Business isn’t fun!

serious business

You hear about all those glorified companies like Google and Facebook, and you think it’d be fun to start your own business, right? I hate to break it to you, but business isn’t fun.

Whether you want to admit it or not, the obvious reason why businesses are around is to make money. People start and join businesses to make money. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the New York Stock Exchange: the companies are there because of their financial performance.

If you want to have a lot of fun, you shouldn’t try to create a business. You should stick with your 9-to-5 job. Here’s why:

You’ll have less stress

Business is stressful! Imagine having to handle high amounts of stress like making payroll, firing employees, or just figuring out how to get your business to make money. Sounds pretty intense, doesn’t it?

And once you make money, the stress doesn’t go away. You’ll constantly have something that you’ll be stressed out about.

You’ll have fixed hours

When you’re running your own business, you won’t be working just from 9 am to 5 pm. You’ll easily find yourself working 10+ hours a day seven days a week. It might sound easy, but you can get burned out quickly. I’ve personally been doing it for nine years (almost ten), and I’ve never had a vacation.

It’s a lot easier for me because I don’t have a wife or kids, but if you do, it’ll be really tough on them.

You’ll have job security

The best part about having a 9-to-5 job is stable income. For most of my entrepreneurial career, I didn’t have stable income, which made things extremely difficult.

If you’re having a bad month in your business, your mortgage or car payments don’t cut you a break. Especially in the last few years, a lot of entrepreneurs found themselves moving back home with their parents.

I lived with my parents until I was 23. You might make fun of it, but it allowed me to reinvest every dollar I made back into my business, which helped me get to where I am today.

You’ll have a simple life

If you start a business and it does well, you will have financial security. However, you’ll find yourself not being able to spend the money you’re making because you’re too busy working.

And yes, you can try to hire someone to replace you so that you can just sit back and cash checks, but it is really hard to find someone that can do as good of a job as you can.

The cool part about working a 9-to-5 job is that you get vacation time and your life doesn’t get as complicated as it does with a business.

I know the 9-to-5 experience sounds a bit boring, but at least it is much simpler. The best part about it is that you only have to do a few things well instead of trying to do everything well.

Conclusion

I am not talking you out of starting your own business. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t start one because you think “it’s fun”.

If you want to start a business and be successful, you should only do so if you can:

  1. Solve a problem – a business doesn’t need to be cool. It needs to solve a problem in the market place. And the problem you are trying to solve has to be one that people are experiencing today, not something that people may experience five years from now.
  2. Make money – If you can’t make money, you won’t survive. I don’t care if you are changing the world to be a better place. You have to be able to make money. You have bills; you need food; and the only way you can take care of those things is with money. You need to make enough money so that you can live comfortably.

Now that I broke down the two requirements that you need to follow if you want to create a successful business, here are some of the traits that you need to have if you want to succeed:

  • Scrappiness – if you don’t know how to hustle, don’t waste your time trying to be an entrepreneur. You have to learn to do whatever it takes to succeed. I don’t care if you have to walk through a landmine.
  • Logic – I can’t stress this enough, but business and emotions don’t mix. With every decision you make, you need to learn to make it with logic even if that means your ego is going to get hurt.
  • Hunger – one of the biggest qualities you need is hunger. If you don’t want to make money badly enough, nothing will push you to work crazy hours and pull those all-nighters.
  • Efficiency – time is money, so you need to work as efficiently as possible. When you start, you won’t have a big team, which is why efficiency is so important. If you can’t learn to move fast, a competitor will crush you.

I also decided to talk about “starting your own business” because many people have been telling me that it’s their 2011 New Year’s resolution. Before you do that, take a look at whether it’s really worth your time and money or not. Not everyone is ready to start their own business. Just because it’s so simple and easy to do nowadays, it doesn’t mean you should do it.

If you love making money like I do, go for it. Just don’t do it for the fame and glamour.

Do you think businesses are fun?

* Update: By no means am I trying to make a claim that a 9-to-5 job is easy. I am just trying to prove a point that you shouldn’t go into business because you want to have more “fun” in your life. Start a business because you can solve a problem and you want to make money.

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Comments

  1. Having an Job is not what I wanted for my life..so I did something about and started to become an independent guy…yes my money isn’t guaranteed..but I’m happy.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  2. I like this post because it kicked my ass and gave me a wake up call. You’re right, I have been trying to make business fun, when in fact it is NOT fun. I can have fun with it, but it won’t bring fun to me.

    It’s funny how a pessimistic post like this give me inspiration to work harder.

  3. As an entrepreneur who is married with 4, soon to be 5, kids I feel obliged to comment here.

    I agree with much of what you said… but I can’t lie… I am having a blast running my business AND I am not on a stupid airplane 60% of the time away from my family for 3 to 5 days at a time like I was when I had a “job.”

    So, yes, I am working harder now than I ever did as a corporate drone… but I am also able to coach my kids soccer teams, be at every one of their games, and eat dinner (sometime breakfast and lunch) with them.

    My recipe was to work my face off, as Gary V likes to say, building the business while I had a job. This involved MANY 3 AM nights and tons of weekend work. But I did it… and now it’s paying off beyond my wildest dreams.

    So, yes, it is a bunch of work and pressure… but I, for one, love it and cannot imagine ever collecting a paycheck every two weeks again. That, at least to me, wouldn’t be fun!

    • I agree that it’s a ton of hard work, but if you’re passionate about what you do, it’s all worth it. It’s also important to have goals and aspire for something you want achieve.

  4. I agree with the other guys – I’m happy with my business and this post totally kicked my ass. I’ve been unmotivated the last few weeks and dragging tail because things haven’t been going as good as I’d like it to (partly because it’s just the Holiday Season), but hey – I asked for it and it will pay off one day. Thanks for the great post Neil.

  5. Who said there’s anything close to a 9 to 5 job anymore? All the jobs I’ve had required significant time commitment if you were to get anywhere. Why build someone else’s business when you can build your own?

  6. I definitely agree with Enrique.

    Many business takes 60+ hours a week to get going, but if you’re working 9-5 why not work 8-5 doing something you love?

    If the business is at all viable, you will definitely make more than you would as an average employee.

    Getting paid an hourly wage or salary to earn a company millions of dollars does not sound like fun to me when you can do the same for yourself.

    If you find a 9-5 job more fun than starting and building your own business, you are not an entrepreneur.

  7. Couldn’t disagree more with this post. Being a business owner allows you to have control and power over your own life, to do something you’re passionate about, and to help others with a problem. And while business can be tough and hard at times, I believe a job can be infinitely more so.

    I run sunshine suites, a coworking and share office space where hundreds of entrepreneurs work, and without exception they are all happy to be there and happy to not have a job, but instead to be pursuing their passion.

