Writes entrepreneur James Altucher:
I used to love my job. It was only when I began to hate Mondays, in fact when I hated every day, that I knew I had to quit it and focus on building the business that until then had just been a side-business.
I built the business up and eventually sold it. It was a good result.
BUT, here’s the problem. You never get rid of the Mondays. Every day becomes a Monday. When you are at a boring corporate job you have several things going for you: nobody really cares that much at the job. Everyone leaves their work at the desk. Everyone takes off weekends. Everyone takes vacations. And during the summer nobody is expecting much from you.
That all changes when you have your own business. Here are the things you suddenly start worrying about:
– is every project getting done on time
– what else can I be doing for each client
– how do I get new clients. It’s hard. Do I just cold-call them? How do I get word of mouth going? Do I go to parties? Do I “pivot”? Argh, what do I do!?
– I know I have enough cash coming in to pay employees for 3 more months. But what happens then? What happens on month 4?
– Will my family survive if the business crashes in 12 months?
– Who can I sell my business to? How do I start preparing to sell my business?
– One of my employees today is crying because her boss (my partner) was talking about her behind her back and she heard? How do I talk to her about it? How do I talk to him about it?
– Another employee is sleeping with another employee and its not going to work out. How will this effect the project they are both working on for our biggest client?
– I feel like I need a head of sales but everyone I talk to wants a big piece of the company? How do I structure this?
– Should I productize my service? Will I make more money that way?
– How do I get client XYZ to pay his bills?
And on and on. The worries never end. You never sleep. Every day becomes Monday. Every minute becomes 3am Monday morning. Every day there is constant battles and meager successes to drive you forward. And sometimes there are stretches where it’s all 2 steps forward and three steps backwards.
I never once considered going back to the corporate job. It would be embarassing. A failure. I had to keep going forward. But the Mondays never ended. And 17 years later, the Mondays still don’t end. But you get used to it. Heck, it’s Monday right now! And I have 10,000 times more issues than I ever had at a corporate job . But over time the problems that used to be hard get easier. And the problems that you have today become opportunities. And the opportunities get better and better because you learn which ones smell, taste, look, feel better. And it’s no longer two steps forward three steps back. It’s five steps zig-zagged. And one of these days I’ll reach the end of the maze and a unicorn will be there. And I’ll ride her away and never look back.