Starting a business is like joining the priesthood: It’s not something you do from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and leave behind when Friday evening rolls around. Being an entrepreneur is a full-time occupation.
Make that preoccupation. You eat, sleep and breathe your obsession.
And if you’re one of the lucky few whose business actually takes off and you’re at it for more than just a year or two, preparing yourself for the long game can make all the difference in the world. Your well-being, success, relationships, productivity and employees’ enjoyment and enthusiasm all depend on your ability to stay focused, refreshed and energized. This is even more important during the crucial early days of a startup.
While most business literature and courses focus on preparing entrepreneurs for all the “external” challenges they’ll face — go-to market strategy, product rollouts, team recruiting, fund raising, etc. — there’s very little attention paid to all of the internal struggles one faces when launching a business. But, much like a sport, what separates champions from the rest is the ability to focus on and master this “inner” game.
Starting a business just because you want to make loads of money will most likely lead to you quitting before you really get started. Chances are in the beginning you’ll make a lot less than what you did at the job you left behind. Nothing can be more challenging to your self-esteem than working harder than anyone you know while living as if you’re back in your college dorm. Unless you’re passionate about what you do, don’t even bother getting to the starting line. Passion is what will fuel you through the inevitable lean and tough times.
Remember: Good things come to those who persist.
Also Read: 13 startup quotes that will get you thinking
Panos Panay is a passionate entrepreneur and active startup mentor in the creative media space. As the founder of Sonicbids, he created the leading platform for bands to book gigs and market themselves online. He writes weekly about startups and entrepreneurship for blogs and publications such as Huffington Post, WSJ Accelerators and Fast Company; and guest lectures at universities including MIT Engineering, Boston University and Brown University.