    • I’m not saying that it’s constantly a bad thing, I’m just saying that business and fun don’t go hand in hand. No matter how passionate you are about something, you’ll lose interest eventually and it becomes a chore. There’s a difference between a hobby and a job. But if you’re making money, than it works right?

  8. This post is a bit too anti-enterprise and I think it is the small business owners that play an important role in stimulating the economy. But you are right, there are many business owners (that fail) who start a business because they are bored and want to start a business that does something. That really isn’t the correct mindset to have before starting a business.

  9. Very Well said Neil :)
    Completely agree with your point of view here.

    9 to 5 job is kinda not very challenging & one can live life to the fullest & we see 90% of the world doing the same, however very few people has guts to start the business and sustain, at the same time it is so very important to make money :)

  10. Great post reminding everyone it’s not easy. ;)

    Daily, I have to grab my left shoulder because the pain there will never go away – that is until I stop working on my business.

    I still plug away and bear the ache b/c it helps me achieve what I want: helping others that I truly want to empower in life. Like a previous CEO of mine reminded me when I was working at Doubleclick, “A business is simple. Find a problem that affects many people. Solve it. Solve it better than anyone else.” He also said when we had lunch that he stays up late at night worrying about the competition.

    His competition was eventually Google. Fortunately for the stakeholders of the company, the search engine ended up just buying the company.

  11. Disagree

    Owning a business is for only those who think hard work is fun. Those who think long nights/80 hour work weeks are fun. Those who believe that a 9-5 is hell and the opposite of fun. The individuals who are crazy enough to actually go through with it and put in the effort and take the risk.

    For those select individuals, nothing could be more fun.

    • I’ve worked with many successful entrepreneurs and business isn’t always a walk in the park. It’s stressful, hard, annoying, and a lot of other things. Many people just can’t handle that type of lifestyle. I wrote this post because a lot of people have this misconception that it’s simple.

  12. Having a full time 9-5 job doesn’t necessarily mean you will be less stressed, and secure, many jobs these days have high demands and management expect a lot from one individual, and most of the time they are over loaded with work due to lack of staff to reduce costs.

    But on the other hand your right the grass is not always green on the other side, with running a business you are taking up all the responsibility on your shoulders, and the only person you have to answer to is your self. It has its ups and downs, but the rewards and self satisfaction is much much more and better then working for someone else.

    If you have a passion, and desire, business is the way, you will enjoy every bit of it.

    • I speak for the general public when I talk about the 9-5ers. It’s not that you will never enjoy it, because sometimes it’s very rewarding, but often times it’s not. You just gotta realize that coming in.

  13. I want to solve a problem and right now I don’t have a clear view of how exactly I’ll be making money, but I think if I look for an answer for long enough, I’ll find one. What do you think?

    • Kirill,
      My recommendation is to start shaping your solution ideas into a set of hypothesis that need to be tested. You may want to buy Steve Blank’s book, Four Steps to The Epiphany, and follow his approach (@sblank).

      You can start now, with almost no capital outlays (except for paying for lunches in exchange for information). Once you begin forming a clear idea if your approach will work and attract paying customers, you can build a prototype product/service to test with a limited set of customers (early adopters). I am sure you will find people who are willing to join your cause along the way.

      If you want, sign-up for our beta at http://www.startupblvd.com. We are still in heavy development. Our focus is to help startups connect with early adopters (ie. first paying customers).

      • Hi Enrique,

        Thanks for the advice. I am already reading Steve’s book while trying the approach at the same time. Perhaps something good works out at the end of it all. I will be sure to sign up for your beta and check it out when it’s rolled out.

        Thanks and all the best,
        Kirill

    • Solve a problem that people and businesses are willing to pay for. Then hone the solution so it provides a noticeable value.

      Not sure if people and businesses are willing to pay for your solution? Ask them. Ask them what it costs not to have a solution or not having a good solution. Help them calculate the cost.

      • Ask them what it costs not to have a solution or not having a good solution. Help them calculate the cost.

        That resonates with me! Seems a whole lot better than trying to convince them to “buy me”! “What is it costing you in whatever your currency (time, money, stress) to NOT have me?”

        Ed

    • Well we all hope that and so far i aint got much success, i am having a hard time getting traffic

    • I’m sure you will too, you just gotta into what you like or find interesting and then work your butt off ;)

  14. I totally agree, far to often people start businesses as an escape. They don’t realize that you will work HARDER and LONGER than a in a 9-5. But in my eyes, its darwinism, only the strong will survive

  15. Hi Neil.
    U Nailed it man! I fully agree with you on this. I run my own business. One works harder, learns to do things faster and deliver to customers in a much smarter way.
    However, I am learning about how to optimize and systemize business performance and outsource the things i am not good at so that i can increase my output while working less time.

    Thanks again for reminding us entrepreneurs the brutal facts. In short, one has to be driven to make it in business and overdeliver to customers

  16. I like what enrique said:
    “Why build someone elses business when you can build your own?”
    That’s what motivates me.
    Instead of committing 40 hours (or more) of my life each weak to build a business for someone else, I choose to spend that time building my own business instead.

    Now my “bosses” are my clients, I can choose which ones to work with and which ones to fire.
    You don’t have that luxury when you work a 9 to 5.
    You may have have to put up with a jerk boss.
    Where’s the fun in that?

    A friend of mine who works a job, had her annual review recently. She is required to review herself.
    I was amazed at the level of self-induced stress she put herself through prior to the due date.
    To me, that is the opposite of freedom.
    That’s just a form of bondage.

    • Yes, company gives scores on how well employees review themselves. If the review didn’t go well, her annual bonus might end up in someone else’s pocket. Imaging she puts in a lot of hard work in keeping the 9-5 job but still stressing whether or not she’ll get that 5% bonus at the end of the year.
      Having a business is just having a job, which tends to be more stressful but yields higher return for the time and energy you put in.

    • Wow… it can be stressful too in certain sectors of the corporate world, but I’m talking about the general public who work the 9-5.

  17. Good post but I don’t agree with it. Sure a 9-5 might be ‘easier’ (depends on how you look at it) but building something for yourself feels a lot more rewarding than working for someone else. Building a business is hard but that itself can be fun part of it. It really depends on your inner values since a good business is built around yourself first.

  18. Tulsa Internet Marketing :

    Neil I have to agree and disagree with you. you make some valid points in saying that business is not fun and that is it real wok. It takes dedication endurance and guts.
    It take sacrifice, pain, and stress.

    But in the end if you do not enjoy the tings of the business you will not excel to the best you can be in that business.

    I personally think that business is a blast and would not want it to be any other way.

