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Ask the Readers: Does Anyone Else GET It?

questions-cardBeing an entrepreneur is more often than not a lonely calling.

Even if you have a team helping you out, when push comes to shove, you are the one responsible for making it all happen. This involves being completely absorbed with whatever project you happen to be working on, and putting in whatever time, energy, resources necessary to making things work.

You are often playing against the odds, relying on your drive, hard work and smarts to succeed. Even though you wouldn’t have it any other way, it can sometimes feel like others, with less engrossing careers, just don’t get it.

This can feel lonesome; even people who are closest to you, such as your spouse or your parents, don’t seem to understand why you do what you do and why you couldn’t just get a regular job like everyone else.

From your loved ones’ perspective, being involved with an entrepreneur can feel like a financial and emotional roller-coaster. The highs are great but the lows are nauseating and unpredictable.

It’s one thing to have decided that that’s the lifestyle you want – but it’s another to be a person along for the ride – like spouses, partners, children and friends. They might not “get” it – and that can cause tons of strain on even the strongest relationships.

Before I joined the Mirasee team – the business was already a huge part of my life – especially since team meetings happened around my dining room table! But as much as I was aware of the company – I wasn’t really part of it, and understanding exactly what Danny was going through was a challenge at times.

So how do you manage the needs of those closest to you and the needs of your business? Do you talk out decisions together? Do you feel you need your loved ones to be on board. How do you find the balance?

Given that this is a community of entrepreneurs, we would like to hear about your experiences.

Do those close does your family get the entrepreneurship thing? Do you feel like you can talk to your loved ones about the work you do? When times are tough, do you feel comfortable sharing your fears? Have you figured out a way to balance the demands of your business with those of your family? Any tips on making it work?

About Bhoomi Pathak

Bhoomi officially joined Mirasee in the summer of 2013, after a career as a corporate consultant, working with large organizations. In her spare time, Bhoomi likes to cook, entertain friends and family, garden, practice Yoga, run, travel to interesting places and seek new adventures, and spend time with Danny.

107 thoughts on “Ask the Readers: Does Anyone Else GET It?

  1. This is an interesting article at an interesting time for me. As I am about to take on being a full-time entrepreneur (at least that is my plan, depending on how the next several months pan out!), my husband and I have been talking about what this would mean for “us” and for him. It is entirely possible that, should my business take off like we hope, sometime in the next year or two, he could join and be an integral, full-time part in the whole thing. He certainly has strengths where I have weaknesses, so in many senses it could be a very good partnership. I would be interested in hearing more from you, Bhoomi and Danny, about how you make it work as a couple in business together.

    • Does your plan work? Enough to bring in the business? Can and how does it reap such exceptionally good responses and sales success? Is your sales program lucrative, high return, highly profitable, acclaimed and produce high sales results? How does it handily beat the competition to bceome the winning money making machine?

    • Hi Deborah, interesting times indeed! Good luck with your entrepreneurial venture πŸ™‚

      Working together is working out well for us but it did take some getting used to. It helps that we have separate areas of responsibility. We actually have a podcast coming out in the next few weeks that discusses this issue in more detail. Stay tuned!

  2. Hi Bhoomi,

    There’s no real reason to feel alone, since many thousands of marketers are already forming groups, teams, mastermind hangouts – you name it – an online group probably already exists that you can join today, share some knowledge and learn from each other. For example: Facebook groups, G+ communities, LinkedIn groups and that’s before we get into more specialised forums!

    For anyone who wants to get ‘real’ and enjoys meeting in the real world, then http://www.meetup.com provides a good cross section of global communities who meet locally regularly to discuss items of interest.

    Additionally, you can form your own mastermind group via one of the above platforms, typically for free, and be more selective about who you share with.

    Not sure if you’ve got something to share to start out? Well, you’re welcome to share the 2014 Blogger’s PowerPack containing 1000s of useful resources, guides and tips on online marketing, blogging and more: http://flip.it/Iqhmj

    Best Regards,
    Robin.

    • It is just as important to be selective about NOT joining a group or another person’s activity as it is in knowing which one to join. As a creative person so much of my time has been wasted “explaining to others” why I need a bit more time to prepare what I need to show them. This is the greatest difficulty I had with my (need I say ex-) husband. He was ready to sell what I hadn’t quite pulled into shape to market test or share with anyone yet!
      Having separate roles is great, but knowing the order of things is more important for all the team you draw around you.

  3. No they don’t. They just can’t. I’ve lucky I have a very supportive husband who lets me do what I love to do. But I do wish he knows what I actually do online.

