I've been in the online business space in some shape of form since 2010. I started as a freelance writer and blogger and have since added training and consulting services to my company.
It's no secret that since 2010 the online business space has exploded. Everywhere you turn there's someone who quit their job and started their online business yesterday.
Every day I have more people emailing me about how they want to become a blogger and a coach.
Let's face it, starting a business is the new black. What used to be a last resort when someone couldn't find a job is now the cool thing to do.
When I ask some of these people why they want to build their own businesses, some of them say something about how easy it's become thanks to the internet and they'd love to be the next Marie Forleo.
I can see how this misconception could occur. You do have some coaches - Marie Forleo not being one of them - in the personal development space touting how easy it is to quit your job and start a business.
You have plenty of people telling you that all you need to do is fix your mindset and your business problems will magically disappear.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's called selling a pipe dream. I say this as a fellow entrepreneur who quit her job, continues to build a profitable online business over time and teaches others how to do the same.
That doesn't mean that starting a business isn't easier thanks to the internet, it certainly is thanks to online services and the ability to start a business without a ton of capital. It also doesn't mean that mindset has nothing to do with running a business, it certainly does.
What it does mean is you're not telling the whole truth.
We are doing a disservice by telling people that running an online business - or a business of any kind - is easy. Quite frankly, we all know it's the hardest thing we've ever done.
Instead, here's what coaches and online business proponents should be telling people who want to create their own businesses.
It will be the hardest thing you ever do.
As I've mentioned before, starting a business is an emotional rollercoaster with very high highs and sometimes very low lows. This is especially true in the beginning when you don't know what you're doing, bills are piling up and you keep getting rejected.
However, if you can get through the tough moments it will teach you about resiliency, confidence, and taking risks. All those tough moments are worth it when you realize you've built more autonomy and freedom into your life, even if it sure doesn't feel that way at first.
It's a lot of responsibility.
Entrepreneurship is like adulting on speed. You're responsible for everything. Not only are you responsible for all aspects of your financial life, you're also responsible for other people.
Unfortunately, that's not what you see in a world where entrepreneurship has been romanticized as the solution to a day job you don't like. No one on Instagram shows photos of themselves up at 2:00am stressed about money or photos the hard work it really takes to build a business from the ground up.
Don't get me wrong, it's cool that you want to be your own boss and I certainly encourage it.
But do you want to still be your own boss when the livelihood of your employees depends on you? How about when the money isn't coming in as fast as you'd like? How about when get door after door shut in your face before you get to that one person who says "yes"?
It's not as sexy as people make it seem and not everyone is built for it. But again, it's totally worth it to know that you're building something great - you just have to want it bad enough to take on that kind of responsibility.
It will change your entire life.
If you're not willing to grow as a person, get constantly pushed out of your comfort zone and face your fears on a daily basis, then you need to keep on moving because entrepreneurship is definitely not for you.
Entrepreneurship has been my greatest teacher and the single best vehicle for growing as a human being. It's very nature requires you to grow as a person or your business won't survive.
I've seen my coaching clients make major strides as they face challenges, release old beliefs and step up to playing a bigger game. They'd tell you it's not easy, but they'd also tell you some of their greatest strides have been made while dealing with the discomfort that comes with building a business.
Entrepreneurship also requires a complete unlearning of most of what society has spent an entire lifetime teaching you. It's a major gift that gives you an immense amount of freedom, but it doesn't come without some heartache and bruises along the way.
Why would anyone want to be an entrepreneur?
At this point you may be thinking, if it's so hard why would anyone want to be an entrepreneur?
It's because we don't go into it solely for the money. It's because freedom is the end-goal. It's because we actually enjoy the process of building a business, even on days when it's hard.
I'm all about people starting their own businesses and you better believe I'll be your biggest cheerleader, but I'm also not going to lie to you. Entrepreneurship is hard. Totally worth it, but also extremely difficult at times.