    Just remember if it were easy then women and children would be out here.

    LOL just kidding about the women part but you get what i am saying. It is hard word and it is not for everyone.

    But it is very exciting and rewarding for those brave souls willing to step out in faith and give it a go.

    • Yeah it is for those who think it’s worth it, but most people can’t handle it. I’m just saying it how it is… for most people, it’s better for them to live the simple life, rather than the hustle and busle of running a business. It just depends on what someone is looking to do.

  19. I think the most important aspect is the “no vacations and no time off”. Everyone that knows me personally, that is not involved in their own business, assumes that because I work from home all day that it is a vacation. Because I can take a pause from my work to go and handle some errands or something, everyone assumes that I don’t have any responsibilities. This all takes place during your typical workweek hours, 9-5, monday-friday.

    They all quickly forget that when the weekend rolls around, I still have to work. When its time to go out for drinks that weekend and everyone is thinking about nothing, and definitely not about work, that’s all I’m thinking about 99% of the time.

    So when others can just veg out and completely relax their mind, my mind is usually still hard at work, working out the problems that we all face in business.

    /endrant

    • If you’re doing well enough in your business, even as a single-person business, you can take vacation.

      In fact, for those who earn revenue solely on hourly billing, one should do the numbers to figure out what they should be charging. Some criteria to take into consideration:
      * Count holidays that you’ll take that you don’t bill for
      * Count vacation that you want to take (3 weeks, 4 weeks, etc.)
      * How many days do you expect to be off due to illness or other family matters?
      * Now for the remainder of the year, how many hours per week do you plan to bill?

      Now considering the above, what annual salary do you expect? Work backward from here and based on how many hours you’ll be able to bill in order to make your salary, you can determine an hourly rate.

      If you want to take vacation and have time off, you have to take that into consideration.

      I always tell my wife. If I’m not billing, I’m on vacation… even if I don’t want to be.

    • You and me both ;) There is little time available to just chill, especially when you’re starting a business.

  20. You’re so right, Neil! I’ve been lacking motivation and this post provided a much needed kick in the butt. Working for yourself is hard, and takes time and extended focus, but it beats returning to the corporate hamster wheel.

  21. Hi Neil, I think most entrepreneurs would not go into it with the expectations of less stress, regular work hours, job security and a simple life. Entrepreneurship is likely to be a stressful leap of faith involving a lot of caffeine consumption, hard work and hopefully mostly good stress.

    I think you made some good points about solving a problem and making money but I think you completely missed the spirit of entrepreneurship when you said:

    “If you love making money like me, go for it. Just don’t do it for the fame and glamour.”

    Money is not a motivator for everyone, it is a necessity for most. Honestly I think entrepreneurs who are just trying to get rich will be chasing a ghost. It is MOST important to enjoy and love what you do, that is likely to involve fame and glamor for some, money for others and very different things for many.

    Very provocative post, thoroughly enjoyed diving in :)

    Joe

    • Well I’m glad to have you a part of the conversation Joe. And yes, money doesn’t toot everyone’s horn, but if you want to start your business and have it become successful, it helps.

      • Thanks, Well success is what i am aiming for as anyone else, But i find it difficult to find honest help,most people want paid,But still plugin away.

  22. I used to say something similar to prospective entrepreneurs when I was a counselor for Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Starting a business is as much a lifestyle choice as it as a business or economic one. I tried really hard not to be a dream crusher, but I did have some pretty frank conversations with the clients to be sure they knew what they were getting into!

  23. Good to give people a reality check but you forgot to mention that it’s next to impossible to make more than $200K per year without being in business for yourself.

    I would also add that what you said only applies if you don’t know what you are doing (most people don’t). Go read the e-myth revisited, being business is a lot of work but it doesn’t have to be.

    Also I think a lot of people experience the issues you point out because simply they think their idea is so great, but in reality it isn’t.

    How much effort does it take you to run CrazyEgg? It looks pretty automated to me.

    • Well it is possible, but even in the corporate world, making that much usually requires more than just a 9-5.

      CrazzyEgg is somewhat automated now, but it was never always like that. Took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

      • Yeah I bet, but what an awesome tool.

        How come you guys dont have an affiliate program for that?

        Every time I show a client those reports they go crazy… and hire me to do more website optimization.

        Its one of those things like analytics, every site should be running it on any page they are spending money to get people to look at.

  24. I agree with the last reason that you’ll have a simple life if you work 9-to-5. You won’t be thinking about how to grow your business, manage your employees, position your products, etc. Some people enjoy that kind of lifestyle, but definitely not me.

    In terms of stress, working hours, and job security, I have to disagree with you Neil. A 9-to-5 job can actually cause unnecessary stress because your boss’s boss asked for something within the next hour, not because of anything as important as making more sales and hiring good people. Working hours can drastically volatile depending on what you work as, and as a consultant myself I work 9 to 12 on a bad day, and rarely less than 10 hours. Job security, with the layoffs lurking around, it’s hard to tell.

    I’d agree that it’s more challenging to face the real important questions as an entrepreneur, but at least they have meanings, if you know what I mean! For stuff that matters to your business, you work long hours, you feel stressed, and you’d risk losing money for the opportunities to do something you’ll love.

    Just like most people here, I think this is a wake-up call for many. But I still believe that it’s fun, as long as you don’t let yourself get sucked up to the extent you neglect your family. Just make sure you’re passionate about what you do, take your work seriously, but take yourself lightly.

    As what @Dilly said, building a business can be fun process if you build it around yourself FIRST. Awesome!

    Keep doing your great work Neil, and everybody: Happy New Year!

  25. “You’ll have fixed hours” – My biggest challenge… especially being married, having a little one, -and- working from home. It’s the hardest balancing act in the world and I’m only creeping on my second anniversary!

    I love reading the insight and experience of others who have been there, dont that doing the same :) Thanks for the nice summary and suggestions.

  26. Great post and great comments.

    Got me thinking… one of the reasons I don’t want a 9-5 job is one’s salary is often fixed even if one is expected to work more. A bonus is totally up to the bosses. So if I go above and beyond, I may not see a dime. I have found that I prefer to get paid for my work. I work, I get paid. I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

    My first job was as an employee of a big company, but I found myself doing work that outside consultants were doing, but being paid way less. I figured I could do the same work as consultants so I went to work for a consulting company. Later I decided to go on my own once I found a client that provided sufficient revenue.

    If you want to start your own business, it isn’t necessary to just jump straight into it. Try moonlighting and see if you can handle the responsibilities (billing, stress, etc. and getting the work done). If that isn’t for you then likely a 9-5 job is better.