  4. I think most loved ones “get it,” the key is can they accept it? The sacrifices, the endless grind, the ambiguity? Joining the business adds more clarity but is your spouse willing to let you assume part ownership in the sense that s/he doesn’t see you as an employee but a trusted partner? Can you take orders from the leader? You need to accept the occasional disagreements as part of the business and not a sign that your partner doesn’t love you anymore or loves the job more than you. It is very tough and there are no easy answers.

  5. Going solo is one of the most difficult roadblocks to succeeding online I have ever experienced. My 30 year career offline has been very successful. It was a hybrid experience. Being in sales, I operated independently as well as having a support team back at the office.
    Trying the online experience is VERY different. Any support or mentoring is done by invisible people. You can’t look the in the eye, hear voice tone or get a feel for their integrity and meaning.

    And they cannot experience me. The one on one human experience I am so used to and so good at is not there.
    I am experiencing a strange, new feeling. …….failure.

    • Hi Tom, that sounds really rough. How are you coping with it? Or are you thinking of going back ‘offline’. I know there are online communities and masterminds you can join for connection and mentorship but the contact is still virtual.

    • Hi Tom,
      I just wanted to reach out and say I am sorry you are having this experience. One of the beautiful things about struggling and things not going well is that they often push you to find exactly where you are supposed to be. Does it help to think that this is piece of your journey to get to exactly where you are supposed to be doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing? It may also help to get a business or life coach that you can sit face to face with once a week. Just a thought. Good luck!!!

  6. Friends tend to understand better than family, in my experience.

    I live in a touristic area, and when family (and to some extent friends) visit, they expect me to have vacation, just like them.

    They don’t understand that I have clients, deadlines, promises – they just want me to cart them around the coast all day long πŸ™‚

    As for partners: I’ve been lucky. So far each chica I’ve been with has been very understanding and supportive. (And frustrated frequently, when it’s, say, Friday 11PM and I’m tanking coffee to finish a page.)

  7. Hi Bhoomi ~ Boy do I get it! I got interested in being an online entrepreneur because I was inspired by what others were doing online. I do not have one single friend who “gets it.” My husband desires to help but he is not passionate about it and so it can be frustrating for me. I cannot do it all myself, but I cannot afford to outsource certain things yet (like video, for instance). I even tried to start a “Meetup.com” group in my town and didn’t get one taker. So, I have had to accept that connecting with folks who are passionate about this business online is the way I can stay motivated and connected. That’s why I’m so grateful for Firepole Marketing (that and a million other reasons). Great post, Bhoomi

  8. The one person I would like to be on my side is my mom. She has been helping me since I quit my job a year and a half ago. A job that was making me physically ill. I have done okay in that time and I know I will have to push it this year. She is of a different generation and would like for me to have a regular job. That’s not how my brain works. She doesn’t get me and will never get me. I am an artist and a writer. That’s my job. It hurts that we will never see eye to eye on that but I have some very good friends who are there to encourage me and get me out of my studio at times so I won’t lose my mind.

    It is a challenge creating art and writing is such a lonely business but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I decide on what I produce, I decide my schedule. Now, I just need a bit more faith in me. It’s coming.

  9. We are all alone and the best way to underscore this truth is to become an entrepreneur. But this little bit of philosophy contains positive within negative. Here’s why:
    1. When you enter your passion and work for yourself, you burn off the limit of caring what people think about you.
    2. After you cross into number 1, you stand in your truth.
    3. Once in your truth, you can easily figure out what you really need to be happy (and this is indeed a process of going up the scale of human need–basics like shelter, food, some income for trading purposes, etc.)
    4. Add your own reason here, because we are all so unique _____.

  10. Taking on my consulting practice full time is a decision I made just recently. It was the day after Christmas that I handed in my resignation. I have gone through the entire range of emotions several time from elation to shear panic in a matter of seconds. My husband who also owns his own business has been the calm and encouraging voice reassuring me that everything will be fine. My mother and mother-in-law on the other hand after saying congratulations proceeded to tell me everything that could possibly go wrong. I was exhausted at the end of the each conversation. I realize that they were trying to offer advice but they just don’t realize that every scenario they asked me to think about runs through my head every other minute. At this moment it is beneficial for me to acknowledge those fears and what if situations and take action anyway.

    • Starting your own consulting practice is a brave decision! The ups and downs definitely take some getting used to and it’s great that you are differentiating between the advice that’s helpful vs. not – Good luck!

  11. well…for me this has always been tough. my husband has finally accepted having to dance around every room in our house with PortaPocket boxes, products, labels, packaging, assembly lines (etc!) all over them, but it has been a massive challenge. Overall, my family members (and likely many of my friends) think I’m insane and never believe it will take off to the level where it deserves to be, but I will not stop. They don’t have the passion or vision for PortaPocket like I have… and only see a fool’s mission. I disregard that mindset and instead see an enormous NEED in the market … I will absolutely keep going until I find that right partner to take this global.
    Just hope that I can keep my family tolerant until that breakthrough happens…. !

