When it comes to being an entrepreneur, nothing beats the lifestyle. Just like your friends imagine, you’re flying across the country in business class, schmoozing with investors, shaking hands over 18-year scotch and growing your business. It’s the good life, and what’s not to love?
You deserve it, after all. You struck out on your own, lifting the anchor and raising the sails. While everyone else is slaving away 50 plus hours a week in cubicles or dingy offices, you set your own rules. You work when you want and play when you want. There’s no answering to any “man.” You are “the man.“
Who knows? With any luck, your idea will catch the eye of a Fortune 500 corporation and you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of a multi-million dollar deal. All it took was a little creativity and charisma. It’ll be the easiest fortune you ever made. Meanwhile, everyone else will still be sweating away in the daily grind.
Right, entrepreneurs? In reality, I suppose it’s a little less romantic. A 50-hour week for many small business owners might sound like a dream. And when it comes to being cash-strapped, nobody knows the feeling like a business founder. Luxury hotels and pre-flight cocktails are hardly in the budget. The life of an entrepreneur is certainly rewarding, but may not be as dreamy as some might think.
That’s the first thing that came to mind when reading a recent Forbes.com blog, touting a new discount card that helps entrepreneurs live the lifestyle. FoundersCard, with its $500 annual membership, provides discounts on airfare, hotels, cabs, business technology and more.
The author begins the piece by asking, “Do you have dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, founding your own startup and jet-setting across the country to meet with investors?” Ah, yes. The entrepreneur’s life.
Those who find themselves a little closer to the truth know that reality is somewhat different. There’s no doubt that successful entrepreneurs are very fortunate. The work it takes to build a business can be extremely rewarding. But you don’t get to be successful without a great deal of toil, stress and penny-pinching.
But then again, why correct the image? Let them believe you’re living like a television entrepreneur. While you’re mulling insurance, legal fees or government regulations, let them imagine you smiling over a martini. After all, while you’re waiting for that multi-million dollar deal, you might as well be living it in someone’s imagination.