel second to the business at times and you’ll have to work very hard to ensure it doesn’t happen to a significant level.

The benefits of being an entrepreneur

Now, at this point you might be thinking “What the hell? Why would ANYONE do this?” and the answer is, the above is exactly why not JUST ANYONE does. But for those willing to put in the costs, the benefits make it all worth it. Because if you’re successful, then you’ll reap the costs you put in ten-fold.

You’ll have MORE time, MORE money, LESS stress and all of those will make you a happier person who then can spend more of their inner resources on their relationships with their family and friends. I know this because I’ve made it to the peak with other ventures – and I damn sure will make it to the peak again.

And if my sister is still speaking to me at that point? I plan to make it up to her.

NOTE

I did not post this to ask for family relationship advice. Unless you are Dr. Phil and would like to spend a day with me learning my family dynamics, then anything you post about what *I* should do is irrelevant. I however welcome hearing what YOU hold dear and what YOU have done in tough situations and what YOU have been willing to sacrifice or not.

The POINT of this post was to highlight tough decisions and sacrifices entrepreneurs have to make sometimes and how they are sometimes perceived by people who are not entrepreneurs. However, it ended up showcasing that the reality is that no one should judge ANYTHING they don’t understand – not just entrepreneurship.

PS… if you ARE Dr. Phil and would like to have lunch, hit me up and we’ll schedule something. ;-)

About Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is an affiliate marketing veteran and the CEO of PushFire, a search marketing agency specializing in SEO audits and link building strategies. She is also the author of the often controversial Sugarrae blog. You can connect with Rae via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Sugarrae runs on the Genesis Framework

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Comments

  1. Rae – inspiring post in several ways, as usual. As a kid sister, I’m betting she’ll forgive you, and maybe even understand better than you expect (although it may take a while.)

  2. Well said! I couldn’t agree more. It can definitely be tough at times, particularly when you have to let people down because your new venture is your baby and it’s got priority. At the same time however, it can be so rewarding to be building something that you can truly call yours! I’m sure your sister will understand :)

  3. Paul Savvoy says:

    You should have gone to that wedding. Nothing about being an entrepreneur forced you to skip it — it was your decision, as was the decision to become an entrepreneur in the first place. It’s a decision you re-make every day.

    The important people in your life (family! friends!) should come before any venture. I wouldn’t hazard business with an entrepreneur who put herself first above everything, or who’s willing to sacrifice her kid sister’s wedding in order to chase some storm in the teacup of her own imagination.

    And anyway this post has nothing to do with your dilemma and all to do with how hard you’re working — just another empty, self-promotional blogging from the super self-interested startup set.

    • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion… I have a team of 11 people whose families depend on their paychecks. So, this has nothing to do with me chasing something in my imagination. It’s a four month old company, not a “settled” company. Once it gets settled, as I said in the post, then I get to do whatever I want. And actually, this wasn’t meant to be self promotional or a “how hard I’m working” post – it was meant to be “real” on what it takes to start and run a company and let other people in the same situation know others are dealing with these issues as well. :)

  4. You have the time to write long blog posts, but not go to your sister’s wedding. WTF? We all get 24 hours a day. How you use the time is up to you. And I’m on my 4th company so don’t try the “you don’t understand” card.

    • Not sure how long it takes you to write a post this length. Me? It took 45 minutes on a Thursday morning in my house on the couch after I’d worked for two hours and before I could head out to the office. A 45 minute blog post and 16 hours of plane travel and 3 days in a hotel are not quite the same thing.

      Additionally, not that I should even have to say this (totally didn’t expect to get judgmental comments about family situations no one has any personal knowledge of) but my sister and I aren’t “close” – we speak once a year by phone, if that often, and I haven’t seen her in person in almost five years. My point in even mentioning it was that I’d have loved to have gone, but couldn’t justify four days away to do so and it got me to thinking about the above issues and how they are perceived by entrepreneurs and nons.

      • That was nice of you to even respond to that judgmental comment. Says quite a bit about you and your character.