  12. And the family.You call your closest.Actually play a pivotal role in the happiness .Total happiness also embrace the circles of doing business.In fact all success depend on the involvement of our beloved ones.Did I understand you in this regard?

  13. I am pretty lucky in this regard. My loved ones know me well enough to understand that this is what I want to do and there is no turning back now. I have just been a loner for most of my life, so gong at it alone isn’t a new mindset for me, but when I do need advice, or to talk to another human being doing the same thing I am, I make sure I go to meetups, networking events and entrepreneur groups to have ideas to bounce off of another business owner. It helps to stay connected from time to time.

  14. I am fortunate enough to have a spouse that not only “gets it”, he gets me. He is supportive and knows I am passionate about it. The rest of our family is supportive as well.

  15. Yes. My partner. After a stint in the Royal Navy (UK) and several years taking his Navy experience into full time employment, he went solo as a contractor. Since then he has been (a) in demand (b) worked the hours he wanted to work and (c) tripled his yearly pay. He is happier now than at any time in his ‘normal’ employed life, except for the hours he spent actually flying helicopters. We are two of a kind – happy with our own company and yearning for ultimate freedom – even to the point of wanting to convert a double decker bus or building a low-tech woodsmans hut and living in that! He is not only behind the idea but will put funds to the resources I need, because he knows neither of us can tolerate a ‘fettered’ life.

  16. I am new, I mean totally new to blogging and for the past 6 months I’ve had to learn everything on my own [admittedly I use how to: … on Google a lot] but even tiny things like inserting a link has taken me hours to learn. There are times I can’t even understand the language everyone else uses. My husband, as much as he loves me, doesn’t get it and neither does anyone else, they think its easy or they don’t think at all, because people don’t normally until they have to do it themselves. But for all the loneliness, or aloneness I should call it, I still absolutely love it.

  17. I find that the piece that I miss is working with/on a team. Definitely there are tools that make a solo effort very possible but I still miss the ability to brainstorm, plan and share with a team.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. I used to take it for granted but when you are on your own, you have to work at creating the context where you have people to brainstorm with. Thanks for chiming in!

  18. My sister’s being great at understanding my unusual ‘goals’ and my relentless sitting at a computer and registering this, uploading that, using my wordpress site and social media. But it IS isolating, not least because as a musician I have to try to find the time to practise, write and record music, do gigs AND do all the promotion, oversee website development work, merchandise production, accounting and so on. Most people just look at what I do and think, ‘rather you than me’ because it’s so much work and I’m not going to see the financial results for a good while yet. It’s worse now that I’m living in a remote area. People do NOT come to this city to be entrepreneurs. But it’s ok that I don’t (yet) have much of a social life, because, frankly, I don’t have time for one at the moment! But I can see that my rapid progress means that this will change and I will eventually have more time to enjoy the company of friends who are doing similar work in the same industry.

  19. My family definitely don’t get it, Bhoomi. And that’s ok. They don’t get most things I do! But we have a mutual respect, so that’s great.

    This leaves the feeling of being alone. My friends get the entrepreneurial thing – especially the reason why I want to do it. But since they’re deep in the corporate world, I don’t talk to them about the business side of things.

    Which is why I make the effort to go to local meetups for entrepreneurs – my kind are all there ! Coupled with having skype talks with online entrepreneurial friends, it negates the need to turn my other friends into entrepreneurs !

    Each to their own, right?

  20. Some do some don’t, some get it when things are going well, many then lose the faith when the wheels fall off.

    It’s not just families of solo entrepreneurs and small business owners, I found even after several years and owning a successful business with a number of employees, it could still be a problem.

    My family at the time often could not understand why I still needed to sometimes put business needs above planned family activities.

    It can be a challenge for every self employed person, business owner or professional, no matter how long we have been doing it or how big our operation.

    Now I am back to being a solo operator with an understanding spouse and grown children. Life is simple even when times are tough.

  21. I feel very blessed that my husband not only “gets” or accepts my entrepreneurship, but actively encourages it. Of course, it impacts on our joint financial situation and the energies I have to bring to our home life. That isn’t always easy, and requires authentic conversation to move to the next layer or make choices about how to invest our time, money and other energies. As for my friends, most of them think it’s pretty cool. In fact, I’m often surrounded by people who are doing similar kinds of things–turning their passion into entrepreneurial ventures–and that creates it’s own challenge of needing to find tribe and supporters for my business that exist outside that tight community of fellow visionaries and small/medium business owners, and who bring a fresh perspective.

