#InspiralizedBoss, Episode 7: The One Thing I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming an Entrepreneur

The One Thing I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming an Entrepreneur

The One Thing I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming an Entrepreneur
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Every Friday, we’ll be posting short and quick business stories, tips and resources that have helped us grow Inspiralized. The series will be called #InspiralizedBoss and we hope they inspire others!

FROM THE DESK OF ALI MAFFUCCI, FOUNDER, INSPIRALIZED:

For the most part, everything they tell you about entrepreneurship is true:

  • You’re going to work harder than you’ve ever worked.
  • You’re going to receive a lot of rejection. Like, a lot.
  • You’ll basically be riding a never-ending roller coaster of emotions, feelings, successes and failures.
  • You’ll feel a sense of pride all the time.
  • You and only you are responsible for your business’s fate.
  • You’ll have to learn everything on your own.
  • When you do succeed, there will be no greater feeling than that.

However, there’s one small part they forgot to mention: entrepreneurship will be hard on your social life.

When I first started Inspiralized, a small part of me was like, “Oh, great – it’ll be so much easier to grab lunch with my friends or go on trips and meet up for happy hours, because I can make my own hours, YAYYYYYYY.”

Entrepreneurship will be hard on your social life. via @inspiralized's #inspiralizedboss series. Click To Tweet

It’s actually the complete opposite. When you start your own business, it’s like a baby (or what I imagine it would be like from my friends who have babies!) – it needs constant attention, you feel guilty leaving it even for a night, and it’ll require a lot of focus. And when the baby is okay and asleep, you’re so exhausted, you don’t want to do anything else other than veg out on the couch – or fit in a workout or a massage.

The toughest thing about being an entrepreneur is maintaining your social life. You become so enthralled in your business that you find yourself coming up for air and realizing that you haven’t seen anyone other than your plants and your husband (or roommate/boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/etc) in weeks.

For instance, I had this one co-worker friend. Let’s call her “Daisy.” Daisy and I were good friends, but then I started Inspiralized. Now that we weren’t seeing each other every day at work, it took more effort to see each other. We’d make plans and I would cancel. Something would always come up – a deadline for a client, an exciting interview opportunity, a web design glitch that felt like the sky was falling, or I would just want the night off to relax.

One of those days where I was able to come up for air, I texted Daisy and asked her if she wanted to meet for drinks. I was not expecting the text response she sent back to me. It went something like this:

Hey Ali. I’m sorry, but I can’t do this anymore. I can’t deal with you canceling on me all the time, I feel like you’re not prioritizing me in your life. I’m done. Bye.

Dramatic, right? Well, I was being a bad friend – I wasn’t prioritizing what matters most in life: those you love and care about. I was choosing Inspiralized over my friends more often than not. And yes, I was loving my every day work and was enjoying building my brand, but at the end of the day, I was not being there for people when they needed me – and no amount of success can make that wrong a right.

What I Learned

However, what I learned through all of this is that no matter what, your true friends (aka support team) will stick around through thick and thin. They’ll understand. They’ll let you be a bad friend while you create your dream company.

Now, I’ve learned that work can wait. Just like your friends can forgive, so can your business and your clients. A simple note letting your client know that you may be a day late on a deadline will free you up to spend time with your friends and/or family. If you lose your client, what’s more important: that friend or that client? It should be the friend!

And no, I don’t talk to Daisy anymore.

Do I miss her? No, because if there’s anything that I’ve learned through all of this is that the friends who stick with you during your entrepreneurial journey are true friends who believe in you, and you want more of those kinds of supportive people around – so don’t take them for granted!

 

What do you wish you had known before diving into entrepreneurship?

Thank you for tuning in, and I hope you learned something new from this week’s #InspiralizedBoss post.

#InspiralizedBoss - Business success and failure stories from the founder of Inspiralized

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4 comments

Hi Ali! I was so excited to see/hear of your success! I can relate to starting a business, and having a baby, and yes both require a lot of attention! But hard work pays off.. and life would be boring without challenging ourselves... As much as I have spent many months exhausted, it is far better to have my daughter Chloe and own business.. then not having her, and working for someone else. Keep shining!
Jessica says:
Hi Ali, I read your story about your friend and wanted to write and say that I once was on the other end of your friend story. There are two sides to every story. I, too, was busy juggling work and a family so I understand being "busy." Your friend was probably "busy" too. It really is about making time for what is important to you even if it's just to say hello or send a quick text. What was apparent from your writing is that you didn't have time for your friend and that you don't miss her which really shows how unimportant she was to you. Admit it or not, you really were a bad friend to her but it sounds like it worked out for both of you in the end because there is nothing worse than having a bad friend. Good luck!
Ali Maffucci says:
I DID admit that I was a bad friend, but I disagree with you on how unimportant she was to me. I'm a very independent person and my lack of time for a friend is more of a reflection of my independence and my desire to build my dream business, which was what I was trying to convey in this story. She wasn't unimportant at all, which is why I admitted to being a bad friend. Thanks for the comment regardless, just wanted to clear that up!
Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says:
I'm not sure if I can quite consider myself an entrepreneur yet with my food blog, but I've certainly been spending a LOT of time on it and I can definitely relate to what you've said here. I try to check in with my BFF's and say "HEY, I haven't forgotten about you. Sorry I suck a real life currently, but I love you" :-D what's great is that I DO have their support, which makes me feel a little bit better about the hustle I've been putting in. And my husband supports me like crazy, but also reminds me to take a break and watch a Netflix with him on the couch ;-) Thanks for sharing, Ali! Great post :)

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