        I think people also do not understand that sometimes it is not the 3 days traveling that cause a problem it is the days preparing to be away and the days after you spend getting back in to the swing of things. Which means 3 days can quickly turn into 7 days away. That is incredibly hard to do in some businesses. I appreciate your honest assessment about what being an entrepreneur really is. Many times people say you are soo lucky but they truly have no idea of what it actually means. Thank You

  5. I can relate to everything you said as I have started three companies myself, but trust me – you should go to your sister’s wedding. Life is made up of moments, and this is one you have to be a part of. You have to put blood before money or even success. I had a close friend just lose his 9 year old son to cancer. It taught me a lot about what we all should be doing with our time. I say put off breaking even and making it for some family love. Life is short and when you’re dead no one gives a damn how hard you worked or how much money you made. Best of luck.

  6. Why someone would hate on this post is beyond me…

  7. Hi Rae, I have seen the judgmental comments and frankly don’t understand what people are thinking when they feel the need to share them.

    That said, I really enjoyed your article and have lived as an entrepreneur a long time with all of the success and failures so familiar to most of us. Your sister will understand, or she won’t – again that is the part of being an entrepreneur that we can only hope our loved ones will get to understand about us someday. Kudos to you for making the hard choices and owning up to them so authentically.

    • Re the judgmental stuff… It’s ok… people like to judge and in this case, they’re basing their opinion on one thing – that I’m not going to her wedding. Next time I’ll add in a paragraph about how I never miss my son’s football practice (or games) and how I have many employees who depend on their checks (along with their families) and “sorry, but I’ve got to let you go cause we got behind when I gallivanted off to a wedding” is never going to come out of my mouth. Or how it actually does cost a lot of money to pay for therapy equipment and what not for my oldest son (who is severely multiply handicapped). It’s hard to take serious offense to comments made by people who don’t know you (something I’ve had to learn not to do over the years as a blogger).

      I was just trying to share the decisions and dilemmas entrepreneurs get faced with. I’ve got no problem to owning up to the sacrifices I’ve made… some are right, some are likely wrong. But, I’ve made them and it is what it is. :)

  8. Dawn Wentzell says:

    One of the (many, many) reasons why — despite my workaholic tendancies — I never want to be the boss :)

  9. Rae, I’m not an entrepreneur outside of a few websites that generate money and have zero experience running a physical business. So with that i’m not about to judge you. I only have two comments.

    A) I’m surprised that your surprised by peoples reactions to this post. You had to know that most people wouldn’t agree with your decision regardless of the merit or reasoning’s.

    B) Since your husband is your business partner wouldn’t it of been feasible for him to stay in town to do face-to-face work while you worked remotely on the plane, in your hotel and even late at night in between the wedding events? Granted this isn’t ideal but the whole point of your post is that entrepreneurship isn’t easy.

    • Nick – actually, I was a bit. I didn’t think I was asking for an opinion on the decision I made. That said, I’ve been a blogger for a long time, so I’m also not surprised at the same time. :)

      Regarding my husband being my business partner… in theory, yes. In actuality, no. We have children in the household (one of which is only 1), so that’s one wrench in the works. Additionally, we’re VERY busy work wise (which I’m not complaining about) – it is taking both of us to keep our heads above water as far as getting everything done we need to at the moment (we’re hiring two new people this week alone). Additionally, we’re BOTH out of the office from the 11-15th for Affiliate Summit where I am speaking on a panel, a keynote AND exhibiting. So, me being out of the office for nine of the next 13 days simply isn’t an option, whether he is here or not. I definitely considered that option for sure before coming to the decision I did.

      • It’s too bad that you have to justify yourself to everyone as I said I was more curious not attacking but as a father to a 9 month old I completely understand the decision on that front. Life has difficult moments and there isn’t always a perfect answer.

        Good luck on everything :)

  10. I for one am glad that you will be home this weekend to watch our son practice for his second football season, spend time with our 1-year-old who has two parents who work in an office all week, which allows me to go out and play tennis with our daughter.

  11. Kathryn Parsons says:

    As a workaholic, I completely understand and support your decision to bow out of your sister’s wedding. It’s all about your priorities. In this case, your new baby (company) needs your help more than a sister that has probably invited a ton of guests (and will be lucky if she gets to even say hi to everyone). Would it be nice to go? Probably. But if your business needs you more, then I see why you’re making the sacrifice.

    I don’t run my own business, but have worked in a start up environment. I know the stress of making every minute count. Keep plugging along. I think posts like this are important to shed light on the start up environment and being a business owner. Too many folks jump in without understanding the time and commitment.