  22. I think the notion of “going it alone” is outdated and misguided, and that people who have that mindset or belief are headed for unnecessary difficulty, or outright failure.

    The hard part is being willing to fully share what you are up to, and being fully open to the feedback. Many people, and more particularly males, see that as “negativity.” And avoid it like the plague. Justifying not fully sharing as, “Well, they just don’t understand.”

    An entrepreneur or leader makes the best decisions when she or he puts it out there, then allows all the feedback back in, sorts through it and separates what is useful from what isn’t with a high degree of sobriety, and then decides what to do.

    Doing so avoids making a decision in a vacuum.

    But many of us entrepreneurs and leaders won’t do this because it brings up so much self-doubt that it can freeze us. I struggle with it myself. Daily. But it does lead to better decision making. And, there are times when a partner or spouse sees you are headed down the wrong path and simply doesn’t have the courage to tell you. They just sit there in their abject anxiety, humming a familiar tune and pretending.

    If we are truly open in both our sharing and the receiving of feedback, we proactively “mine for conflict.” It is better to look for what we are missing–for we are always missing something–than to pretend like we are not. The combination of vulnerability and courage this requires is fairly rare, but any of us can develop it.

    The other thing I can share from years of helping organizations and individuals with planning is that one of the most important things to do with any large goal, initiative or change effort is to identify WHO is going to be most impacted by what you are going after (other than you, which requires a different strategy).

    WHO is a really big question. Who will have the change the most, other than you, for this thing you are doing to work? There may be multiple WHOs. Your likelihood of success goes up exponentially if you don’t just look at what you are doing as a series of tasks to be accomplished, but also a web of relationships that will need to shift in order for your big thing to be successful. And more importantly, sustainable.

    A wonderful topic. Thanks for queuing it up. Cheers to you, Bhoomi, to all at Firepole, and to the amazing people beating in your tribe!

  23. It is sometimes difficult communicating what I do as an entrepreneur to my family and friends. My parents want me to have a β€œreal job”. I have been an entrepreneur since January 1 999. There is a certain amount of loneliness to working by myself or with only my business partner. Things are not as lonely now with the growth of the internet and social media.

  24. You know, the sad thing is that my family is rather pleased that I am an author but will not read what I write. Well except for the children’s books, they read those but not my writing for adults. My brothers are builders, not readers and my sister by policy does not read family writing so she does not have give an opinion on it!

    My husband understands what I am doing and is supportive but often is unavailable so I feel very much alone in what I’m doing. Since MS took my classroom away I’ve turned to writing and the internet for marketing since I can’t do speaking engagements, etc. So now the world is my classroom and technology my most pressing barrier. I don’t seem to have a technology gene in my body so nothing sticks!

    It saddens me to be unable to reach my audience. I think the Master Class will get me set up and going in the right direction. I can get good mileage on a little encouragement and assistance. You guys are a real answer to prayer.

  25. Those close to me do not get the entrepreneurship thing because they were conditioned to get a 9 am – 5 pm job. They are not dreamers or risk takers. In 2007, I moved to another state and some of my relatives couldn’t understand “why.” Whatever. I just do my own thing.

    I do and do not feel like I can speak to my loved ones about the work I do. My niece and nephew get it. But then again, they’re 17 and 20, respectively. They’re young and get it.

    I don’t have a problem sharing my fears. But I don’t dwell on them. I feel the fear and do (fill in the blank) anyway.

    Yes, I’ve figured out a way to balance the demands of my business and family. I create and stick to a schedule. I also do not look at my phone after 7 pm. And I try to take the weekends off; however, I’ll work on personal writing projects. But not all day. I want a life — I want to have fun! πŸ™‚

    My tips to make it work are:

    1. Follow YOUR gut instincts.
    2. Do not listen to the naysayers.
    3. Create and stick to a schedule.
    4. Surround yourself with people who understand that you’re an entrepreneur.
    5. Limit your time with “energy vampires.”
    6. Join groups and forums and learn all you can about your business and others. Partner and collaborate whenever you can.
    7. Have fun! Remember what they say about “all work and no play.”

    • Amandah, you so closely driscribed my position, even though I do not see myself as enterprenour. Close to seventy years of age, I came very late into writing. Not really understood by family and some close friends, mainly because my time with them has decreased. But I am not giving up. My book will soon be out. I am sure, they will understand then. Your tips is what has made my life and writing managable. Wishing you all the best!

      • Hi Katina,

        I’m glad you found my tips useful!

        Congratulations on your book! What’s it about?

