Friday, December 3, 2021

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How to Survive The Harsh Reality of Being an Entrepreneur

Let me ask you a question: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Honestly, think about it for a second. What pushed you to make this decision? I know you love it but let’s be honest with each other, it’s not as easy as people think! It’s not always sunshine with rainbows and many times you are over-hustling to get things done.

This leads to confusion, overwhelm stress, anxiety, and mental health issues that many times we choose to repress. I believe that like most men, you decided to become an entrepreneur in order to have real freedom, travel the world, being your own boss, and make money while creating an impact on the world.

But the reality is so different… Is this how ”real” freedom looks like?

Being strapped to your computer all day long? Neglecting your relationships and yourself??? This is not real freedom. This is a prison…

You are wearing golden handcuffs and you are ”hustling” because it sounds sexy as a concept!

This article contains my survival guide to become a more empowered entrepreneur and reclaim your work-life balance back.

1. The Mindset Of Success 

Everything starts with your mindset!

If it is not in the right place, then there is no way you will perform at high levels and be more efficient. Dr. Wayne Dyer once said ”when you change the way you look at things, then the things you look at, change!”

And it’s so true! You can’t expect to find the solutions to your problems, and you can’t expect your business to grow when your own mind is your biggest opponent.

1.1 Your relationship with money

Rule #1: In order to make money…you need to spend money first!
First of all, we all need to realize that money is in abundance and that in order to make money we need to spend money first. You can’t expect your business to scale when you are saving penny by penny hoping to gather millions over the years.

You gotta invest the money! First in yourself and then in your business… And no, I don’t mean to invest in stocks or real estate… (not yet at least).

Your first goal should be to increase your cash flow and bring more money into the business and then to invest this money to your own education ( by hiring mentors and joining coaching courses) and then to your business (by hiring rockstars to help you to scale).

Money is in abundance, so stop treating it like ”your precious.”

Switch your mindset about money from scarcity to abundance and from fear to gratitude!

1.2 Your relationship with time

Rule #2: You gotta love the journey!
You need to be patient.

Concepts like ”I will get lucky” or ”I will become an overnight success” do not exist. Scaling your business will take some time (and effort) and you gotta be willing to work!

People only see the tip of the iceberg but they neglect all the sleepless nights, all the lonely efforts, and all the hectic days.
But there is some magic out there y’all!

The moment that your first results appear, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a long journey and it will take time but nothing worth having ever comes easy and fast!

Not everybody can have a Ph.D. or an MSc degree or a medical degree and definitely, not everybody can have a successful business running – UNLESS they put in the work.

So focus on learning, expanding your knowledge, sharpening your skills, and improving yourself day-by-day and you will eventually transform your business into an empire.

1.3 Your relationship with failure

RULE #3: Failure is inevitable, but it will show you the path towards success.
Failure was, is, and will ALWAYS be your best friend.

Most people are trying to avoid failure and thus playing the game too safe. But the reality is that if you take action then you will eventually fail. And that’s ok! It’s part of the journey.

As long as you stop and think, what was your mistake, why you did that mistake, and how you can learn from it, you won!

See failure as your stepping stone to success, cause in it lies the power of improvement. Be grateful for failing and keep moving forward by using the lessons learned.

And please don’t do business to avoid losing, do business to win!

Take calculated risks, try new things, fail, and then succeed!

2. Motivation (Find your why)

RULE #4: Find your deepest why
There are two types of motivation: External motivation and internal motivation.

External motivation is when you are motivated by external factors like cars, Rolex watches, assets, other people’s opinions.

Internal motivation is when you have a greater power from within yourself to push you and boost you, every single day.
And here is the thing, when you are motivated by external factors then your motivation will eventually disappear.
Whereas, if you have power from within that is greater than yourself, then no matter what happens, you will succeed.

Think about it, this way…

If you are motivated ONLY by money, then when you reach your monetary goal, you will also lose motivation. But, if you want to be in business because you want to change the world, and transform other people’s lives, then no matter what happens, you will stay motivated and loyal to your goals and you will push yourself a day, after day, after day, to achieve them.

Entrepreneurship is a never-ending journey, and many times a very stressful one, so without the proper (internal) motivation, you won’t be able to push yourself in the right direction.

In order to harness motivation at its finest, the first and most important factor is to find out your ”why.” Define the reason for WHY are you doing this! Find out exactly WHY you want to be an entrepreneur and what’s your purpose on making money!

Ask yourself again and again ”WHY” and go deeper in order to find the root cause of why you want to run a business.
And trust me on this! The moment you define your why….magic happens!

3. Relationships

No man is an island… The relationships with the people in your life are an important factor in your success. You don’t just need them to be around you though, you need them to support you and love you unconditionally.

If they are not building you up and helping you grow, then there is no point to keep these disempowering relationships in your life. At the end of the day, these are the people that you will live your life with, so make sure you choose them wisely!

