Yesterday I was reading an amazing article suggested by Diane here on MML (the link seems to be down right now), about Gen-Y and whether twentysomethings are expecting too much from work and life in general.
Though I loved much of the article, the last few lines of the article didn’t sit well with me.
At the end of the seven page article detailing Gen-Y’s search for a purposeful career, the author interviewed a female lawyer who said she wanted to look forward to jumping out of bed in the morning. The author then asked her if she thinks that there are people that actually have that euphoric feeling while waking up, and the lawyer mentioned that she thinks that’s how entrepreneurs feel.
Of course I can only speak for my own experience and that of friends that I know who have been in business for many years. But I can tell you wholeheartedly that that is not how I feel every morning.
Putting up an unrealistic expectation like that on a purpose driven career is a great way to stay stuck in disappointment, disillusion, and fear.
I’m sure that getting out of bed each morning for a non-purpose career might feel awful and depressing. But I can tell you right now that there are mornings in every business owner’s life that are stressful, scary, and worrisome. Or maybe even just a bit dull.
Charting your own path in the beginning can be daunting because no one knows your business. This can feel like you are constantly running up a big hill each day pushing a ton of bricks. Is it worthwhile? Absolutely. But that effort to get noticed can take it’s toll on the spring in your step at 7am.
And once you are established, it can be daunting to know that you are going to have to troubleshoot multiple problems and complaints each day. People have their own expectations of what you and your company are going to do and as you become more successful their criticism can increase (look at the iPad 3 release, for example).
So either way there are times and reasons that you may not want to jump out of bed although what you are doing is deeply meaningful and fulfilling.
I’d liken it to having a baby, puppy, or marriage. Though I’ve never had those things in my life, from all of my friend’s accounts, those things are intensely gratifying but the reality of those things also does not always involve jolting out of bed in ecstasy.
Some days you wake up and just want to keep sleeping.
So all of this is to say that I sincerely encourage anyone considering entrepreneurship or just starting out to lower the “jumping out of the bed” expectations just a bit.
Like all good things, there will be a honeymoon phase and seasons of “joyful mornings” throughout. But if you experience less than ideal waking conditions at some point in your business operations, that is normal, that is fine, that still means all you have to do is just keep going.