        I know it can be difficult when close family members and friends don’t understand you. I’ve felt like the “odd woman out” since I was five years old. πŸ™‚ I’ve often wondered if I was Switched at Birth. πŸ˜‰ But, I’ve learned to release my expectations and wish everyone well.

        I like what Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “People come into our lives. Some will stay with us, and some will move on in Act III, Scene IV.”

        • Thanks Amandah for taking the time to reply. Because we love eachother in the family, we make sure we support each one even if we do not agree and are kind of lonely from not being close all the time. Some of the people are more needy than others, so I try to give them more attention, making sure they understand that I will not allow them to deter me from reaching my dreams. It just so happened that just as my husband retired and expected to be with me all day long, I began the book. And my 93 year old mom who lives with us, is worried that I am “always” in the computer and do not keep my husband company. I know though that at the end they will be my bigger supporters because they love me and are proud of me.

          My book is about this one year of my life, after a hip revision that left me in the wheel chair for over two months. Had to heal my body and life, so I began journaling. A while later I was “called” to write a book. Too many coincidences, one after the other. After many negations, I accepted the “invitation”. I share and invite reades to follow me in a journey of spiritual growth with the vision of becoming the best we can while we work in creating a better world. My mission and hopefuly that of my readers is to live life with values. To pay attention to, to respect and connect with, nature, self, others, the universe and the Supreme power. Being Greek, I can draw from the wisdom and ideals of my beautiful homeland, the roots of which go very deep. As an American by choice who has been blessed to live here, I want to inspire and encourage other that dreams come true when you believe in them and work towards them.

          I got carried away from enthusiasm. I hope you are not sorry you asked πŸ™‚ I have an offer for you: Visit my site where I share thougts and ideas. If you like it, stick by and subscribe and some time in spring I will send you my book free. Its the least I can do for giving me the opportunity to share. There is something in you that made me open up. Thank you, so very much! http://journeyswithkatina.com/

          By, the way, I love Dr, Dyer. Have learned a lot from him.

          Blessings and light, Amandah! May your dreams become reality, inspiring in and around you a better world!

        • Oh, Amandah, I forgot! Releasing expectations, as you said, is absolutely necessary for both finding internal peace but also cultivating it our immediate world. Unfortunately, not everyone can do it.

          If you want to share your dreams, you know where to find me! πŸ™‚

          • Katina,

            Your book sounds interesting and it’s definitely timely. Many people are searching for meaning in their lives and have taken spiritual journeys, both on the inside and outside.

            I’ll check out your website. πŸ™‚

          • I appreciate your support and all your response. I think we might have overstayed our welcome here. Still would love to hear about your plans. Feel free to email me at any time. You’ll find my email address in my site. Blessings and light, Amandah!

  26. My husband and I were out with friends during the holidays and a discussion began about who was on vacation, who was working, etc. No one asked me if I was working or not (I’m almost always working) because they’ve given up on understanding what I do. “Work online?’ what does that mean? The fact that my work includes ecommerce, consulting, writing, marketing and more seems to them like I just can’t figure out what I want to do. My work is no longer a sound bite.

    In 2008 I launched a product line right when the global economy was falling to its knees. It was tough, but here I am, still doing the entrepreneur thing. My husband doesn’t completely get it and the highs and lows have been, um, interesting. But his (sometimes reluctant) support shows his continued belief in me. And that means a lot.

    I’m kind of okay with the loner being different kind of thing. It suits me better than cog in the wheel. I do get the wtf am I doing feeling sometimes, but then I find posts like this, read about other seemingly misguided souls and get right back on with it.

  27. Does it really matter what others think of your entrepreneural activity? As long it does not negatively affect those close to you, it is your own dream, your own time, money and energy that is being expended. When you believe in yourself, little else matters.

    Of course, if you are shaky in the self-confidence department and NEED others to keep motivated, you will forever be dependent on their good graces.

    Understanding of others: good to have but unnecessary for success!

    • Hi Frank, that’s an interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it! I agree with you that it could work as long as you are single or the spouse/kids are also on-board with that approach πŸ™‚

  28. This is a great topic. After having worked in the corporate world for my entire career, when I first got started in the entrepreneur world I had to become disciplined with my time but also my family took time to acknowledge that I can earn a good living while working from home. It’s funny how people don’t think you are working hard when you work on your computer from home. πŸ™‚

  29. I love this post and thread. I love that I can start my own company at 47 and have my husband and little kids support me. BUT I do not have “real life” peer group and sometimes I wish I did.

    Be Blessed.

