Last night, I caught a fever from a mild store throat, so I went to bed an hour earlier. Last month I caught a cold as well, so I took a flu shot right after I got better. I suspect these physical ailments are ramifications of what is happening in my head. I have been feeling lost.
This path as an entrepreneur is cruel, lonely, and stressful. Warning, this post is an incredibly entitled rant and I am writing to fellow/future entrepreneurs.
No one thanks you for doing what you do
Users are the most demanding lot. They are never contented, and they demand excellence. But that is ok because they are our customers.
Then there is the family. Up till now, my mom still thinks I should quit running my show. Her ideal situation for me is to let go of every employee, so I do not have to pay salaries. And that I am better off working for someone.
Then there are the angel investors and venture capital. The nice one's sugar coat their words. The amateur ones will give you an hour lecture on how you should run your business.
You lose your friends
I suspect this category is specific to me mostly because I presume that I have a leaning towards being autistic. Social company is nice, but it takes strong discipline to rein my honest thoughts. So, in the end, I give up. My few friends are either equally socially retarded as I am (and hence do not take offense), or they are forced to accept that Steven is just the way he is.
Right after graduation, I started running my business. Right off the bat, my career trajectory became different. In school, we could talk about our school life. In national service, we argued and shared a common goal to pass out as military divers. We were different, and yet on the same track. After graduation, my friends started dropping off one by one.
The only group of friends that I am still close to is fellow entrepreneurs like myself.
The stress of paying salaries and making a living
No one talks about this, but as a boss, I worry about salary payment not just for this month, but many months ahead. Businesses usually die a predictable death. Slower sales; regulations get introduced; drip drip drip. Death by a million cuts. This means for months until you figure out the next growth hump, you are stuck on a stressful timeline of predictable doom.
More importantly, there is the family. As a father and a husband, I am expected to put food on the table. Scrap that. In this Asian society, I am supposed to bring a comfortable life. This means the business has to be profitable and ever-growing.
This post goes out to fellow entrepreneurs
I will not go into detail here, but my wife and I lead a comfortable life. We have nothing to complain about when it comes to money. But that is not my point.
My point is that the path of an entrepreneur is tough as fuck. So this post goes out to fellow entrepreneurs: do not quit. It is tough, but that is why it is worth it. If you have a story to share, send me an email at [email protected] and let's get in touch :)