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Entrepreneurial Job Shame

In 2006, when I told my mother that I was going to quit my job and start a business she exclaimed in the most horrific mom voice you can imagine, “Oh my God child, are you sure you’re doing the right thing? You’ve got such a good job.”

When you have a job and you decide to quit your “very good” job to start a business, everyone thinks you’re crazy to give up your job security because being an entrepreneur is risky.

Choosing to give up a regular paycheck and step out on your own requires a tremendous amount of courage. Building a business to the point of making money, serious money, the kind that allows you to pay yourself more than a living wage, takes time, hard work and serious dedication.

It has been said that entrepreneurs are the only people who give up working 40 hours a week for a paycheck to work 80 hours a week for free.

But what happens when the entrepreneur is cash-strapped, stressed out, and needs to make some money?craig-whitehead-461632-unsplash

There are not many angel investors hanging out on Facebook offering to pay your mortgage when you’re starting out or when you hit a rough patch. Sometimes, entrepreneurs need to make the very difficult choice of seeking employment.

When an entrepreneur does this, it feels like one of the hardest choices in the world. Going from a job to entrepreneurship may be risky, but going from entrepreneurship to being an employee feels like a failure.

And that, my friends, is wrong.

Responsible entrepreneurs know that when they need to reduce the stress of being in a cash flow crunch, getting a job is the smartest thing they can do.

If you own a business and you’ve ever taken a job on the side while you grow your business, I respect you.

I respect you because you chose to put your well-being first.

I respect you because you didn’t go bankrupt or run your business into the ground.

I respect you because you’re demonstrating resilience and an ability to take care of yourself.

I respect you because lack of money creates stress and too much stress can create mental health challenges. You’re putting your well-being first by getting a job.

Going from #entrepreneurship to being a part-time employee shouldn't feel like a failure. Share on X

While your ego may not be happy, and you may be worried about what other people will think, taking a job and building your business at the same time is a smart choice to make.

Entrepreneurship is not an easy path, financially OR emotionally.

Currently in my business book club, Thought Readers, we’re reading Principles by Ray Dalio. One of the quotes in this book that stood out to me was this:

“Imagine that in order to have a great life you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life.”

If you’re an entrepreneur, that means you’ve probably had to make the decision to cross the jungle. Crossing the jungle is terrifying, dangerous, stressful and daunting. Crossing the jungle invites doubt, depression, anxiety, and other possible mental health-related issues into your life. There is definitely a psychological price to pay for entrepreneurship.

You’re an entrepreneur. You’ve done what most people are afraid to do. Don’t think less of yourself just because you need to make some extra cash. Remember, lions who are crossing the jungle don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep, and neither should you.

There is no shame when you first start out and make your business your side hustle. And there certainly is no shame if you need to make a job part of your business’ side hustle either.

Taking care of you should always be your top priority.

I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever had to get a job in a financial crunch. 


1 thought on “Entrepreneurial Job Shame”

  1. Last fall I took on a PT seasonal job to ease financial pressure. I needed this income, and more, really. For me, it is not feeling lek a failure, because I know that I’m not one. Now I have the added stress of not having enough time in my days to complete what needs to be done. Yes, get my client’s work done, but sometimes my things are left undone. And the worst part for me is I know what I need to do to grow my business, but since my time is spent keeping up with clients work, this is where my stress lies right now. While I try to be systematic about doing one thing at a time to move my business into a growth mode, I am many times exhausted and t is difficult to keep up.

    I totally agree that there is no shame in taking on a job to bring in the income necessary. As you point out, many people do not see it that way, though and we are judged when we do this. While some people do know I have a PT job, most don’t because it’s not something I really want people knowing because I want to be seen as an entrepreneur only online. One day at a time. Things move slower now, but as long as they move forward, I’m good.

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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