  27. I would think that making money is a given in any business, as we are living in a capitalist system. Saying you are going to start a business to make money is like saying you are alive to breath air.

    When considering starting a business, the question should not be whether you will make money, but how sustainable will the business be? Is the opportunity big enough – or – are you solving a real problem people care about? Do you have relevant experience in the field, passion for your industry and a unique approach that is defensible over time? Does the business require significant upfront investment? If so, do you have access to resources that will allow you to start? When will the business break even? How large should the its asset base be? How much resources do you need to grow?

    Making money is a necessary but not sufficient condition to become a successful entrepreneur. If you are in it for the money alone, keep your day job.

    • I like your example. I laugh when people say they’re gonna start a business solely to do what they love. You gotta make money, pay the bills and enjoy the lifestyle. But you can also do that to a certain degree with a 9-5. Just depends on what you’re looking to do.

  28. To turn a venture in to a successful one, its important to manage finance very carefully. Money has to be invested in the right place. Of course, when you start a business, some mistakes are bound to happen. But its important to learn from those mistakes and put money in to the right place at the right time.

  29. Great post Neil!
    It’s refreshing to read a post on entrepreneurship that doesn’t say “do what you love and the money will follow”. It seems almost every start up book out today focuses on turning your hobbies into your businesses because that’s what you love to do. I don’t think this is practical advice.

    I’ve always said that opportunity should be what you’re after. You refer to this as “solve a problem” and “make money”. If both of these criterion exist you’ve got the opportunity to start a successful business.

    I started Radium (my agency) because I had advertising agencies and creative shops telling me they desperately needed a trusted partner and they were willing to pay for.

  30. Neil, I do agree that your post has some truth, but many of us started our business because they thought it would be fun. My 5 kids only helps me be more creative because failure is not an option. We started http://www.hansonellis.com because it was my wife’s love and hobby. Of course it comes with all the stress, 24 hours work days with quick naps, no money for several years, possibly bad credit, doubtful people, and especially poor eating habits such as snacks, but I think it was worth it. The biggest thing I learned was not to let the desire for more money make me work harder. Put God first and your family second. Work will always follow these two priorities. Just one last note for readers. Don’t let your emotions play are part in your journey. And if readers are wondering if they can do it, just find your gift and keep going.

  31. Happy new year:)
    I agree with your message! It isn’t fun it is WORK!
    It is another side if your work make you happy!
    You need to find your level and make a choice what you want and what you can in your personal situation.
    Someone said: When you have your one business, you go to sleep and wake up with IT in your mind.
    90% of the jobs 9-5 is simple and not stressful!
    It is up to us to know what and who we are ,and what we want!
    For sure if you want to have your one successful business ,you MUST WORK HARD! And that is not just FUN!
    Personally, I do not go just for the money ,I go for the challenge and work on my self-growing up. No matter what I do for a work, I want to do it best as I can. Money is one of the satisfaction, but my personal satisfaction in it and ones who I respect is more important. But not all people are the same ,which is only good:)
    Great post,keep writing!
    P.S. Btw I forgot one thing: in our world success is measured by money!:) So again ,you are 100% rigth:)

    • I’m glad you agree with that because people don’t. Success is unfortunately measure by money to society, not oneself. But most people worry about what people think, so it really does come down to how much you make.

  32. Blunt and to the point. There is no point in hiding the facts. Of course you start a business because you are interested in the field, and want to make money, sounds fun to me, but all fun comes with a bit of stress :)

  33. True. Most of the things said are true. People who think business is fun or take a plunge because of the glamour quotient find it extremely difficult to cope up. You cannot avoid stress by letting the stress factor go but by holding on to another factor which supports you to manage that stress. Its like when you are hanging on a tree and find the branch you are holding to be weak, the focus should not be the fear of the weak branch that you are holding, but about how soon you can shift and hold onto a stronger branch than the current one. Call it by any name, I find thats the only way to handle stress.

    I also think the mindset of a 9to5 job and running your own business are, to a large extent, mutually exclusive.

  34. I think you are oh-so-wrong: money-making and having fun are NOT mutually exclusive. even more so if it is about sth you like and are responsible for. And you can’t even imagine the amounts of people I know who take incredible joy in competing with other businesses and taking the bet on their own approach. I like your blog, but sorry, this post was just plain simplistic.

  35. Of course it’s a lot of fun Neil.

  36. Neil, have you ever read the 4 hour work week?

  37. I’m planning on writing the 112 hour work week. Any takers? ;)

  38. Hey Neil,
    That was a slightly different approach that you took from the conventional make money online blogger, who would profess that a business is always better than a 9 -5 job.
    I slightly disagree with one of your points that a job gives you security. That is not the case. No organization is interested in loyalty anymore. An organization is not bothered about what happens to its employees though they tag themselves as “employee centric” and the like. All organizations are interested in themselves. Hence there is no job security. One bad quarter in financial results and companies will start laying off people. The security goes for a toss.

  39. Okay, I don’t agree that all 9-to-5 jobs are as stress free as you describe (tho I’ve only worked one 9-to-5 and it was preeettty stress free, so I’m not sure why I’m disagreeing. Some of them must be difficult, right?)

    But I completely agree with your assessment of what is needed to start your own company; in particular your points on having a hunger and solving a problem. I believe these are the two most critical factors, and they cannot exist independent of each other.

    Creating a company simply because you are passionate about the product/service without there being a need, leads to failure. Creating a company b/c you’ve found a need, but not a passion of your own, is also a doomed venture.
    Great post, great insights.

    • It is simple to create the business, but extremely difficult to start it off and maintain it.

      • Word of wisdom here. =) The start and maintenance is key. Most at failure before the start even since the real “start” doesn’t even materialize from the idea. — Most would be business owner “thought” they make a good hard “start”… However, did one really give it their all?

        J

    • If you don’t want all the stress that comes with having your own business and you want a stable income you can work for somebody else. If you feel that you want more for yourself then prepared for a bumpy road. I used to work for somebody else a few years but after a while I realized that I can do better if I start working for myself and the satisfaction will be greater and I was right. I am doing a lot better since I started to think that way and I hope I can keep this passion going :D

  40. Great article, very well said. This should be emphasized to would-be entrepreneurs in business school programs. It ain’t easy.

    • Mike,

      On point, seriously people walk out of business school like they are “ready” to run a fortune 500 company with ease and pleasure. Haha. =)

      J

      • Funny…

        No disrepect to MBA’ers, but it is a “shorter cut” to the top. I’ve contemplated it many times getting one and I still may in my elderly years ;)

        When I say “shorter”, I don’t mean it’s a cheap way btw. It’s actually the smarter way in some respects. However, like J points out, the humility you gain from doing it “on the job” and working hard shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

        The folks who’ve done it from the ground up usually have a lot of learnings that you’ll never get out of an mba or by starting somewhere mid-stream in a co. and rising to the top doing the right networking and well drafted reports. ;)

    • Yeah, too bad it isn’t stressed enough.