  12. Are people still having weddings these days? So 20th century. I’ll take solving a tricky business challenge over a line dance with distant relatives (or whatever you do at weddings these days) any day.

    Send a nice set of knives and point goes to Rae.

  13. When you lie on your deathbed looking back on your life, will this be your last thought? “Gee, I wish I’d spent more time at work.”

    • Definitely not. It also won’t be “gee, I wish I had attended my sister’s wedding” – everyone is getting way too caught up on what sparked the post instead of what is in the post – ASIDE from me choosing not to attend the wedding of someone who the details of my relationship with is known by anyone commenting. It was about realizing the sacrifices we give up as entrepreneurs. Some people may be willing to miss their kids football games (every and all) while others would never miss a wedding. I never asked anyone their opinion about the sacrifices I personally make.

  14. Louise C says:

    Funny how we all seem to judge others by their ‘Actions’ while we only judge ourselves by our ‘Intentions’?

    I understand totally. I have times when my family need me, when they totally  get the sacrifices I make and times when I am on the bottom of their list. 

    We are required to be a lot of things to a lot of people but at the end of the day our health and mental health relies on us learning to say no sometimes, as much as it hurts to let people down.

  15. It is interesting to see how commenting has changed from sharing ideas to choosing sides, even when there is too much information missing to accurately choose a side. Thanks for sharing your experience Rae. Whether these ideas on entrepreneurship are the same as what I have chosen over the last decade running my businesses or not is not the point. You have peeled back the curtain and shared your experience. Thanks.

    • That was my only attempt Jim :) .. and to be clear, because I think many people read I was missing her wedding and jumped to the bottom to cast their stone – I was discussing the BEGINNING of a venture. This will be my fourth large venture. I was discussing what goes into the first few years. I even said in the post I was in semi-retirement before starting the new venture – where I, you know, hung out with friends, family and traveled a shitload. :) I definitely agree that the above would not be how I would spend a decade. It certainly isn’t how I’ve spent my last decade – but it does represent a few years of them ;-)

  16. Heather B. says:

    I loved your point of view from average-person’s perspective. It’s comforting to see that others are going through the exact same thing. I have a new business and most people just don’t get it. My parents didn’t understand when I had a grueling 75 hour week and didn’t want to come visit on Mother’s day, and such. I’ve been too tired and work-focused to check my kids homework for weeks on end to the point where teachers were calling me. I’ve basically stopped seeing my closest friends for the last year for seasons at a time.

    But, as much as you can’t be away from the office, realize that there are only a few times in a person’s life that are really important; weddings and deathbeds. You should understand how hurtful it may be for her; even unforgivable. I would not forgive a sister that did this to me, even if she did just start a business…and I know what it takes.

    • See, this is the part that confuses me. First, I appreciate your comment. And had you said “I realize there are only a few times” that was your opinion about your comfort zone and said “I” and not “You” I’d have taken no issue with it.

      But why is it that you get to single-handledly decide that Mother’s Day is OK to miss but a wedding of a person you know nothing about or the relationship of the people is not? How would you feel if the next 14 commenters told you how wrong you were for not taking an hour out of your day to go visit the woman who raised you on the day honoring her, blah blah. Well, let me tell you, you’d think “who the hell are YOU to tell me what to do in my situation you know nothing about?” … I’d never make that assumption, because I don’t know the relationship between you and her, how much you see her outside of that or any other factor of your relationship.

      As a matter of fact, you ironically contradicted yourself in your own statement – because you know NOTHING about the two people at hand. You said you’d never miss a wedding or deathbed and doing so would be unforgivable… my 14 year old has been on his deathbed (literally) twice in the last 12 months. My sister didn’t drop her life to come. By your standards, I shouldn’t even be speaking to her and therefore, I’m excused from attending said wedding.

      (For the record, I didn’t expect my sister to come and hold zero animosity that her, nor anyone in my immediate family non local didn’t come. I’d have told them not to had they offered.)

      My point was to show how easy it is to make assumptions and be dead wrong by them.

      I know not everyone makes the same decisions as me. I’m just so shocked so many people feel compelled to judge me for them and tell me the myriad of reasons I should make the same decisions as them – with zero knowledge or insight.

      And COMPLETELY miss the entire point of the post.

