Understanding the struggles and sacrifices facing entrepreneurs

Last week we had a look at the motivations that encourage entrepreneurs and after the assumption that profit and wealth would the main driver, we discovered that the reality is they want to live a balanced and fulfilling life over anything else.

This week I wanted to take a look at the struggles and sacrifices you have to make to be your own boss – most people will take the fact they can switch off their brain outside of work for granted, but for those who run their own business, it never seems to end.

“Personal time, you don’t get that back…even when you have time to yourself, you’re still thinking about your business…” (Andy, Small Business Entrepreneur)

Four in ten feel as if they work 24/7 and this is highest when we look at the younger category (18-34) making a work-life balance harder to achieve.

Entrepreneurial Britain graph

Those starting out struggle with their financial security most, with just under half (49%) of 18-34-year-olds and (51%) of 35-44-year-olds agreeing that they find it difficult to deal with their personal finance. 44% agree that raising a family is a tough job with the added pressures of having to run your business. The older categories are more affected here with (52%) of 35-44-year-olds and (51%) of 45-49-year-olds saying this applied to them.

Friendships are also affected on a larger scale than families and this is seen across all the age breaks. A third of entrepreneurs we surveyed said they only spend a limited amount of time with their friends.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Although all of this makes starting your own business and being your own boss seem somewhat negative, over half (53%) of the entrepreneurs we spoke to said it makes them enjoy their lifestyle more.

“No matter what’s going on with the business I find a way to put it to one side…I think I’m learning how to do it [have a more balanced personal life]” – (Georgia, Founder of Locodia)

Entrepreneurs say they feel much happier… and touchpoints data suggests those self-employed are happier in general compared to all those working full time.

When workers are happy

61% of Telegraph Entrepreneurs surveyed said they feel much happier and their credibility has increased with 50% of Telegraph Entrepreneurs surveyed said they have gained more credibility as a person.

This ties into what we covered last week – the assumption that entrepreneurs are motivated by wealth is unfair when in fact they want to be able to live a balanced and fulfilling life which comes with obvious barriers along the way it appears the positives outweigh the negatives and as time goes on, their worries don’t encumber their happiness and overall goals.


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