  41. Again, great article Neil. Yea, business isn’t fun. Rewarding, absolutely! I love owning my own businesses and wouldn’t have it any other way… but it is stressful, hard work.

  42. Total disagreement here. If your business requires you to work that much and be that stressed out, there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way you’re doing things. I’ve been in business for myself for years now, and pretty much every single day since the day I quit my day job has been better than the one before.

    It doesn’t have to be as hard as you’re making it. Although the responsibility level is higher, my hours and stress levels are MUCH lower than when I had a 9-to-5. I know there are a lot of entrepreneurs and freelancers who fall into the 60+ hour work week trap, but I get by just fine with 15-25 hours of good, focused work – as do most of the people I hang out with.

    I won’t say I don’t occasionally have a week that’s a little harder than others, but 99% of the time, I find that business is VERY fun.

    • Not to toot my horn, but I’ve run my fair share of successful businesses and based on my experience and the experience of other successful entrepreneurs, this applies.

  43. what about working for a cause? Studies show that entrepreneurs that name money as their primary incentive are less likely to endure the life of a business owner than a people who name something that they are passionate for as a main motivation for them creating a business.
    And the reason is simple: Money is a good motivator but it will only get you so far. Fighting for something you think needs to change in this world definitely fuels you with more energy.
    And if you have the entrepreneurial design right – you actually will work less. It is a matter of smart business, early delegation and an well conceived idea fueled by some sort of personal passion.

  44. I’d agree that it’s not all fun and games. Having your own business is hard work, but even though the risk is higher, so can the payoff be if you stick it out.

  45. You can make your business fun if you choose to. Just make sure your really clear on exactly what you want.

    Internet Marketing goes hand in hand with lifestyle design in my book.

    • Very true… you just gotta know that it’s not as easy as everyone makes it.

      • True generally the people that fail (most people) don’t like to talk about it much.

        The most important factor I think if your going to be dealing with clients a lot is to get fun clients! If you get really grumpy tight ass clients and you wonder why your business is hell…

  46. Niel, a nice article. I agree that most of the startup owners are really stressed out because of the excess work load, but I have also see people like Stefanie who have found a work process which suits them to work only a few hours a week. I’m from India and these days, it’s almost become a fashion trend to start a business. Hence I really want people to read an article like this one which stresses on the points – (1) dont get into it just for the money (2) be prepared to sacrifice a lot.

  47. Nicely said, people who are constantly running around looking for the “silver bullet” will end up exhausting their most valuable resource; their time and money. — If they applied the same energy and resource doing it the old fashion way they will be much further ahead, I believe. =)

    J

  48. I love the update at the end. You could not be more on point. I have a friend that has a nice to five and then has started his own business, while he can’t work the hours he want to work on it, he is swamped. I wonder when he ever gets time for air.

  49. latest gadgets :

    It’s all about risk and return, a business though has a high risk but one has potential to earn higher returns provided one works hard and is innovative.

    On the other hand, service or jobs have stability – limited risk with limited returns.

  50. I need to promote my online business, therefore I’m learning about internet marketing. Any good books or websites out there?

  51. I think there’s some truth to this, but it’s also true that many people who work for larger employers are placed under unnecessary stress by bad management. There are many workplaces where people are forced to work long hours because a careless boss keeps sending you “urgent” things to do at 5PM (this is something that will rarely, if ever happen, even in time-sensitive environments, if management is competent).

    When I’ve been in business for myself, I’ve had “crunch times” when an emergency arises, but these times typically happen twice a year or less. Most weeks, I’m on top of the urgent work every day, and am working proactively 95% or more of the time.

    Also, my personal experience is that I actually have earned more money by working shorter hours while self-employed or doing freelance or contract work. But I think that this is because I have above-average time-management skills.

    If you’re the type of person who went through college and felt like you always had a ton of free time and were always on top of your work, it’s probably a sign that you’ll work less and be more relaxed if you are working for yourself–because that freedom and unstructured environment of college is very similar to what you deal with when running a business or working as a freelancer. If, on the other hand, you always found yourself struggling to keep on top of your work, then you’re probably going to have the same experience if you work for yourself or try to run a business.

    I also think that the stability of a job is over-emphasized. If you freelance or run a business with many clients or customers, in an economic downturn, your business may fall off, but it’ll be a gradual or incremental process and you will see it coming. If you have a job, on the other hand, you may just one day find yourself laid off. Thus, I think that being self-employed can actually offer more job security.

    • I get where you’re going with this, but being self employed only works for some people. People become self employed because they want to “be there own boss” and unfortunately, when they have no accountability, it’s bites em in the butt.

  52. I love working at home with my dogs around me, able to sneak a quick nap sometimes, etc. But sometimes it does seem like it would be easier to have a 9-5, with vacation, insurance and unemployment coverage. Then again, how many “jobs” are really 9-5 anymore? And what does unemployment payment do for you? Cover your gas to get to a few job interviews?

    Setting boundaries (no business calls after a certain hour or not always responding on the weekends) can help your work be more like a “job”.

  53. You are absolutely right.
    Let me give you a scenario. A person who has completed international masters degree and got back to own country. He has around 30000 dollars loan to clear off and is passionate to kick start a kick ass idea which is revenue generating. So, what is your take on this complication: Do a job to clear the loan and then start off the business which would take light years. Or kick start the website….
    Yea, you are right.. this is my scenario and just eager to know about the new generations entrepreneurs views on this matter……

    • I wouldn’t wait to start the business as the longer you wait the harder it will become. If it was me I would probably get a job and work on the business on the side. Once it takes off I would then transition full time into the business.

  54. Edinburgh Driving School :

    Fun in business begins when the only thing you have to do for your business is plan the next steps and get everyone else to implement it for you. That is when business will become fun for me.

  55. I have to disagree with you on a lot of these points this time Neil.
    9-5 for job security?? that’s insane concept. Anyone who believe that a 9-5 is secure is out of his mined. The reason people should have a 9-5 vs running a Business however is cause not everyone can run a Business, due to all the variables.
    A tip for anyone running a business is to plan your business with a exit plan.
    A lot of people work for them self when they run their own business and that can be worse than a 9 – 5 job in a way.
    You should Invest in your self not work for your self. Get in to it with a plan on how you going to get out of it. And try to stick to that plan. Don’t get caught in the business paying for your day to day life style, with all of it’s profits.