      *SMH*

  17. Joe Pawlikowski says:

    What irks me about the judgmental comments is that they take into account only the perspective of the commenter. Sure, maybe in your world choosing work over a wedding is blasphemy. Good for you. That’s your life and your values. But they’re not universal. Other people have other beliefs, values, and circumstances. Try seeing the world from other people’s perspectives, and you might see that — as a wise man once told me — the world is bigger than things you like.

  18. My family gets it, and I’m sure yours does as well. My little sister gets it well enough to know that I can’t just drop everything and come running half way across the country with us just getting settled in and getting our business back up to speed.

    She was kind, about a month ago she sent me a text saying that she had gotten married the day before and would celebrate with me the next time I was in town.

  19. I’m just making an observation here.

    If someone said, I can’t go to a wedding across the country because I’m going through tough times and don’t have the money, people would understand.

    But someone says, I can’t go to a wedding across the country because I don’t have the time, and people get upset.

    One thing about entrepreneurs is that they value their time just as much (if not more) than they value their money. The opportunity cost of taking a few days off can be huge, and sometimes you just can’t afford that cost (especially in the beginning).

    • I knew I made the right decision for sure this morning when our nanny’s son got injured and she is now going to be several hours late to work, which means I am home with the kids missing 3 interviews of potential new team members today. Had I been on the plane this morning, my husband/business partner would have had to stay home and the interviews would have had to be completely canceled. Considering we need people to start like, last week, this could have been a huge setback if they’d had to have been completely canceled.

      • It’s nice that the situation worked out in a way that there aren’t any opportunities for regrets.

        One of the things I struggle with is most people don’t realize that just because I choose *not* to do something doesn’t mean that I don’t *want* to do it. Sometimes I have to pass on things I really want to do. Things that would be a ton of fun. Sometimes I regret it in a way, but I still know that skipping out was what I had to do.

        Here’s the thing: when you take on a business, you have a very finite amount of time to be successful. For me, I quit my job in February, and I’ve got until January to make it work. That’s not a lot of time, and it makes the time I do have feel incredibly valuable.

        When someone asks you to go away for four days when you’re in the early stages of things, what they’re asking you to do (whether they realize it or not) is to put the potential success of your company on the line to attend their event. Sometimes that’s worth it (I took a long family vacation earlier this summer that was great), but other times it isnt’ worth the tradeoff. And that’s a difficult thing to explain to most people.

  20. Adam Struve says:

    I understand your situation and some people are definitely too quick to judge. It takes time to build a business to the point where you can take time off and your employees can run the ship. A big part of being an entrepreneur is realizing you’ll have family and friends who wont understand the sacrifice, and to not let it get to you.

    On a side note… I had a conversation with someone at ASW this year who was telling me that he received so much shit from family members for picking ASW over his grandmother’s 3rd wedding. Her 3rd wedding.

    • Funnily enough, this is my sister’s second wedding to the same guy. She got married first in India (where he is from) a few months ago. This wedding is the stateside one for all the friends and family (which was pretty much all) that didn’t go to the wedding in India.

  21. Olga Eskina says:

    Rae,

    Great post. I am actually going through a similar struggle on the personal front. Coming across this post kind of helped me settle my mind and feelings a bit. A lot of people believe that entrepreneurs are stone cold, heartless and careless SOBs. It’s nice to know that you would take the time to kind of open the window with a different point of view for others.

    Though I don’t necessarily agree with your decision to not attend your sister’s wedding (despite the underlying reasons)… I do believe that people need to be objective as that is NOT the point of this post. One has to be able to choose their battles wisely… Kudos to you for being able to successfully accomplish that.

  22. (I’m the one that suggested Rae write this post in the first place)

    Ok, let’s get off the specifics of the wedding for a minute, because I don’t think that that was supposed to be the point of the post.

    Rae and I were commiserating about this on Twitter; it’s not JUST about missing an occasional family event. I’m trying to take my own my own evil empire business to the next level, and that means I have to do some things that some of my non-entrepreneurial friends and family don’t understand, and not do some stuff they want me to do.

    This week I had to file a DMCA against a woman who was scraping large quantities of my content, without attribution, and publishing it on her website wrapped in ads. When I finally figured out who was behind it, it turned out to be a friend of my mother’s.

