I’ve started a lot of businesses. Like most people that do this, most of those startups have failed. Others have seen enough success to make them worth the time, and 2 have become big enough that great things have happened.
Here’s what they all had in common: They took A TON of time to plan, more money than I would have liked to get off the ground, a whole lot of stress and sacrifice, and for the few that have become big enough that I’m proud of, those come with real world problems and frustrations that I didn’t expect.
And owning a business has a way of messing with your head. It’s yours. It becomes a part of who you are and the goods and bads that happen to it also happen to you personally.
Today you have a little ego but tomorrow you feel like a complete failure. In other words, you have a lot invested and are keenly aware of what you have to lose. In the early days you invest thousands of hours for zero pay and you will pay yourself far less than you pay those that work for you…because how else will the business survive?
What’s my point? It has become fashionable to criticize business owners for getting paid far more than their employees. Nearly all founders never reach those high levels but for those that do, don’t judge where they are, judge what it took to get there. No, not all stories are the same but the journey of a founder is exceedingly hard and expensive.
And if you are a business owner, I honor you. Few understand your journey. Keep at it. Your vision is allowing people to feed their families. Never forget the people you’re impacting.