The struggles of an entrepreneur and what’s keeping her up at night

Yup, that entrepreneur is me.

Working as a full-time employee has never been one of my desires in life. I hate being a corporate slave. I hate receiving an income just enough to cover my monthly expenses. To my mind, I can’t help those people relying on me if I, myself, am living from paycheck to paycheck.

For the last six years, I’ve been working two jobs — a full-time one (which I felt was necessary for a stable income) and a part-time job (freelancing). It was only last year when I decided to completely leave my full-time job to change my career path.

In between those years, I’ve tried establishing my own small businesses. The first one was an online shop that sells lip tints. It was sustainable for at least a year but because I was still in college at that time, I had to focus on what was more important. The second online shop I tried to build was a clothing store. I was selling on Shopee and Lazada and the income was quite huge since I made it to the top sellers for months. But then again, I had to quit to save my time to study.

I was actually brainstorming for months. It felt like I was running out of ideas on how to make my entrepreneur dream happen. Fortunately, I was able to see the big picture that has been in front of me for the last six years.

The struggle is real

For an entrepreneur like me, the struggles are real. And I believe there’s no exception. Whether you’re someone rich who has all the available resources to build your business or a person who starts from scratch, challenges are always there.

From what I’ve been through and still going through, I can enumerate the struggles that you will likely encounter when you start planning for your own company someday.

Persistence

Continuing something for a really long time is hard. Trust me. I honestly lacked persistence when I was still running my online shop. I couldn’t keep up with the required energy of a one-man shop where everything is done by one person — from buying supplies to recording the inventories left for the day.

The lack of persistence kept me up at night. Until now, I’m still in the process of discovering the perfect formula to be consistent and persistent in what I’m doing. It’s a bit scary to think about it — that the lack of persistence might bar me again from working on my own company and dream to be a successful businesswoman. Will I be able to uncover the secret to persistence? Let’s see.

Time

Time is really gold. If I could choose to have 48–72 hours a day, I would. Entrepreneurs, especially those who start alone without getting any help from people, are struggling to do everything in one day — from posting their products and services, marketing them, doing the sale transactions, billing the customers, counting the inventories, preparing the items for shipping, to recording transactions.

What more if you have other commitments? What more if you need to attend your classes in graduate school? What more if you need to take care of a child? What more if you need to run your errands? Honestly, having insufficient time to do all the things about a business is a struggle.

Expect that doing this business stuff will keep you up at night, as they are keeping me up at night. If there’s one thing that you need to sacrifice, it’s SLEEP.

Resources

You would probably say if an entrepreneur doesn’t have enough time, why not hire someone? Why not pay someone to do the things for you? You see, not everyone who dreams of having their own businesses is born in a bed of roses. Most likely, those who can’t hire their people yet have limited resources. And, it’s actually a struggle because if money is the problem, you need to maximize the resources you have just so you can save costs. This could mean doing things by yourself.

At this point, I can only say that the struggle is more difficult for being an entrepreneur than being a full-time employee. On top of persistence, time, and resources, brainstorming will also keep you up until the morning. But, the greater deal here is the end result of your hard work. All of these are going to be worth your time and sacrifices. As for me, I won’t give up. If I fall seven times, I will stand up ten if I must.

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