    • Hi Renee, nice to see you here! I can imagine the need for a peer group that understands what you do and can provide a sounding board… thanks for joining the conversation πŸ™‚

  30. I love being an entrepreneur and my husband thinks I am a genius for working it out this way, so I am lucky. On another note there was nothing like witnessing the reality of working for corporate America to make me appreciate working for myself. My husband missed so much of our first sons life, he was gone for days at a time, constant stress, constant demands, and then would give 40% of his extremely hard earned money to the government. He recently was fired and it was the best thing that ever happened, he is so connected to son number two who is 18 months and now he knows what he was missing he wants to be an entrepreneur too! I think we are blessed to have the opportunity to be the masterminds of our days.

  31. My husband didn’t necessarily get it but I think it’s because I assumed he wouldn’t and didn’t involve him in a lot of my thinking. Maybe because I thought he would pick a million holes in my ideas. Lately we have had more conversations…it takes awhile for us to get on the same page…speaking the same language so to speak…but both he and I are feeling more aligned which is fantastic.

  32. Something I’ve learned as a young entrepreneur, that even those who have been doing it for years face the same challenges. We’re always learning, making decisions we’re not totally sure about…taking risks because we’re the decision makers. We’re the ones in charge and it’s not up to anyone else.

  33. My hubby and I both have strong entrepreneurial mindsets, which is great because we understand each other well – but it doesn’t always make us more productive! We have to have a lot of self-discipline for it to work and also be profitable. I have Write Ahead as my own venture, and he buys storage lockers at auction. There is some overlap – for instance I help with income tracking and selling the goods he buys, and he assists me with event planning and “home stuff” like making dinner so I have less to deal with after a long day at the office. We just try to communicate well and there are few problems!

  34. Hi Bhoomi,

    I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve never thought of the impact this has had on my children. I’m a single parent, so I do not have a spouse to answer to, or depend on. In some ways, I suppose that’s a blessing. In others, however, perhaps not so much.

    Either way, I really started reflecting on the impact this has had for my kids. Before reading this article, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that my kids want for nothing. When I really, humbly think about it, I see differently. Don’t misunderstand, my children are well taken care of and have everything they want or need…except for my time. I don’t spend half of the time with them that I used to. In addition while Saturday morning used to encompass a pack of their friends being in and out all day laughing, screaming having a blast…they’re now comprised of my two girls tip-toeing around the house, making sure their friends don’t ring the doorbell and make the dogs bark, and finding QUIET things to occupy their time while Mom slaves away on the computer. Their afternoons when they come home from school are much the same.

    In a nutshell, my kids have willingly and obediently compromised and sacrificed A LOT to allow me to do what I do and NEVER not once complained. I never realized that until this article.

    I owe my awesome, sweet, beautiful children a lot, but at the very least, a very big thank you. And to you, Bhoomi, I thank you as well.

  35. Hey Bhoomi, great post, this has been a difficult on my entrepeneurship, because even if my closest ones believe in me, their support doesn’t go in the same direction. as you’d said, they don’t simply don’t understand why aren’t you working into a safe and comfortable job
    rather than been into a risky adventure in the net, where everything is virtual (they want something concrete of the real world) and uncertain. Sometimes this is truly discouraging. But at the same time motivating. A kind of mixed emotions. But here we are. After all, we are entrepeneurs, this is our nature! They must love us and accept the way we are, just as we must accept them as they are. πŸ˜‰

  36. How do I handle business with the family.. I have them in it! I have learned to be an involver.. I talk about everything that is going on.. the challenges, the highs, the lows, the lessons…

    I know those who are not involved do not understand it all, but have been blessed with family that is supportive of my choices in life.

    Those that are involved I work with through meetings on a weekly basis. In fact, when I slacken they are the ones that give me the push forward and lift me back up. So I am really grateful to have them as members of my team.

    I ran a consultancy before that did not involve my family and all I experienced then is what you are talking about now. So now I know…. involve them whether they like to hear it or not… it was your day at work just like theirs.. they have a story to tell about their day, so do you. When they know the ins and outs they will be less judgmental. They will know you have tried your best. And if they have a better idea they will be free to tell you since you are free to tell them about your strengths and weaknesses too. Those better ideas really really help if you just think them through and figure out how to put them into your context of understanding of your business and circumstances.

    • Hi Ophilia, that’s been my experience too – it was much more difficult for me to understand and be supportive when I wasn’t actively involved with Firepole. It’s good advice πŸ™‚

  37. Who’d understand the sentiment better?! I can see what an agonizing experience it can be, especially when you are starting out on your own.

    I gave up my well-paying content writing job because I wanted to do my own thing, with the confidence that I’d do it better all on my own.

    I was all excited about my content writing startup, but one month into freedom and I realized it wasn’t really easy to get work. It takes work to just get the work you had been dreaming of all along! And both kinds will be unbelievably hard.

