It is important to realize that starting and running a business is hard work. While there are many benefits to being an entrepreneur, for many, starting your own business is even harder than working for a boss in a corporate setting.
When you’re an employee, you can work at your job from 9-to-5 and forget about it until the next day. When you’re an entrepreneur, there are so many things to do, so many things to think about that chances are you can lay awake at night worrying about your business.
As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell once said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” (go to our business quotes section for more quotes on hard work)
Even Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple and recognized as one of the leading innovators of our time, think entrepreneurship is hard work.
Here is what he has to say about the hard work that goes into starting a business in this interview with the Smithsonian Oral History Project:
I get asked this a lot and I have a pretty standard answer which is, a lot of people come to me and say “I want to be an entrepreneur”. And I go “Oh that’s great, what’s your idea?”. And they say “I don’t have one yet”. And I say “I think you should go get a job as a busboy or something until you find something you’re really passionate about because it’s a lot of work”.
I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. I don’t blame them. Its really tough and it consumes your life. If you’ve got a family and you’re in the early days of a company, I can’t imagine how one could do it. I’m sure its been done but its rough. Its pretty much an eighteen hour day job, seven days a week for awhile. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.
Originally published on October 14, 2010.