Your Dream Will Cost You

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days because it’s the new “buzz word” and social media makes it sound so cool. But few are ready to give up all of the things that entrepreneurship will cost you.

I’ve been and entrepreneur most of my life. In elementary school, I actually ran a summer camp under my aunts carport. Yes, my aunt was baby sitting me and yes, I charged the neighborhood kids to come and play with my toys and eat my aunts peanut butter and syrup sandwiches. In middle school, I sold pencils and loose leaf paper to classmates and eventually moved up to snacks like M & M’s and Now and Later’s. I grew up in a lower middle class family and we were always one paycheck away from being poor.

My parents worked damn near 7 days a week and there were days that my brother and I went without dinner because after the bills were paid, there wasn’t enough money left over to buy groceries. I hated being hungry and I hated to hear my brother cry because he was hungry. So I learned at an early age that you have to make sacrifices, give some things up in order to get what you really want.

In high school, I started writing papers for my classmates and then graduated to taking their English tests. My teachers knew what I was doing, and one actually sat me down and helped me to develop a pricing sheet. She told me, “they need to pay you more for an A paper than for a B paper.” My senior year in high school, I decided to try my hand at throwing parties and I remember walking away with $1,000 and a police escort after the facility kicked us out.

In each of my small businesses, I had to give something up in order to get what I wanted. I had to reinvest in my candy business so I would always have a supply on hand. When writing papers after finishing my own homework, meant that I missed spending time with my neighborhood friends. And hosting parties meant I had to pay for security, a DJ, fliers and then make sure everyone remained orderly, so I never had an opportunity to enjoy the events that I hosted. My dream of being independent and making sure that my brother and I had food to eat and were not a financial strain on our parents, meant I had to sacrifice some of my youth, take on the responsibilities of an adult and constantly invest in myself and my businesses.

As an adult, I am floored when I meet other women who are not willing to invest in their dreams. Women who whine and complain about having to make small sacrifices, yet they want the dream of entrepreneurship to become a reality. They come to me wanting everything for free not realizing that I had to invest in myself to get where I am today. This dream cost me and your dream will cost you too. Nothing in this world is really free. Everything has a price tag, even if that price is you giving up something to gain something else in return.

So here’s the deal…before you say you want to be an entrepreneur, ask yourself are you really willing to make the financial sacrifices that it will require. Are you wiling to give up your weekends? Will you be okay getting up at 4 and 5 a.m. or going to bed past midnight? If you are not willing to pay the cost to be the boss, then sis, you are not ready to be an entrepreneur.

Stop lying to yourself. Stop asking people for handouts and stop whining and complaining about your job. Because if you are not willing to invest in your dreams, if you are not ready to put in the sweat and tears that will be required of you at least once a week, if you are not ready to financially invest in your growth and the growth of your business, just be honest with yourself and instead, work to become the best employee that you can be and realize that there is nothing wrong with that.

Because at the end of the day sis, the bill will become due, and payment will be expected, because the dream of entrepreneurship is not free and yes, it is going to cost you.