The Ups & Downs of Being an Entrepreneur
It’s crazy to think how far I’ve come in my life and business. I wanted to write about some of my recollections here. Not all the memories are great, but there are those few that make up for the others because they’re just so damn beautiful. If you’ve ever thought about being an entrepreneur, then I suggest you read this because I am going to give it to you straight.
No bullshit. No lies. Just truth. Enjoy. 🙂
Entrepreneurship is a path that’s less traveled, it’s a path that scares a lot of people. I’d like to think it scares most because we’re constantly taught from little children that in order to “Live a Good Life” we must go to school, get into a good college, and build a career by kissing ass.
Even though this might sound like a good plan, I can tell you that I’ve lived it. I’ve been in the corporate world. I used to work for Discover Card and within the first 90-120 days of working there, I hit the number one salesman across the company. Woohoo! At the time it was pretty awesome money considering my commission checks added up to more than my hourly check. It really got me thinking as to why they would pay me more than my hourly wage for selling stuff like identity theft protection and wallet protection.
Back all those years ago, I started learning about this little thing called affiliate marketing. How my world started to change. 😀
My interest really started to peak because I saw what I could do with my job selling people stuff that I knew could help them. Back when I worked at Discover Card the word “entrepreneur” wasn’t a term that was talked about much. If you fast forward to today, it’s all over social media, the news, we now even have entire TV shows on the subject of entrepreneurship. When I was working at Discover Card, it wasn’t too bad. Since I became the top seller throughout the company, I could set my own hours and come in when I liked, as long as I worked the 30-35 hours per week without working over 14 hours or more per every 24 hours. Keep in mind I would have to take a 15-minute break every two hours and a 30-minute lunch every six hours. The nice thing about all this is that some days I would work from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and others I would head in at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There were times when I would take Monday and Tuesday off and others when I would take the weekends off. At the time I kinda felt like I was my own boss because I did so well with my sales I didn’t have to let my manager know when I would be there as long as I put in the 30-35 hours a week. It wasn’t too bad of a gig.
After a few months I really wanted to move up, to earn more, and to build out a better position with the company. However, now that Discover Card saw my power of being a “Customer Service Agent” they never wanted to move me anywhere (I can only imagine how much I was making them). I started to see the political bullshit firsthand. I saw a lot of my friends that had other jobs talk about how much this was happening to them. We’ve all seen it, some new person that gets hired before the person who does the job of ten people, for one reason or another.
What it really comes down to is what’s best for the company; you see, even though I felt that Discover Card was a great place to work, I was limited because how talented I was, not to mention the way I hustled. When I worked there, I took the time on my days off to make my own script, forms, and methods to do a better job. You would think my manager and my manager’s boss would give me an hourly raise by making my entire team raise their own sales and commissions. Well, I didn’t get shit for all that work, only a pat on the back. The company took my scripts, forms, and processes and gave them to everyone on the customer service floor. It was cool to get recognized for my work, but that soon faded away. After a while I was expected to keep doing more with my talent without getting anything in return. You might have had this happen to you with a job you’ve had.
It’s not a fun experience to say the least. It’s a bunch of BS the way in which people are treated for their hard work. Being recognized is nice and makes you feel good, but what that doesn’t do is pay the bills. 😉
Shortly after all this with Discover Card, I got extremely sick and I was told by my doctor to take some time off. Days passed, then weeks, and months. It was one of the worst sicknesses I’ve ever had. When I tried to drink or eat anything, it felt like razor blades going down my throat. Not fun.
Once I was out from work for 90 days, my manager told me I was still a valued member of the company and when I get better I can come back. He also let me know that the team was suffering because I wasn’t there. I asked him why doesn’t he hire another person and he said I can’t because you’re still part of the team. A few days passed and it got me thinking about my call with my manager and how even he was being undermined to grow as a manager. I just didn’t want to live out the rest of my life being stuck by having all my ideas shot down because I wasn’t “high enough up” in the company. It’s just sad because even though I couldn’t “move up,” they still took all my ideas and used them, I just didn’t get paid for them. I see it happen all the time to people who don’t “qualify” for the position so they don’t get the pay, but they still get the work. Bunch of crap if you ask me. Another funny thing is that I made more than any manager, yet I was told by my manager’s boss that I couldn’t move up in the company and make a better hourly wage to further my income because I wasn’t there long enough. Isn’t the entire point of a manager to make his team better, stronger, to have the team show up and do their best? If that’s not a good manager, then what is?