    One of my best friends is barely speaking to me still because I had to postpone my weekly dinners with her family to spend the last six weeks working 12 hours a day (on top of the consulting business I run during normal business hours) on my seasonal websites, because … it was the SEASON. My peak time, and there were a lot of unexpected events that had to be dealt with.

    And don’t even get me started on what it’s done to my relationships, or those of the people who work with me over the past few years. (Actually you couldn’t get me started, cause I don’t talk about them, but suffice it to say they did not survive)

    The point is, it’s NOT all kittens and rainbows; there’s a real cost there. I know it, I accept it, it’s just that other people in my life don’t get it, and never will. I feel like I shouldn’t have to justify my decisions, or talk about why my priorities are what they are at length every time I have to turn down an invitation. So I reduce the number of other people in my life, which leaves me isolated and them resentful.

    Is it worth it? It is to me. It’s what I need to do.

  23. It’s not just weddings… my grandfather on my mother’s side died when I was in college and the funeral was scheduled the week before Finals. Though I wanted to go, I knew that I would be jeopardizing my grades. I talked it over with my parents and my grandmother, and they all told me (not suggested, but told me) that I was to stay home and do what was best for me because that’s what my grandfather would have wanted.

    Putting your needs before your desires is nothing to be ashamed of, and nobody should have to defend that, IMO.

  24. Hi Rae, thank you. I get it. I too am missing a family wedding this month (actually two). Being an entrepreneurial adventurer myself, I appreciate your words and feel more encouraged about some tough decisions I’ve made. It’s been really hard at times to honor my path and not give in to the “what will they think” thoughts. So thanks! :-)

  25. The reason people are focusing on you missing your sister’s wedding rather than “your point” — i.e., that entrepreneurship is hard, requires sacrifice and is not the kittens and rainbows scenario non-entrepreneurial sorts assume it is — is because that’s how you chose to frame the discussion. Why act surprised?

    Your decision has, I believe, WAY-more to do with your relationship with your sister than your post let on. I suspected that even before reading the comments (where you were more forthcoming). If you and your sister were close, you wouldn’t be informing her of your regrets via email, right? That’s okay, of course, and I’m not judging you in the slightest. Not all family relationships are kittens and rainbows, either, eh?

    I liked your post, btw. Great images! And, yes, entrepreneurship can sometimes require unique sacrifices, as can being the mom of a special needs child. Everyone has their own burdens and blessings. It is life.

  26. I’d suggest that those horrified or negative about the decision making related to choices around any sort of family commitment check this out… http://t.co/ZmUlLAvH

    The views of others are an infinite lens of permutations. Accept yourself and you can accept the views, decisions and opinions of others. Fail to accept yourself and you’ll be forever trying to change those around you. Good luck with that.

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  27. This may put more oil to the fire, yet – I understand you pretty well.

    Sometimes people have different priorities in life. Other people, who have different sets of priorities, get things mixed up. They expect your priorities to be similar to theirs. For me, this similarity happens rarely.

    Mine usually differ. A lot.

    I try to explain that to people, yet with little success.

    Personal responsibility, polish, professionalism, my self-well-being has priority.

    Perhaps it’s my minimalistic and introverted nature, but I’ve skipped tons of social activities, that bring no value to the table (in my opinion) , just to complete something I am working on or to be able to rest well, so I can be on 100% on the next day.

    My closest friends understand this (perhaps because we are all together in some of the projects). Yet all other, including my relatives, think I go too far.

    And I’m deadly honest – I tell people that I find what I do more interesting than the next social event they include me in. It simply is. Getting the job done, like a pro – this is how I express myself. My form of art.

    Also, for me, if a man is doing the whole entrepreneurship just to get into *all* the freedoms, things are messed up. Truly amazing people never stop. They create, build and try new projects all the time.

    This said – not all rich people are like that. Some, when reaching a pivot point, kind of retire. That’s a matter of choice :)

  28. Until this latest venture, Bitchin’ Ol’ Boomer Babe, I called myself a semi-entrepreneur; I started several businesses, but never committed to reap the benefits.

    Today, I understand this quote; “I’d rather work an 80-hour week for myself, than a 40-hour week as an employee.”

    The difference is technology enables me to WORK almost everywhere … however, my carry-on luggage is now devoted to performing as an office-on-the-go.