3.1 Your relationship with your family:

That’s a tough one! Especially when you consider the fact that many parents can’t understand what ”entrepreneurship” really is.

Now, if they support you, that is awesome!

But, if they don’t understand you, first realize that this is their own ”weird” way to say: ”I care about you! I love you, son”

So, do make sure you make the uncomfortable conversations. Explain to them what your goal is and explain to them the reason behind your actions (your ”why”). Show them that this is indeed your calling and that you will make your dreams a reality no matter what!

Also, if you have kids and a spouse, don’t neglect them. Money comes and goes … but family always comes first.

At the end of the day, you are doing this for them as well! You are creating an empire to support them so always remember to spend time with YOUR people.

Don’t remove them from your journey, because if you do then, you are risking losing them from your life forever…

3.2 Romantic & Sexual Relationships:

I know so many people that say ”I need to focus on my business now, so I am not going out”
Don’t be this person! Ok?

Sex is amazing, intimacy is awesome, and having a woman next to you is always fun! So, don’t forget to flirt, approach, and date the women that you find attractive! Express yourself without filters and bring a high-quality woman into your life!

If you are single find a queen to be by your side and support your dreams. If you are in a relationship, don’t forget to make your woman feel wanted.

But no matter what, please, don’t neglect your sexual and romantic life for your business!

3.3 Friendships: 

RULE #5: You are the CEO of your life: Hire, fire, and promote accordingly!
”You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” and thus you need to surround yourself with the best! Create an empowering social circle of people that won’t only understand you but will also support you when you need them.

Audit your existing friendships and choose your social circle very wisely! If you find some friendships to be toxic, cut these people out of your life, even if you know them for years.

I know it’s an uncomfortable thing to do, but you don’t want people around you that will hold you back. You want to be surrounded by legends who are like-minded and will advise you, on your journey.

In other words, you need to leverage your social circle to become a better version of yourself and a better entrepreneur. Always surround yourself with the best and not with toxic people.

Yes, you are the CEO of your business, but you also need to become the CEO of your own life!

4. Morning Routine

RULE #6: Conquer your morning and you will win your day

Morning routine consists of a set of habits that successful people do in order to start their day the right way, be more energetic and get an edge over their competitors.

The way you start your day is the way you are going to also live your day and live your life in general. Most people when they wake up they are simply reactive to their day.

They walk in ”zombie mode” to get their coffee (after having their alarm clock snoozed more than 3 times of course), they check their notifications to see how many likes their latest post had, they grab something to eat and they get to work.

This is a completely reactive mindset. What successful people and millionaires do instead, is to spend the first hour of their day being proactive by implementing powerful habits that will create the momentum to help them to be more energized, productive, and efficient.

My personal favorite morning habits are the following:

4.1 Meditation: 

There is so much noise in our entrepreneurial minds, so many to-do lists, so many tasks, so many responsibilities, that make meditation a non-negotiable habit!

Even 10 minutes per day can help you clear your mind, increase your awareness and improve your productivity!
being an entrepreneur
I recommend starting with mindfulness meditation by using an app called Headspace, which guides you step by step! You simply need to put your headphones in, close your eyes and reap all the benefits! It’s as simple as that!

4.2 Cold Showers:

No, I am not crazy! Cold showers are awesome! Apart from the countless health benefits, there is also a secret power hidden in the weird habit of cold showers.
being an entrepreneur
They teach you self-discipline and the importance of doing what is uncomfortable and not what is easy!

By putting yourself in a cold shower daily you are teaching yourself that you are the master of your body and you learn to expand your comfort zone!

4.3 Affirmations:

We have countless little voices inside our heads yelling to us every single day ”You are not enough” or ”You will never make it” or even ”You are a loser” that I find it essential to train our minds to become our biggest supporters.

Affirmations are basically phrases you are repeating to yourself again and again and again, while you are looking yourself at the mirror. The goal is to make your reality more empowering and reduce (if not eliminate) the negative self-talk.

One of my affirmations (please feel free to use it as well) is:

”I am so happy and grateful now that money comes to me in increasing quantities, through multiple sources, on a continuous basis.”

Give it a try…you will NOT regret it!

4.4 Gratitude:

We are insatiable wanting machines, designed to desire and wired to never be content. We are always in need of something more, something new, and something different.

This is definitely something important on our journey, but we shouldn’t forget ALL the things that we already have in our life!
Write a list of 3 things that you are grateful for, every single morning and you will see how your perspective about life will change.
being an entrepreneur
In the first couple of days, you will be writing the very evident stuff ” I am grateful for my bed” or ”I am grateful for my clothes’’ but after a while, you will start digging deeper and you will discover so many things that you haven’t even realized. You are indeed enough, you just need to remind that yourself!

5. Productivity

RULE #7: Productivity is about working smart, not hard!

Productivity is NOT about doing as many things as you can in the fastest way possible. It is about doing things that matter and being more efficient with your work.