    I think that when you do start getting work on a regular basis, you can stop wondering why nobody ‘GETS IT’. It just takes a lot of effort and a bit of personal charm! Once you are working hard and getting good projects, everything else should automatically fall in place.

    That, however, isn’t going to happen anytime soon if you have just started. Entrepreneurship is a game of great patience and perseverance.

    I have been on my own in a different sense for the last ten years, shuttling from city to city, away from home, in search of better job prospects. Now I want to go it alone, face higher challenges, and deliver quality content.

    People around you will get what you communicate to them, provided your intent is genuine and are willing to go the extra mile.

    You are never alone, online or off. And you are never defeated. Except when you have given up and stopped trying.

    • You have a bit of contradiction here that I’d like to clarify:

      “Now I want to go it alone, face higher challenges, and deliver quality content.” And: “You are never alone, online or off.”

      The word “alone” has different meanings to an entrepreneur! In one meaning, the individual is indeed a lone soul, working out how to act on their strengths to produce a product or service that brings income. In another meaning, alone mean really single, by one’s self only, solo, contemplative, individual, one person quiet unto himself or herself. And, by extension, if you draw out the “L” sound of the word, you arrive at the all-one
      that is part of alone.

  38. Great topic, Bhoomi! I Love my career and life, but sometimes did feel alone when it came to sharing everything exciting and struggling with another person. Now – and for several years – I write my five grown up children a letter every week. They and their significant others enjoy the letters and do get where I am coming from (of course, I do get lots of advice from them). The letters help me with clarity and their opinions.
    I am also a member of a large community started by Facebook called MeYouHealth. We receive a Daily Challenge and post comments on how it worked for us. I do participate daily and am enjoying the other members (from all over the world).

  39. Wow. What a timely blog post. I am new to your community, but not new to the issue of being the wife of an entrepreneur. My husband is a serial business owner, having failed and succeeded multiple times. We are one of those people you read about who have swung from near-poverty, to millionaires, to literally, bankruptcy and are now chugging back from the abyss.
    It is not easy at all, but I love my husband, and know that this life is the only one for him. It is in the blood. So much so, that both my now-adult children have dropped out of college to pursue their immediate dreams. Not my proudest moment, but what can I say?
    Have I thought of leaving him for a more stable home life? Well, I would be lying if I said I hadn’t fantasized about it a little (having no money can be extremely difficult), but I have made a commitment to be here for the long haul.
    I work independently as an author and a real estate agent (someone’s got to bring in a check sometimes!) and along side him as well. What a life. I am looking forward to our future, though.
    I’m glad I discovered this blog.
    Thank you!

  40. I am now in business for myself but I have past experience sharing businesses with my spouse, and once with a friend as a business partner. In my opinion, working as a team can seem less lonely but sometimes can be more difficult. You have to be able to really trust your partner. You are required to compromise and don’t necessarily get the final say in everything. It’s a lot of work building the necessary synergy with another person to become successful.

    But, on the flip side, running a business on your own comes down to you, and only you, making all the decisions and final calls on everything. It can be scary and lonely, as you say here, and is a real test of self-confidence, but it is ultimately what I prefer. Being a member of a mastermind group definitely helps with accountability and support, but in the big picture, you are the only one who can make or break it. One of the motivational quotes I love (and live by) is “Action Conquers Fear,” and the competence-confidence circle is a real thing. The more action you take, learn from your successes and mistakes, the more confident you become…and therefore, the less lonely and scary the venture is. And in turn, those “Doubting Thomases” turn into your biggest fans when they see your success, which we all know is the ultimate win!

  41. Hi, Bhoomi!

    As a counselor and writer of self-help books for married women, I absolutely need a “perfect” relationship with my life-long husband, to add credibility to my works.

    Boy, is that ever tough! Most often, people marry outside their areas of expertise: mathematician/scientists often marry writer/counselors, which is the case for us. It sometimes takes several attempts before what I say translates into what I meant, inside his head! πŸ™‚ It’s a call for patience.

    However, when I need my work perused for content and good, common sense, my numbers man hops into the fray and turns my poetic hula dances into plain English, plain sense, plain-speak. He is a wellspring of insight into what men think and how women “come off”.

    He seldom has opinions, but when he speaks, I listen, because I know he’s been thinking about it all his life and never saw a need to say it before. Totally foreign concept to this wordist.

    Then, there is his experience handling markets and big money, which he deftly translates for me, so I can grasp if I’m succeeding, materially, or not.

    Then, we flip the switch, where I cannot justify a “stop writing” merely because he sees no profit. Usually, that’s when the laundry happens and I take time to think. Or create some surprise in the kitchen, which he loves and praises, which fuels my acceptance of truth.