    • I believe Neil meant that “9-5″ is a secure way to get an income. — I do not think he is alluding to “job security”, however just the fact that if you put in 9-5 you’ll get x amount about dollar. Where in business we can work 9am – 9pm and sometimes at the end of the day we can’t “book” any income. LOL — Hence “insecure”.

      -J

    • Businesses aren’t 9-5, well not in the beginning stages anyway. Also, if you aren’t familiar with marketing, networking, or selling, you won’t know when you’ll get your next paycheck. A 9-5 is secure as in you’re paid twice a month.

  56. The comment thread is getting so active here that we’ll almost have enough traffic to start a forum dedicated to the topic of “Business is/isn’t fun” :)

  57. Thank you for your perspective.

    One thing that frustrates me with not being able to start a business of my own is thinking about everything that I buy. Everything I buy costs pennies to make and then is sold to me for 1000% more. I just want to become a part of the making money part of business, but lately I haven’t pushed myself to become a part of the work insane hours part. So that means nothing is going to happen on the making money part.

  58. Great article Neil….

    I don’t think people should purse money as the main goal when searching for their place in life (in terms of work). First should be finding what you like and then building your own identity within that sector.
    I know so many people when I was in grad school (both for my MBA and M.D) who were in it for money. Long story short, most of them are still either struggling trying to pass their medical boards (could not have the educational stomach to process data due to lack of passion/commitment) or laid off (too money hungry and burned bridges when they thought the economy was hot)…either way, they lost sight of what was important and focused on the $$…on the flip, I met a guy who has a passion for recycling and started a junk removal company and is doing pretty well…he was a one man operation and now sits in an office and has a team of trucks…

    If you do what you love, the stress will always be minimal – you won’t notice the small bumps because of your determination.

    There is no job security in life, be it a 9-5, or on your own. Nobody can predict what tomorrow will hold, or even what the next hour will bring. That all involves being prepared for the worst case. Saving your money, evolving with the world, expanding your knowledge base…all that can give you a better footing.

    -Aman

    • The only problem with doing something you love is that it’s not always monetizeable.

      • Well if we are referring to snowboarding…fine, its slim that we can replicate Saun White, but if I knew how to snowboard and had a passion for this, I might go into getting my own hill or resort because my love for that sport is there…maybe that is a weak analogy.

        I love medicine and business so am slowly blending the two together to the point where working 70hrs a week isn’t a concern…because I love what I do, I’m willing to put in the necessary work which in turn results in a very monetizable career path.

  59. I love your articles. I always find myself giggling and smiling big – saying, “Amen!” I am fully aware that I am not alone in the relentlessly long hours of business and startups. I am beginning to work less after some time of refining my process but I still hammer away at the hours considerably. It is nice to see the reminder that I am not alone in my journey.

    LOVE your writing. Please don’t stop.

  60. So what you’re saying is…if you can’t hustle, your a loss cause in owning your own business?

    I wonder if I can learn to hustle…I can hustle on some things…but I am not a pushy sales person that’s for sure.

    • The trick is to maximize your skillz It really helps when you start up a business with very little money to have good marketing, sales ability of your own. However if you are really bad at something finding someone else to do that for you would work better. You should make it a goal to replace your positions of many hats in your business with people that are better than it than you. Keep in mined, you will have to plan this well cause those people will very rarely have more passion than you.

    • You can learn to hustle… just be passionate about making it happen.

  61. In my opinion, fixed hours are not a plus! In fact, they are the biggest benefit to working for yourself. Having the flexibility to manage your schedule the way you want to manage it is sooooooooo awesome! But yes, there is a lot of uncertainty in also not having a fixed salary.

    • Fixed hours can help you stay focused but if your someone who can handle setting your own hours it can be a very rewarding option. I agree that flexibility in setting my own hours for my schedule is a big plus. Although the uncertainty of a steady salary can be concerning, especially if you have no form of stable income.

    • As long as you’re good with setting up a schedule, then sure I would agree. But if you’re not use to creating or structuring your day, it could be a disaster.

    • If you are good at what you do and you are patient the uncertainty will vanish. Of course, a fixed hour schedule is less stressful, but if you don’t try harder you won’t succeed.

  62. Neil, yet another great post. I used to be one of those naive people thinking I can change the world, be my own boss and become really rich..with the next idea. I couldn’t be further from the truth.

    By no means am I pessimistic now, but I truly believe that it requires a LOT a LOT of hardwork…and LUCK. Smarts help too but hardwork and luck are the most important thing. 2010 seem to bring me rather bad luck, unfortunately. I’m hoping 2011 will be much better. :)

    Anyways, I really hope you can give me some advice on my web business..I’m honestly struggling. It’s not like I’m stupid, or lazy or what. I just feel like I don’t have the ‘luck’. And I’m really frustrated. Many days in debt. Many days embarassed by family and friends when they ask me about my business.

    I just don’t know if I’m cut out for this. And yet, I can’t envision myself in a 9-5 job for the rest of my life..a robot for society till I’m 68 (retirement age). That’s almost 45 years of robotism!! :/

    As such Neil, I have sent you a mail from this same email address with the title ‘Hi Neil. Jeff Lam here. Would definitely love your advice..’ to your email (neil@neilpatel.com right?).

    It’s pretty long, and I understand your time is definitely worth much more than mine now (heh) in monetary terms, but whatever you can read, whatever small advice you can give me, even if it is to tell me the whole thing sucks, I’ll be truly appreciative.

    Thanks Neil.

    Cheers
    Jeff Lam

    • Jeff,

      I think many people share the same story as you… I certainly have felt it myself, namely the embarrassment of telling my family that really, I am going nowhere in life.

      But you have great intentions and a desire to succeed, not to mention the motivation to do so. I think that is a winning combination.

      I hope you find your way.

      • Hello Tom,

        Appreciate the support! It may be true that there are many feeling the same way I do, but it is always nice to know and hear from someone who is going through the same s**t as you. ;)

        Well Tom, I guess I’m luckier than you in the sense that my family do not really bother me much with what I’m doing (mainly because I’ve always been rather decent at academics, and where I come from academics is key to getting a good job, and on and on..).

        The problem lies mainly with myself not being able to fulfill and achieve my goals and targets..and match up with other ‘richer people’. My friends are rich for one..and it really sucks that I can’t enjoy what they do just because I’m not as rich.

        Furthermore, it sucks to have a supportive girlfriend who keeps witnessing my failure. She may not mind (or care), but it hurts the male ego. Specifically, MY ego.

        I hope what you say about the winning combination is enough, Tom. Because so far I know, it takes more than that.

        Sometimes, it’s just luck..

        Jeff

      • It’s a big step but it does take a lot to do what you did and it takes a lot of courage.

