What’s Up, Young Boss!
Being a first-generation entrepreneur is hard. Your family either thinks that you should have a lot of money already OR that you actually don’t work and don’t have a legitimate business, especially if it’s an online business or a multi-level marketing business. You will probably get scammed like the rest of us and have rough days mentally and financially. As a first-generation entrepreneur, the following are the most painful lessons to learn and will determine whether you are fit to be an entrepreneur.
Your family does not understand why you can’t just get a job and be happy
When you are the first to start a business in your family, there will be plenty of days that you feel lost and unsupported. To most people, starting a business is a scary idea. Who in their right mind would willingly sign up to make their life harder. When you first get started, you will hear people tell you that having money isn’t everything, capitalism is bad, and not everyone can be super rich. These words will come from people that we love and don’t want to hurt us, even if they do hurt us.
From my experience, you cannot look for validation from people that have never done what you are attempting to do. Your family cannot help you. They actually might hinder your growth if you take too much of their advice. We all have the crazy uncle who likes to give stock tips and talk politics at family gatherings, but is broke and does not even vote. As much as we love our family, often we cannot take their opinions seriously. I hate to sound too harsh, but if they knew so much about being an entrepreneur, you would not be the “first.”
On the flip side, although we don’t get thanked for it, our families really do appreciate us for being different.Your journey is going to be new, scary and exciting for them, as well as for you. They want you to win because deep down it means that they can win, too. You are bringing hope to the people that you love the most. How amazing is that! Entrepreneurs are heroes for everyone looking for freedom. For me, this is the greatest non-economic gift of being a first-generation entrepreneur.
You will run out of money until you learn how to make it
Unless you have a crazy ability to save money, you will have to learn how to budget your business the hard way. No matter how much money you start with, there will always be unexpected expenses that come up. There will be deals and promotions that you want to take advantage of, classes and seminars you want to take, and the everyday cost of living. Every month you will still need to pay your bills, eat, shower and rest. These things will not wait for you to start making a profit, so you must learn to generate income as soon as possible in multiple ways.
The beauty of this experience is that it forces you to find creative ways to make money. This is the moment when you will find out if you are really an entrepreneur or not. The need to pay your bills will push you beyond your comfort zone and into a world of unlimited potential. Maybe you need to lower your price, revise your marketing plan or get in the streets to conduct a survey. Of course, these are things that we don’t want to do, but if you are dedicated to your business, you will.
Staying Disciplined and Organized
The best and worst part about being a first-generation entrepreneur is that you are your own boss. There isn’t anyone to tell you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Being an entrepreneur requires you to be a self-starter, with everything.
The best way to stay on the right path is to set realistic goals for yourself, every day. Yes, every day you should be setting goals and checking them off as you accomplish them. Just by looking at your goals everyday encourages your mind to work overtime to figure out how to solve problems. So even if you have a full-time job and run a business on the side, it is still imperative that you set small, business-related goals every day and work to check them off your list. Something small like sending introductory messages on LinkedIn to potential clients. If you do something for your business every day, you will accomplish a great deal over time.
Learning how to deal with ups and down
As you know, every day will not be as glamorous as some YouTubers make it look in their videos. Some days you will wake up feeling zapped of energy and unsure if you made the right decision. I’m here to let you know it’s quite natural to feel that way. You are in new territory and anxious about how long it will take for you to “make it.” Over time, you will become more self-aware and confident in your decisions. But this confidence must be earned and can not be gained by posting money on Instagram. You will have to put in real work that no one sees. The more risk that you take on and survive through, the more you will learn about yourself and how you produce. This self-awareness will give you the perspective to shake off that morning funk and get moving.
When you think about success, you should view your business trajectory as a blue chip stock. We all start at the bottom and experience plenty of ups and downs. If you have a plan and stay consistent, over time your ups will increase at a higher rate than your downs. Keep this in mind when you are having a bad day. It’s just temporary.
Stay away from scams
As a new entrepreneur, you will come across quite a few scams. You will probably lose money to a few of them until you learn how to tell the difference between a scam and a legitimate business. It happens to the best of us. Scams are around every corner, waiting for those that want to take the easy route in building wealth. Most ideas that seem too good to be true usually are, such as “turn $40 into $40 million or “part-time work for full-time pay.”
The common denominator of these phrases is a person seeking to gain success from a business without working for it. I hate to break it to you, but entrepreneurship is hard. You will not become a millionaire overnight unless you have some weird case of winning the lottery. Building wealth requires long-term planning, dedication, and long days, nights and weekends working on your business.
So, why do entrepreneurs willingly sign up for this type of punishment? Why don’t we just go get a job and be happy? It’s simple. The need to catch our own food, create our own world, and control our destiny, is a natural instinct that our ancestors passed down to us in our genes. Its ingrained in human beings to be creative and innovate better ways to live life. Entrepreneurs are not just business owners, but we are drivers of a better future. We all have a unique vision for our world that we want to see manifested and that does not happen overnight.
Becoming rich is a process, but becoming the master of your life is a decision. If you made the decision to be the first person in your family to start a business, congratulations! Based on this one decision, your life has instantly become more valuable and more rewarding. You will experience challenges that will test your willpower and you will consider giving up a time or two. Remember that you are running a marathon, not a sprint. Take everyday one step at a time. Be motivated to learn new ways to improve your business and make more sales. As you are building your enterprise, success will come as long as you don’t give up.
What are your experiences as a first-generation entrepreneur? Leave your comments below.
P.S. If you liked this article, please share it with your social networks. Thanks in advance.
The #1 Site For First-Generation Entrepreneurs