Sometimes you must make sacrifices in life if you want to be successful. Time, sleep, hobbies, all seem to take a backseat when it comes to pursuing a dream of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs have also pushed aside family aspirations and obligations to become one of the best in their business industry. However, making sacrifices is also an imperative aspect in growing your potential and entrepreneurial goals.
This first should start at our thought process, and in how we interpret what the word sacrifice really means. Many people think that sacrificing is essentially an act of giving things up, and not as a path to gaining something more meaningful. An article entitled, “Making Sacrifices,” highlights the difference in understanding how we should look at making sacrifices. As the article states, the first thing you need to do is to change your impression of what exactly sacrifice is. Don’t think of it as having to lose something, but instead think of it as sacrificing something of a lower nature in order to gain something of a higher nature (“Making Sacrifices,” 2017).
That is a great and positive way of looking at something that is often part of an entrepreneur’s path when aiming for ultimate success. This piece will focus on the importance of looking at sacrifices in a new light, but also share stories of those who had to make big sacrifices to get where they are today.
Entrepreneurship (and sacrifice) is like chess
This article gives a great example in linking life to a game of chess. In chess, you oftentimes must sacrifice a less effective piece (pawn, rook) to win the overall game. As an entrepreneur, you may have to sacrifice your time, energy, and a social life to become a successful businessman or woman in the long run.
Chess is not a game that is fast paced or easy for just anyone to pick up. The game takes patience, focus, strategy, mental energy, and sacrifice. The same can be said for pursuing the entrepreneurial path. You cannot enter into the world of starting your own business blindly. You must know the right moves to make, but also know when you must make sacrifices that you many not want to make for long term prosperity.
Making sacrifices is about choosing between what is right, and what is easy. Try thinking long term, and not about what is making you happy at the moment, regardless of how hard that can be.
Examples of Entrepreneurs who made sacrifices for the better
Founder of VaynerMedia and New York Times best-selling author, Gary Vaynerchuk, did exactly what a good chess player would do: delay instant gratification for long-term gain. Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying, “Life is a long game, and when you start a business, you’ve made a decision that doesn’t allow any time in year one to focus on anything but building it. I’m talking code red, 18-hours-a-day dedicated — even at the mercy of your family time. But in two or three years, when I’m taking my kids on business trips and showing them the world, we’re reaping the benefits.”
Business woman and “Shark Tank” “shark” Barbara Corcoran survived torrential debt and overhead by taking on another job to survive. Corcoran had to sacrifice and swallow her pride if she wanted to keep her business afloat. “I had huge overhead and was in debt for $400,000. I was sweating big time; no one was buying real estate and I had 400 agents to support. I swallowed my pride and got a day job running the sales office of a new condominium complex.”
In six months’ time, Corcoran was able to pay down her debt and cover her overhead costs. In the end, Corcoran said that this move was pivotal for her future success, “I quickly forgot about my embarrassment; that fast move actually saved my business.”
One final entrepreneur to mention is Grant Cardone. He is a successful real estate agent and author of the best-selling book called, “Be Obsessed or Be Average.” He recalls how he loved to golf, and would try to play at least three times a week. Cardone then realized that he was choosing to sacrifice family and business time for his own pleasure. “Before 2008, I was playing golf three times a week. I got distracted and entitled, started to rest on my laurels and put my family at risk,” Cardone said.
To improve both his career and personal life, he cut back on his golfing to take care of the things that matter most. As Cardone soon realized, “I decided to master my work and money; if my golf game or social status suffered, so be it. It’s OK to sacrifice fun today for freedom tomorrow. I sacrifice every day, doing the things I might not want to do, but doing them anyway for a better future.”
Surround yourself with support
When beginning on the entrepreneurial journey, it is essential that you have the support from those around you. While much of your own time is taken up when building your company, your loved ones are also affected by this journey as well. The best thing you can do is be upfront and honest about your goals and aspirations. Make sure to surround yourself with those who support you and your entrepreneurial dreams.
As Nafisé Nina Hodjat, founder and managing attorney of the SLS Firm, has said, “An unsupportive spouse can be the death of your business, especially if you’re just starting out, yet a supportive significant other can help spawn incredible success in all areas of your life and business.”
Hodjat said that she personally had cut out those individuals who were negative in her life, even if it hurt her emotionally to do so. For the sake of her own happiness within her career and personal life, she made the sacrifice to let them go in the end. Surrounding yourself with those who support you is not only good for business, but also for your own internal happiness too.
In closing, making sacrifices is not an unnecessary hindrance that one must face in their path to reach success. Like the game of chess, one just must understand when to make the right moves to receive the long-term gain. Sacrifices are not tribulations, but just a stepping stone to a greater advancement in your life and overall well-being.