Many years ago, we had a Virtual Office member at our Camden Street location. He had a nine-to-five but had been building his own business on the side.
One day, he knocks on our door. In his hands, he has a computer monitor and a small box of stuff, and he tells us, “I just quit my job to go full-time on my own company.”
We gave him a huge congratulations and told him to come on in.
As entrepreneurs ourselves, and having worked around hundreds of entrepreneurs since we opened our doors, we know one thing for sure: it’s not easy. Some days, it might feel easier to just close down shop and go get a job.
But we’ve also seen the journey first hand.
And we wanted to share a few things we learned about entrepreneurship along the way that we wish somebody had told us sooner.
1. It’s Never Off
This is especially true in the early days, but it never really changes: entrepreneurship is a round-the-clock endeavour.
It never stops.
Even if the workday is done, when the business is your own, it’s always on your mind.
Strategizing. Planning. Dreaming. Thinking ten steps ahead. Imagining milestone goals.
It’s all part of the process.
Luckily, Project Spaces members get round-the-clock access to our spaces so they can handle those 2 a.m. deadlines or take action on those ideas that wake them up in the middle of the night.
2. It Can Get Lonely
Working on a team means you’re constantly interacting with people. But entrepreneurship sometimes lacks that, especially when you’re first getting started and are putting in all of the legwork on your own.
Here’s the thing, though: it doesn’t have to be lonely.
That’s literally the reason we opened Project Spaces: we were just a couple of friends looking for a cool space where we could all tackle our work together and have some great company while we worked towards our individual goals.
And it’s the reason why, today, we put so much effort into creating a close-knit community of professionals who support each other even when they’re not working together.
The people you surround yourself with can help define your success as an entrepreneur. And that’s what we’re all about.
3. It’s Actually Risk-Averse
Remember that member we talked about at the beginning of the article? The one that we congratulated for leaving his job to focus on his own business?
Well, congratulations aren’t always the response you’re going to get when you tell people you abandoned your employment to follow your own path. Au contraire, many people will tell you it’s risky, ask you if you’re sure, and advise you not to quit your day job.
In fact, we’re probably one of the few places where you’d get congratulated for quitting your job.
And while people aren’t wrong to tell you it might be risky, there’s also another perspective.
Hear us out.
Once you’ve built up your business, it’s actually more risk-averse than having a job. After all, if you have six clients, for example, or a large number of customers, you can lose one (or a few) and still have a bunch left.
With a job, though, you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket. You can’t lose a little bit of a job. It’s all or nothing.
Adopting that mindset isn’t for everyone. You need a bit of an iron stomach to do so.
But when you put many eggs in many baskets, you’re simply giving yourself more chances to succeed.
4. Hard Work Hits Different When You Do It for Yourself
Being an entrepreneur will never be easy. So, as much as it gives you the freedom to be the boss and to work where and when you want, it certainly doesn’t mean easy days.
The reality is that you’re going to have to put in the hours. And there are going to be some long (long, long) days.
But working 12 hours for yourself feels a whole lot better than working eight hours for someone else.
Trust us on that one.
5. There’s Nothing Better Than Building Something
Pride of ownership.
That’s a big factor in what makes entrepreneurship so addictive.
There’s nothing more rewarding than building something from the ground up. When you set a goal so lofty that you think it’s impossible to achieve and then eventually supersede it, there’s no better feeling in the world.
Working for yourself isn’t easy. It isn’t for everyone. And we’re not sitting here telling you to quit your job.
All we’re saying to you is this: these are the things we learned along the way and that we wish we’d known earlier on.
And, if you’re ready to make the jump, you’ll find your pack at Project Spaces. We invite you to come join us and become part of a community of supportive, like-minded, Toronto-based professionals. We’d love to have you work with us.
Founder-friendly coworking in downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. EST 2011. We create original workspaces, fill them with relentless entrepreneurs, and watch the magic happen. Learn more