    Then after he’s asleep, I sneak back to the laptop and write, anyway. Plenty of time to sleep in the grave. Right?

  42. I have been contemplating this question for the last few months. I think many people start out wanting anonymity because they are unsure of what they want. I know I started out that way. As I gained more knowledge it became apparent that the key to success is getting involved and communicating. That is really what the internet offers, right? The opportunity to connect with like minded people. To learn and discover together.

  43. Awesome post, Bhoomi! I’ve genuinely enjoyed every comment that’s been added. I’m your typical entrepreneur–made it big, lost it all, went back to corporate, got the bug again, back at my old entrepreneurial ways…

    But this time, I really wanted to learn from my mistakes. So,

    Step 1: I decided that I wanted to work with the people that were dearest to me–my former business partner and my wife (who is NOT entrepreneurial at all!)

    Step 2: Hold on to the corporate gig (at least for a while) until things really get rolling. And when they do get rolling, avoid as long as possible physically working in the businesses so I can focus on working on the businesses, their strategies and their systems.

    Step 3: Beginning again at 50 is NOT the same as launching two businesses at 35. I don’t have as much energy; I can’t work the long hours. The trade off is I know where a lot of the pitfalls are and so far, we’ve avoided a lot of the startup issues we had prior.

    Step 4: The long hours don’t seem nearly as long or draining because my beautiful bride of 30 years is right by my side–pitching in, learning, and inspiring.

    So far, so good. We have two internet-based retail stores ready to launch in the first quarter of 2014. I have two partners that I would die for. And we’re in the process of building the next company: an audience-based business that will help others launch their own dreams in their part-time without going through the gnawing fear of doing it without income.

    I owe a great deal of gratitude to my partners. And I owe a great deal to Firepole Marketing and the ABM class that’s helped us get this far!

  44. I think the wise entrepreneur is never alone even if they work alone during the day. Success requires a network of colleagues, resources, customers and more so are you really alone? Even if the only employee it would seem you would be talking and interacting with many to learn your markets, adjust or customize your offers, review competitors and much more. Like many I started my business alone, but with a very large deck of contacts that I used all the time. This bench of supporters help me fill in blanks, get leads, close deals and all the rest. Through networks we can challenge the world so if you think you are alone, are you really?

  45. My situation is even a little worse than being a solopreneur. I have 9 to 5 job. My wife absolutely doesn’t get my drive for blogging and writing. I earn a meager 2% of my salary selling my books.
    On the other hand I’m getting the best experience for developing determination in the universe. When I overcome this I will be invincible.

    –>So how do you manage the needs of those closest to you and the needs of your business?
    I juggle. And usually the needs of the business are put on the second plan.
    –>Do you talk out decisions together?
    Not at all.
    –> Do you feel you need your loved ones to be on board?
    Yeap, some support would be godsend. But I’m happy I overcame the worst initial resistance. One day I almost got the ultimatum from my wife. Writing or…. It was a close call.
    –> How do you find the balance?
    I find it in my religion.

  46. Nice post, Well I’m also solopreneur and I prefer to work also and in this regard I’d say I’m working hard for my new business.

    Thanks

  47. I’ve been lucky, i’ve built my business up enough where my husband could leave his physically demanding job and stay home and work with me. We have different roles and I started him out slowly. He helps me out with more than just my business. He helps with remodeling projects, upkeep of our home and our pets. I’ve let go of things that I would have let distract me before. Our roles and responsibilities changed. Next I started looking for my own VA. When you can put a team in place, even a very small team you have less stress and more time to be productive. When i first started out I’d work crazy hours. Now I focus on what matters the most and have set healthy boundaries for myself around my business so I don’t work myself to death. This doesn’t mean I don’t work long hours sometimes but for the most part I work 4 days a week and just simply check in through all my apps the other three. Balance feels nice. I would say my husband understands the most about my social media management business more than our friends or extended family because he see’s all my hard work in action.

  48. Sure, there is a lot about social relationships and business relationships that don’t overlap, including our day-to-day experiences on the job. But, while it is difficult to express to a spouse or a close non-business friend what your career experiences are like, it is often better just to try to labor through it and find a way to tell them how you feel/what your business experiences are. Keeping a whole side of yourself unrevealed to the ones you love will eventually create an ever-widening gulf between your two lives.
    That spells trouble.

  49. Great topic, Bhoomi! I Love my career and life, but sometimes did feel alone when it came to sharing everything exciting and struggling with another person. Now – and for several years – I write my five grown up children a letter every week. They and their significant others enjoy the letters and do get where I am coming from (of course, I do get lots of advice from them). The letters help me with clarity and their opinions.

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