I know Discover Card will never answer these questions of mine. I just wanted to voice that I know what it’s like to get the voice, life, and energy drained out of you without anything in return (other than the “good job” line). Real, productive, good, smart, dedicated workers are relentlessly squeezed and exploited only to grow the company’s bottom line.
So many of us are trapped by the jobs we have; they hold us back from a more fulfilling life. Now some of you will say it’s just because it’s Discover Card that’s like that. Wrong. I worked at many other places in my younger years and it was the same old bullshit. I’ve seen people who were my superiors that didn’t know what the hell they were doing, but somehow they got to tell me what to do. How is it that someone who can’t manage themselves has the power to manage others? It’s not worth all the money in the world to me to work for someone who is an idiot.
I fully understand why people say what I do isn’t for them, they like the security their job has, the steady checks, the schedule, the fill in the blank…
I’ve been on both sides of the fence and one side is definitely greener. 🙂
Your security can flip on you overnight. But Scott, “It will never happen to me.” Give it some time and you will be thinking twice about that. Time is the teller of all things. Doesn’t matter how big the company is that you work for, people get laid off, doors close, and to be as clear as I can be here…
Shit happens. 😉
I just moved back to Salt Lake City and the last neighbor I had worked at his career for 32 years and he was let go because the company went bankrupt. That’s not too good, but the worst part is he lost his entire 401k that he’d been saving up for those 32 years. And here some of you go telling me about security. ?
Security is a false truth because as much as we’d like to think we’re secure in our jobs, it’s not the reality.
The Truth About Entrepreneurship.
I get asked almost daily about how to become a successful person. The real truth, the real essence to success is simple: you create your own success. I know some of you will hate that answer, but it’s the truth. No one EVER has just had success given to them. When you see someone become successful in what seems like overnight, it’s never really the case. Someone’s success involves years of effort. A lot of people just look at the effort after someone reaches success. They see the athlete who wins a gold medal and thinks “anyone could do that.”
What the person assuming “anyone could do that” doesn’t recognize is the effort that the athlete exerted in the gym, the diet they maintained, the continuous drive to keep moving forward without giving up.
An amazing book that I highly recommend you read will put into perspective what it means to be unstoppable. Tim S. Grovers’ book — Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable.
In his book he talks about many successful people and two of them are pro basketball players Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Both players are just damn amazing! I am not a sports guy whatsoever, but I can relate to this book because it’s so damn true everything Tim talks about. I highly recommend you buy his book right now and read it from cover to cover. You’ll thank me later. 😀
I also get a lot of people that ask me questions on social media that are just silly and I wanted to share this one with you:
This was my response:
I find it kinda funny that if someone could “guarantee” success everyone would be “all in.” I just laugh when I get questions like that. I mean how the hell do I know what someone deems as success? How do I know what someone thinks is more money than they thought possible? I get asked some silly questions sometimes. LOL
Some people think a lot of money is $1,000 a month, I think a million a week is pretty good money, and I think GREAT money is 100 million or more per year (net profit); that’s damn good money. 😀
People ask the wrong questions a lot of the time.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but I could say the same about a 9-5 job. To tell you the bottom line truth, entrepreneurship is fucking hard…
… It will test you, try to break you, and if you don’t keep getting back up after each failure, you’re not suited for entrepreneurship. For me, I wouldn’t have entrepreneurship any other way. All the glamor of “Going The Entrepreneurship Route” seems easy, fun, and as if anyone can do it. It’s not easy, it’s not fun at times, and not every can (or should) try it. There are a lot of people that want to work with me and they have plenty of money to pay me for my services, but I just don’t see that they have the drive, the passion, and the mindset to reach their mark. I don’t help complainers, whiners, and people who want me to do all the work.
