No Pain, No Gain: The Life Of The Entrepreneur


So a kid starts a lemonade stand and sets it up on his street. He goes door to door to tell people about his lemonade stand, he pulls fresh lemons off of his mother’s tree, and he puts up posters up telling people of the existence of his lemonade stand. He always holds the same hours and when he can’t hold those hours, he makes sure there’s a sign telling potential customers why. The neighborhood is touched, so it supports his efforts by buying lemonade and praising the quality of it (which he researched, of course).

Are you wondering why this 8-year-old kid (who is, by the way, hypothetical) is beating the crap out of your business? Why do you think he’s more successful than you?

It all comes down to one thing: Work.

If you put in a lot of work and don’t see any results, then even I understand why you’re upset (and I’m a hardass when it comes to understanding people). But if you just come up with a good idea and half-ass the entire deal, it makes sense that you’re not really seeing the success you’d like to see.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to know a few things, and one of those things is that you cannot just ride the waves of your good fortune. Sure, sometimes companies get away with no advertising and sleepy days, but most don’t. Most who think they can sit in their offices and wait for people to come to them are the ones that fail – and fail miserably.

Being an entrepreneur takes work. If you’re trying to enter a market with your own company because someday you want to sit around and do absolutely nothing, then that’s fine as long as you know that “someday” really isn’t “now.” In fact, it’s probably not anywhere near now. It’s probably many, many years in the future before you can actually start taking a paycheck to eat something other than sandwiches and ramen twice a day.

Being an entrepreneur means pushing through even when it sucks. Perseverance (Read: Stubbornness) even when it’s difficult to see any sort of hope in what you’re doing is important, too. If you don’t persevere, don’t be upset with the crap life hands you. Just keep moving. But perseverance also means knowing when to stop and move onto the next big idea.

So maybe you’re upset because lady luck handed you a crap hand. But maybe you’re upset because unlike the kid with the lemonade stand, you didn’t put everything you could possibly put into your business before you let it collapse.

Either way, make sure you really think about your lemonade stand – I mean, er, business – today. Make your decisions count, and make sure you’re upset for the right reasons.