I have been thinking a lot lately about the gritty part of being an entrepreneur and creative work. The everyday grind that no one can understand quite like another entrepreneur.
My friend is a baker, focusing on mainly wedding cakes. Her job seems pretty glamorous (and she definitely makes it look glam when you see her amazing photos,) but the fun part of the job is maybe 10% of it. The other 90% is the hustle, the marketing, the planning, and then the real grind is the making of cake! It’s a precise task that is time-consuming, and repetitive. 90/10 – that is the reality of entrepreneurship or other creative work.
The Unspoken Truth of the Life of an Entrepreneur
I am self-employed in marketing and communications, but my real work is my writing. I’ve been working on a novel for two years, and before that wrote my first (that one is locked away in a drawer!). But this manuscript – I know it’s the book I’m supposed to write, and I’ve learned so much about writing – the craft and the profession, that I feel like I can base a fair comparison here to the first example I gave.
My favorite part of writing a novel, I’ve learned, is the research stage. It was sort of shocking, this revelation because it means that I don’t love writing as much as researching. But I do love writing, I just find it very tiresome and, let’s be honest here, hard.
So for me writing a novel is 10% joy and 90% trudging along, often quite frustrated. There are probably many reasons for this, one being a lack of time, but I do believe it is just a reality for me.
It feels good to admit that because it is quite isolating to feel like you’re the only one not enjoying every moment of the process.
How many times have you envied an entrepreneur who can travel when they choose? Or who has the best office to call home?
I guarantee you that they too, face that 90%, but we only see the 10% of enjoyment or the positive results of that difficult 90%.
So if you’re a creative or entrepreneur who is feeling like they’re doing it all wrong – like maybe you’re missing something because you’re struggling through the process- know that you’re not alone. Know that you’re taking the path that all the great leaders and change makers have taken.
Stephen King said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” Keep the hard work coming.
Tell me, have you felt alone in your creative/entrepreneurial struggle?