Did you know that 72% of entrepreneurs suffer from mental-health issues?
“No one said building a company is easy. But it’s time to be honest about how brutal it really is — and the price so many founders secretly pay,” notes Jessica Bruder at Inc.
And yet, scroll through Instagram or TikTok, and you’ll soon be barraged with the idea that just about everyone—women especially—should own their own business, as though this choice is a win-win.
When you own a business, everything is on you. Everything. Even outsourcing the work will often not help since finding someone who can replace you, who can be you in your absence and who can stay for the long haul, is incredibly difficult.
Many people also believe that owning a business means you can come and go as you please. That may be technically true, but unless you’re willing to forgo revenue it rarely happens. Running a business is 24/7 if you want to be super successful.
You will not live a regular life when you’re the employer and not the employee. You’ll say no to invitations when you’d like to say yes. You’ll forgo friendships you’d love to keep. You’ll have little to no time for yourself. You definitely won’t view five o’clock as cocktail hour.
But the biggest sacrifice of all is family. The more responsibility you have in the marketplace, the less of a grip you will have on the goings-on at home. “You have to give up to go up,” notes leadership expert John Maxwell.
This is the private side of business ownership that few are willing to address. It’s also the reason most men who own businesses have stay-at-home wives. Knowing their children are well-cared at home for makes all the difference in their choice to go “all in.”
It’s also why most people, women and men, don’t choose this life at all. Very few people are willing to give up sleep, their relationships, and any semblance of a personal life to get to the top. For most people, it’s just not worth it.
And this especially true for women with children.
For one thing, most mompreneurs don’t have stay-at-home husbands (or even want stay-at-home husbands, but that’s a topic for a different day), so the stress and guilt these women experience can be debilitating. They do mental gymnastics to try and make it all work; but when all is said and done, it doesn’t.
I’ve coached many of these women. I’ve seen their lives up close, and it’s madness. There’s literally no other word for it.
Yes, owning a business is incredibly empowering—and as a business owner myself, I do recommend it. But only for specific groups of people. For instance, I am an empty nester. Never in a million years could I have done what I do today when my children were young.
Where you are in your life’s journey matters if you want to own a business. Are you newly married? Do you have kids? How old are your kids? What else do you have going on in your life? What kind of business is it? A mother of teenagers who owns a boutique will probably fare fine, but a mother of toddlers who runs a big company will not.
Every highly successful person you know or know of has sacrificed something to get there. Maxwell is right: You have to be willing to give up if you want to go up.
So just keep that in mind when you see all those TikToks that encourage you to become an entrepreneur. Before you make a move, consider the reality of this life and understand what’s involved should you choose it.
Everything in life has a price tag.