    • I’ll respond to your email. ;-)

      • You already have, Neil.. :)

        However, I must say you gave rather vague answers. That being said, I understand that you probably have 1000s of mails in your inbox and you can’t reply in detail to each mail. :)

        Your advice to me was to get other bloggers to blog on mine..which I said that I don’t quite understand the concept. Hmmm.

  63. chris erichsen :

    Don’t quit the day job, and work on your ‘other life’ at night. Important to know the distinction between an IDEA and an OPPORTUNITY. Then you will be on a course with a plan, not a hunch.

    Lastly, like David H. Hansen said, don’t be afraid to be a nice Italian restaurant on the web. Not the next FB. Best to all in 2011.

  64. I’ve been running my own businesses (along with my husband) for almost 10 years mainly because I feel it’s the most practical way to be able to do what I want to do.

    Is it often hard and scary? Yes, and many times yes.

    On the other hand, I feel that it gives you many valuable lessons that you can then apply to your life if you are proactive about it. Things such as careful time management, productivity, project management, relationship management, customer service, finances, how to measure goals, how to apply skills to many areas at once and combine them, etc etc.

    Yes, you can learn many of these things in a job. But, often times not.

    • Edinburgh Driving School :

      And of course there is also the thrill and excitement of turning your ideas into something that others enjoy. This is something that a job could never give to me. But not every one is looking for that type of thrill so oftentimes it comes down to personal preferences.

    • Yeah I do agree with you… a lot of these things are things you’ll learn over time, especially when the fire is under your butt and not some boss.

  65. Sorry Neil! But i have different views.

    Business is never been a one man show. It is a team game which requires lots of patience. If you really can manage and have the ability to be a leader than you can always be a business man.

    A business man should have good learning and grasping skills. He should have idea about finance. Keeping a finance manager wont solve your problem.

    At the start every business is tough. Also it depends which business are you doing. Creative business like you may have one man game but not all.

    Saving and investing becomes key in business.

    Relationship managing is also very important in any business.

    Job and Business are the two very different things made for two very different people.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Prateek Panchal

  66. i am agree with neil because business not as easy as job yes its depends on many things but more than 40% people wanted to do business who doing job but as Man(neil) said business isnt fun. Business needs blood and hardwork for success.

  67. I’m gonna share this one. I know a lot of people that wanna start their own business, but i’m sure that they don’t know i what they are going it to…

    btw. Huge respect! Not just for the articles, but for answering on the comments.

  68. I was sent your link by a guy with a photography business that is ‘successful’ but totally burnt out and not enjoying life. He’d rather have the 9-5 at this point. So your post here hit him as truth. In pouring out to me, he sourced your post here to get my take on it.

    I inspire, influence and equip people to be self-employed. I think being ‘successfully’ self-employed is the best vehicle for lifestyle design and freedoms that traditional employment can’t touch.

    The rub though, is just what you open with in this post. If the business is just an idea to make money, I seldom find much overall ‘success.’

    If however, we find what the personal really cares about at a core, heart level, then find a revenue producing opportunity within it…THEN…we have something.

    I had a “dot com” biz back in the late 90s that really worked! Long story, but I left it. It was consuming me and I didn’t care about the end product. Today, I work at something that I an inclined to naturally. I believe in it and would do it if I had a billion dollars in the bank.

    It’s not easy. But it’s like marriage. If you are just looking for someone you can live with, your chances for success are slim. When you find the person you can’t live without, it’s hard to go wrong. If you find what you care about and an opportunity within that, I usually find success, fulfillment and joy at the end. Hard work, yes. But the ‘free agents’ I find who are working at something they truly care about, I usually find them having sustainable lives as a result.

    So maybe that’s it, eh? If it’s about money, you’ve got a hard row to hoe. If it’s about what you really care for, there is hope.

    ??

    • Very true… to many people have experience making a lot of money and just realize that it’s not worth their time effort and energy. Especially if it’s costing them their personal life.

    • “The rub though, is just what you open with in this post. If the business is just an idea to make money, I seldom find much overall ’success.’ ”

      I’m not entirely sure about the above. I know a lot of people who are passionate about making money, and to these group of people, business is just a vehicle to help them make money and they are wildly successful businessmen as well. ??

      • I think it just varies between people. Some people want it one way while others, a different. I guess you can’t say someones right or wrong for being who they are.

  69. It is true that business does entail a lot of sweating and hard work, but adventurous people who believe in their work feel exhilareted in establishinh their business from a scratch and taking it to new heights. One won’t find such thrill and achievement in a 9 to 5 job.

  70. Great points! just started IM and jeeze it’s consuming all my free time.

  71. I have to admit, I used to think the best thing that happened to me was when I started my own business. Yet, I went back to 9-5. Yes, I lost half of my income, but gained twice as much time and now I can spend it with my little kids. Maybe one day I’ll try a business again.

  72. Ha. Love the “update”. I’ll say it: 9 to 5 jobs ARE easier :-) I’ve done corporate twice and three startups. It’s all about where you thrive. Even though I was paid very well and had “the system” figured out at corporate to get the promotions and money, it just wasn’t fulfilling. I rather have the additional challenges of the startup to feel like I’m doing something meaningful.

  73. I like your post. I also started working on my own business and I am doing better than when I was working for somebody else. It takes more time, I don’t have a regular schedule but I am feeling good satisfaction and that is what matters after all.

    • If you’re happy, that’s really what counts. At thee end of the day, if you’re able to do what you love and make some money, enough money to do what you got to do, that’s what’s most important.

      • I want to make money for that i have started online businesses and i also write unique contents for article as well as blogs. I also do affiliate marketing and ad-sense which are online business.

  74. For a person who really don’t like to work for some one else or who is not ready to follow superiors instruction, business is a real fun. Taking risks and trying something new is a better way to achieve success in life.

  75. Hi Neil,

    I think it’s fair to say that few people start businesses because they’re hoping it’s fun. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in business. Ultimately happiness is the most important thing and if you’re not enjoying your daily life, what are you doing?

    Thanks!

    Pete

    • Most people think that the grass is greener on the other side. At the end of the day, you should do what makes you happy.

    • Usually people start a business to make money, not for fun. Those that are doing it for fun usually have enough money and don’t know what to do with it. Of course, you can have fun in business, but the hole purpose is to make money :)

  76. To start an business we should have confidence on our self so that you can face the problem very easily

  77. Yes I agree with you we should have confidence to start an business, and we need to do smart work instead of hard work that leads to succeed in business

  78. Starting a own Business is a good one,there is no need of any compulsion to work under anyone but should know how to face the problems

  79. It is true. Starting your own business takes long hours, drains the social life and is by far the biggest commitment you can make. Most of those who try Fail, but out of that comes the next Googles, Facebooks and Youtube. To start your own business you need the mindset, the drive and the information. Here is a good resource for Entrepreneurs

  80. Starting a business is very very risky stuff so it is definitely important to have strong reasoning behind why you are pursuing that path for the hard times that you will inevitably face. you need to be able to justify that to yourself when you are second guessing yourself in times of failure.

