Success never comes easy. Whether it’s hard work, tough decisions, or important life choices, you’ll have an entire obstacle course of challenges ahead of you. No one can tell you what decisions to make, but you can at least prepare by knowing what they could be. Here are ten of the hardest things you are going to have to do on your way to the top.
1. Firing an employee.
Unless you’re a complete sociopath, telling someone who depends on you for their livelihood that you’re no longer giving them checks is not easy to do. You need to be strong enough to know when an unproductive employee needs to go or when layoffs needs to be implemented to keep your company alive. No matter who you are, I think everyone needs to experience firing an employee at some point in their lives; it really brings you down to earth and gives you a sense of humility. For me personally, when I had to let go of my first employee, it made me want to work ten times harder to achieve great things to prevent me from ever having to do that again.
2. Breaking up with a business partner.
It’s almost the same as breaking up with a significant other. You guys all got together with an idea and decided to commit to building it to make that idea into a reality. When it comes to business partners, the bonds are much deeper and personal than the usual business relationship. As amicable as you can make it, it’s no secret that some bad blood will be made. However, when you’re at a crossroads and you know this is for the best, you’re going to have to step up to the plate and do what’s right for your company.
3. Quitting a comfortable job.
Working a job where you’re offered great income and a comfortable working environment is something most people could only dream of, especially in today’s economy. However, when you know you’re meant to do something different, taking that step to leave the bubble of comfort and security to face risk and uncertainty is a decision many won’t be able to fathom. However, what good is comfort and security when you’re simply not happy with what you’re doing?
4. Saying no to money.
One of the greatest feelings is being able to build a company from the very bottom to a good point of success. During these times, your company is getting press all over and companies are breaking your door down to invest. Then, you get a call from one of the big boy companies who want to offer you more money than you’ve ever dreamed of to own it all. These are moments where your passion for what you do is truly tested- do you do what most will do and cash out with your fortune? Or do you simply tell yourself that you’re meant to do more and reject the cash as the faces of many watch in awe and doubt your decision? If you take the money now, your success is unquestioned, if you decide to plow through, you put yourself at risk embarrassment and failure. Only you can make that decision and to be frank, screw all the other voices around you and only listen to your inner voice. In the end you already know what you want to do.
5. Dropping out of school.
According to recent studies, people with a college degree make more money than those without a college degree. A Harvard professor we recently interviewed also noted that there’s very few cases of successful people who dropped out of college.
…it seems like [there are] millions of cases of people who dropped out of high school or dropped out of college and became very very successful but in fact if you think about it, there [are] very few cases. They just tend to stand out because it’s so unusual. Many of the people who dropped out of college and universities are people who had a network that could help them in one way or another… But I think the jury’s out on what the exact value of higher education is. The data seems to suggest there’s still a lot of value there at least for sort of the average person.”
With these sobering thoughts and statistics in mind, pondering leaving school to embark in entrepreneurship can seem like the stupidest thing in the world. With startups having a 90% chance of failure, you’re risking more by skipping out on the one thing that you could potentially fall back on if all ends bad. But hey, no big success came into fruition without some sort of risk.
6. Dealing with emotions while looking composed.
Running a company is an incredibly stressful job. Not only does it involve the typical drama that happens at work, you could also be dealing with personal issues at home. Dealing with these things in your head while being a rock in front of your team is not an easy thing to do. While the people that work for you can have the luxuries of talking to each other about their problems, you have to keep it on the inside because you’re the one steering the ship.
7. Dealing with people who don’t believe in you.
They can be as simple as family and friends that don’t believe in what you’re doing or a potential investor laughing in your face because he/she thinks your business is a joke. No matter how much negative energy is directed towards you, you must stay strong, move forward, and lead your team to victory.
8. Staying humble.
When you reach a certain level of success, you’ll not only get riches and fame, but also get connected with different types of people. People who seemed unreachable at one point are now struggling to get facetime with you. Being at the top for long periods of time can make you forget where you started. In the words of 50 Cent:
“Sunny days wouldn’t be special, if it wasn’t for rain Joy wouldn’t feel so good, if it wasn’t for pain”
9. Keeping up with friends and family.
Your work should be your sole focus when building out your dream which means you need to allocate your time carefully. When you become successful, you’ll become a big shot and everyone will want your attention- this also means you will need to allocate your time carefully. See how easy it is to end up in the cycle of forgetting to catch up with the important people not in your business life? Knowing that these people aren’t going to be around forever is a good motivator, you just have to find the right balance.
10. Staying healthy.
When you’re at the bottom, you save money by living off of ramen noodles because you can’t afford eating at Whole Foods. What about staying fit? Pfft, ain’t nobody got time for that. You need to focus on building your company, right?
As we’re all starting to find out, poor health habits will have detrimental effects on your body and mind as time goes on. What good is success if you’re not around to enjoy most of it? As a young entrepreneur, investing into your company is crucial for a beautiful future, but investing in yourself is mandatory to ensure you enjoy that future.