    How I maintain my relationships: I involve my family and friends. I ask them their opinion. I use them as a test audience. I seek their advice. I bend their ear.

    By involving them, they appreciate the challenges I encounter and we get to spend time together. Plus, I benefit from minds other than my own.

    Hang in there if you are just starting this adventure … surround yourself with people you trust and enjoy, it helps make the time more valuable and productive.

  29. As Shinazy says, technology makes a lot of difference, but we don’t know who is available to ‘admin assist’ if Rae is gone (or if she should get sick or break a leg or be abducted by UFOS). It does sound as if she is ‘it’.

    I’ve not followed this blog in the past; it was recommended in a post from DIY Themes, so I clicked over to see the story. It seems to me that Rae is particularly good at writing something that will bring in a ‘shitload’ of flaming comments. Now, that is a blog post I envy. I don’t have a sister to blame, even a distant one, my kids are all grown — the drama is almost non-existent, so I can work, but that doesn’t make for hot blog posts. I would start some rumor, but I don’t have time. ROFLMAO

    • I actually have an awesome partner in my business. Fortunately (or not) in situations like this, we’re also married. So while he gets my devotion to the biz, if one of us is gone, then the other is solely responsible for home AND work. Since this is the beginning of this newest venture, that was something we could do at this time. Technology IS awesome. But bottom line, what needed to be done this week were all things that had to be done in person (hiring, etc) and not things I could do at 10 pm after hitting my hotel for the night.

      LOL… you know, I usually get a good amount of traction on most posts, but I literally never expected this post in particular to get so many people flaming me about the wedding (which was only what made me and netmeg start discussing the topic and she suggested I write a post – it was merely a “lead in”). I actually expected most entrepreneurs to “get” the post – I had no idea so many people would focus on the wedding and nothing else. :P

      That said, yeah, I’m good at promoting things (a required trait as an entrepreneur where every business I own is tied to marketing online in one way or another – be it with the agency or as an affiliate publisher). And yes, most posts I write have the purpose of attracting interaction, though this one has some unintended results haha…

  30. Hmm. Like others I followed a link from DIY Themes.
    Really not sure what the point is, beyond the need we all have to reassure ourselves. Seems like the only person really being persuaded is the author.
    And, perhaps, … methinks the lady doth…
    Because it’s really a curious thing to allocate 45 minutes to writing a piece about the sacrifices that people like you are prepared to make because you’re too busy for those things you think other people believe important. And then to make the time to read comments and reply to them at 0900, noon, 0900 the next day, noon, and 530pm.
    If them’s your priorities, there’s no issue. Check out the bios of even ordinary swimmers at the olympics – not even the medal winners, not even those who make the finals. They’ll have spent hours every day training. The winners get to beam into a camera about how it was all worth it, and win some brief moments of adulation. Lots of others have to find their own way to feel ok about those choices. Maybe they’ll write a blog post about how much they needed to give up, and maybe that’ll help them feel good about their choice. But it might not be very interesting or have much insight for anyone else. Same for those who decide not to be a law firm partner or to run for office or to be an entrepreneur, to give more time to those they love. Maybe they can write about all the entrepreneurial satisfaction they’ve sacrificed.
    The only real question is whether you have any useful wisdom to help people work out what matters to them, and how to live happily with their choices.
    Not yet, I think.

    • I’m guessing your point was to belittle me but it didn’t really work. I guess you missed all the comments from people who identified with the post. I also find it amusing that several people have compared a 45 minute post and me posting a 3 minute comment multiple times (as you very brilliantly pointed out) with being equivalent to traveling 9 hours each way (between drives and flights). All it says to me is that people need to feel like they’re pointing out something insightful or smart when they’re not. In case anyone wonders, I’m currently sitting at my son’s football practice, which, yes, is also a priority over the wedding. (I hope my random blog visitors approve!!!) [/sarcasm]

  31. I’m seriously bored now with people posting the same thing over and over with no basis, insight or knowledge.

    I’ve tried to be polite and people keep feeling the need to be asses and judge and jury. Sorry but only my kids and my husband get to judge me. And last I checked my relationship with all of them are awesome.

    Anyone else can like it, leave it or kiss my ass.

    Comments closed – troll with spite and nothing better to do somewhere else :) Cheers :)

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