  81. Hi Neil

    Another good post. You are so lucky to get into business at your age and to live amongst the Silicon Valley Gurus. Your parents made the right decision to live in your location. They also have excellent work ethics which seem to rub off on you.

    I agree on the idea of working a 9 to 5 job. I can apply for holidays when I need to, I can even ring in sick with (honesty). I have been a Sales Solution Representative for 20 years.

    Just recently our Manager sent an email to all the workers of any interest to ‘work from home’. The set up is just like a small Call Centre in my room. I will receive calls from customers all over New Zealand. I decided that I will apply because I’m going to save money catching a bus. Not only that, I will have an extra hour and a half to work on my Internet Marketing business. The hours are split shifts from 8.30am to 12.30 noon and from 5.30 to 9.pm with 5 hours free time in between.

    I just love the idea of working from home hence the reason to start an Internet Marketing business.

    The challenge I have at the moment is the time amongst all my family priorities.

    You have a great advantage Neil being a single man with no kids and a wife to challenge you everyday. However Neil,being a father & husband has been and still is a rewarding experience for me. I have had many joys and also the lows. So my advice to you is to go and find yourself a beautiful Indian girl. There are absoluteley many around. With a man of your calibre, you will not have any problems.

    One of my many Indian girlfriends besides my beautiful wife is Kajol. I listened to a beautiful music one day while I was waiting in a van at the Wellington airport. It was the first time I have heard this beautiful music. You might know this song. “Kuch Kuch hota hai”. It is a massive song. My daughter even likes it. Of course the main actors in this video is Kajol.

    I play it all the time when I get the opportunity.

    Sorry to digress from your post Neil. I kinda got carried away.

    I like the idea of scrappiness, even if you have to walk through a landmine to be successful. The land mine I seem to walk through occasionally is falling to sleep at my computer and dozing off at work in my full time job. Yes. I know, not healthy.

    Thanks Neil. I’m going to read another post.

  82. But the returns you get from a business are quite high and you are your own boss and don`t have to stick to that 9 to 5 schedule .
    Stresses are everywhere , even you have the stress of loosing your job .

  83. I’m not buying it. If your business isn’t fun, you’re in the WRONG business, period! This is the first time I have ever encountered someone who didn’t love every second of their business, and who didn’t get into because they love what they do.

    Combine this concept with your post on how much money do you really need. I don’t work hard. I am lazy. I do what I love. I make enough to live well while being lazy and not working hard. I have spent weeks watching cartoons sometimes. My site continued to make money. Have I had hard times? Sure! There were still 1000 times better than the best of times being under someone else’s whip.

    Your business is what you make of it. If you want it hard, it will be. The fact is, most people probably have never LOOKED into how they could make their business work with only 4 hours a day.

    • All great points, it’s awesome that you enjoy your business and work minimal hours to maintain it. Sounds like you worked extremely hard to get it off to the right start.

  84. Making money is not always fun. But money is the effect of us working. If we love what we do, not only will money come, but we’ll also be successful. And this success can be in a way translated as fun. Of course the long and harsh hours of working, sacrifices someone needs to make sometimes aren’t for everybody. That’s why it’s important one weighs well before starting a business. And the way I see it, the risks and efforts are bigger than at a 9-5 job, but the results and feelings are greater.

    • Definitely, you should definitely do a cost benefit analysis before entering any new venture. It is vital to understand what you are getting into and loving what you do. If you are doing it for only the money, chances are you will fail.

  85. While I totally agree with you, one ought not to start a business because one wants to have fun, I believe that having fun can greatly increase the chances of your business being a success. For the simple fact is no one enjoys doing a job that is drudgery.

  86. So True!

    Neil you really wrote this well, it is a fun idea indeed but as soon as real work insues it is definitely crazy stressful and it seems like there is never enough time in the day.

    I would also like to add that not matter the business you do, the stress and discomfort will eventually find you on your pursuit of success. “No Sacrifice, no surrender”

  87. Well, I’d like to share my experiences with running a business, which are about the polar opposite of those outlined in this post.

    In 2008 I spotted a niche in a travel related area, quit my job, found a programmer, set up a company and spent 3000 euros to get our website launched and making sales. This has been the only capital investment.

    The first year was mainly myself, a laptop and a mobile phone. The website converted well and thanks to Adwords we did 250k in sales and were profitable after the first month. 4 years later and we’re on track for 10 million euros in sales this year, and my retirement fund is in the bag at the age of 38.

    Whilst I spend most of my waking hours thinking about the business (that bit *is* fun!), I have never “worked” more than a 40 hour week, and often do half that. I also often take holidays.

    How? Well, early on I focussed on finding exactly the right people to share my dream of building a business – people with way more talent and energy than myself. I empowered them by offering decent salaries, equity share and, most importantly, a hands-off management style – if people are really good, just let them spread their wings and fly. Great people are, without a doubt, absolutely key to your success.

    The business idea was nothing special really – we just improved a little bit on the competition’s offering (slightly lower prices, slightly better customer service levels, slightly better converting website..), and let the level playing field of Adwords work it’s wonders. It’s really not that hard. In fact I have 2 friends who have essentially done just the same as me, but in even more competitive sectors. Both are enjoying a similar success.

    Hope this serves as inspiration for budding entrepreneurs who are sitting on the fence..

  88. YES! people really do take for granted how hard being self-employed is. people think its like a constant vacation or something

  89. hey neil,
    great thoughts you have conveyed. nice Article again. very effective post.
    Thanks.
    Matt

  90. Nice weblog right here! Also your site quite a bit up very fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate link in your host? I desire my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  91. My recipe was to work my face off, as Gary V likes to say, building the business while I had a job. This involved MANY 3 AM nights and tons of weekend work. But I did it… and now it’s paying off beyond my wildest dreams.

  92. This is a great post. Sharing stories and experiences about businesses is so important for those of us trying to get where you are now. Entrepreneurs feel like they’re alone – and so they are – but we’re all alone in this together.

    In fact, the whole reason people come to bookmarkcount.com is to hear the gritty truth about running a business – from a first hand perspective.

    I’m glad to see your tenacity paid off and, despite not being fun, you got where you are today. Real life examples are more motivating than any number of business theories.

    And I know I came to this post late, but I’m certainly looking forward to reading more!

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