You know what I am talking about, it’s those types of people who go to the gym and work out once with a trainer and expect to be fit in one session. Life doesn’t work like that, so stop thinking if I tried it once and nothing happened, it’s not going to work the next time. Talking on the subject of health. If you want to be fit, work out, eat healthy, and do it every single day for the next year. If you do that, I can guarantee you will see results. Just don’t cheat yourself because only you can control your own success, health, and ultimately your happiness.
I Don’t Do What I Do For The Money, I Do It For The Chase.
My friend Garyvee said that most people don’t go after the long game, they want that overnight success, that one hit wonder, that thing that just doesn’t exist. If you want to be a millionaire/billionaire overnight, entrepreneurship isn’t for you. Just like Garyvee, you must be willing to play the long game because if you’re not patient, it will be an automatic GUARANTEED loss.The fear of losing trumps the excitement of victory for most people and that’s when they give up… Click To Tweet
Entrepreneurship is damn scary and if anyone tells you otherwise they are either lying or they are not a real entrepreneur. What you must come to understand is that anything in life that’s worth a damn is scary at some level. A great example of something that’s terrifying but at the same time beautiful, is love.
Love is a really scary thing, and you never know what’s going to happen. It’s one of the most beautiful things in life, but it’s one of the most terrifying. It’s worth the fear because you have more knowledge, experience, you learn from people, and you have memories. — Ariana Grande
We all know how scary love is, but we’re willing to love. Entrepreneurship works in almost the exact same way. The love I have to help others is scary at times because I want them to become successful more then they want to at times. I can’t stand to see people struggle and it’s why I created what I now have. What’s even more crazy to me is that I created what I have out of nothing. I was broke, knew nothing, had no connections, was scared as hell, and nothing stopped me. Don’t let anything stand in your way of what you want most.
Anything in life will test you that’s worth a damn and I think that’s a good thing. Even if you come up short of 1st place, you gain more experience and can try again. If everything was easy (push of a button kind of easy), everyone would be doing it. You have to fully commit yourself to entrepreneurship if you plan to get anywhere. Don’t have the mindset of someone that says, “I’m going to put in 50% of the work and get 100% of the results.” Rather you should be one of those people (myself included) that say, “I’m going to put in 200% to see what happens.” If you approach your dreams and goals with that mindset (“I’m going to put in 200% to see what happens”), anything is possible.
With success it’s not about 1st place, it’s about sticking with it until you make bigger dreams and goals. You see, I have dreams and goals and when I achieve them I set higher ones. It’s a never-ending process of becoming more wise and furthering my life. Most people want more money as their goals and money isn’t a goal, it’s just an end result. Make a goal to better yourself rather than to have more. Below sums up how life (and entrepreneurship) really is for everyone on this earth.Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Click To Tweet
Having a day job will bring painful situations regardless of what you do, the same could be said about entrepreneurship. However, if you look at the countless studies of those who work for an average job to those going the entrepreneurial route, the suffering part becomes very clear.
I’ve met with a lot of entrepreneurs and even though some of them have failed again and again, none of them take it like they’ve suffered. What entrepreneurs say when they fail is “I learned.” On the other hand, when you ask someone who worked for 20 years at the same job all to be “let go” how they feel, deep down they feel like giving the finger to their past employer (two fingers if they lost their 401k alongside their job).
Entrepreneurship Isn’t About The End Result, It’s About The Journey.
Don’t you want to be able to tell a story that’s of fear, doubt, failure, and lastly, success? I know I do. Who wants to tell a story of the same old, boring day working 9-5 with a steady income, an average house, and an average life? Not me. Think hard about your life and don’t let others’ opinions cloud your judgment because no one has to live your life expect you.
If you lack money, time, skills, or anything to achieve your goals, then welcome to planet Earth. 😉
All of us need more time, money, skills, and that’s never going to change. There are days were I wake up and I am scared to death about what the day might bring. Instead of thinking, “Why me!” I now say, “Try me.”
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. The way you take on life will surely deliver right back to you the amount of effort you gave. If you half-assed it, you will get back some results, but they will most likely not be the results you were looking for. Give your best effort every single day, stay positive no matter what comes your way, and you will become unstoppable.
Scott “unstoppable” Hurtado 🙂