It’s not about working hard (or ”hustling” as they say), it’s about working smart!
being an entrepreneur
Here are the most important principles to have in mind:

5.1 The Pareto Principle

”The 20% of your actions will give you the 80% of your results!” In other words, you should be involved with the actions and tasks that will produce income and will help your business to grow!

Don’t change the colors of the banner on your Facebook page and definitely don’t do the accounting. Focus on sales, marketing, and vision-building! The rest should be either delegated/outsourced or even completely eliminated!

5.2 Eat the frog

This is a concept introduced by Brian Tracy in his book ”Eat the frog” which means that you should start your day with the hardest task and do NOTHING else until it is done.

Think of it like that! You can literally find a thousand other tasks to do each day, but if you don’t do what matters the most first, then guess what… you are staying in stagnation. Finish the hardest and important task (based on the Pareto principle) first and then move forward to all the rest.

5.3 Eisenhower matrix

Eisenhower once said: ”What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important” And based on this quote, the Eisenhower matrix was created:
being an entrepreneur
As you can see, there are 4 quadrants on the Eisenhower matrix:

Important & Urgent Tasks

These are the tasks that you should do RIGHT NOW (eat the frog principle).

Important BUT Not Urgent Tasks

These are the tasks that you can do LATER and only after you finish your important and urgent tasks.

Not Important But Urgent Tasks

These are the tasks that you should delegate to someone else.

Not Important and Not Urgent Tasks

These are the tasks that you should completely eliminate.
Based on the Eisenhower matrix you will learn what you should prioritize and in which order your business tasks should be tackled.

5.4 Write a to-do list

By combining the Eisenhower with the GTD (Getting Things Done) principle, introduced by David Allen in 2001, this is how my to-do list looks like:
being an entrepreneur
You can use an online app to track your tasks or even a paper version! But either way, it is super essential to have one in your life, cause it gives you a general overview of what needs to be done each day, in order to scale your business into an empire.

5.5 Schedule blocks of time in your calendar

Even though, your to-do list is your best friend, the more your business grows, the more the necessity for the use of a calendar arises! You need to make sure you have everything scheduled and planned out ahead of time so that you are always executing at the best possible levels!

Plan your date nights with your girlfriend. Schedule your beer time with your mates. Find your uninterrupted writing time for your blog.

And of course, give yourself the time needed to complete the important business tasks. Then simply follow your schedule and become more efficient!

A calendar will bring even more clarity to your workweek as well as increased productivity cause instead of trying to figure out what your next task should be, now you know exactly what comes next.

And I left my favorite for the end…

5.6 Have a DAY OFF! 

Whaaaaaaaaat? Yeap … you read this right! Have one day of your week, where you are doing NOTHING!

Here is the concept behind it, I know that your business is your baby and that you love working on it, but if you work-work-work then you don’t have the time needed to recharge yourself and to allow your brain the space to think of the vision and the plan.

Same as going to the gym! You need some days off otherwise your muscles will get hurt. For me, this day is Sunday! And I literally spend my day drinking coffee with friends and then watching Netflix and eating pizza!

It’s like my celebration ritual for working hard the whole week and scaling my business.

I know you will feel the urge to check your emails for 5 mins…but don’t! Be completely disconnected from the world and do whatever you like that is non-related to your business.

6. Outsourcing

RULE #8: Stop wearing all the hats!

Nobody can do the tasks of your business better than you…right? Nope!!!!

You can’t do all the tasks, because you are now wearing all the hats: You are the CEO, the marketer, the manager, the customer support.

This disorientates you and distracts you from your vision! You should be working on the business and not in the business.

Therefore you need to have a team of like-minded and skilled people that work WITH you (not for you), who will help you with your business goals and tasks.

As an entrepreneur, you need to focus only on the revenue-related tasks, the overall vision, and marketing of your business and outsource all the rest.

To outsource my tasks I use the VIP formula! I only concern myself with:

Tasks that will bring VALUE to my company, tasks that are IMPORTANT, and tasks that I am PASSIONATE about. Everything else is outsourced to my team!

Just do me a solid and remember that when you are outsourcing, you should be leading the team from the front! You can’t expect your employees to work hard when they see you chilling all day long! You need to motivate them, support them and of course, explain to them the overall vision! Clarity and team spirit will always bring results.


Entrepreneurship is the most beautiful journey you can embark on, as a man!

It teaches you how to become a better version of yourself, how to create a legacy, and helps you to make an impact on the world. It also teaches you how to be a leader and being an action taker overall.

There will be some hard times – which is great because, you will learn from them- but you need to have a system in place in order to deal with them.

The main problem nowadays is that most male entrepreneurs sacrifice everything for their businesses, which leads to sacrificing their own life as well.

The goal of this article was to give you some guidelines to not only be the CEO of your own business but also of your own life. You are an entrepreneur not only to make money but also to live your life on your own terms.

Run both your business and your life, like a boss, and build the legacy you are dreaming of.

Start implementing the right mindsets, harness the power of proper motivation, propel yourself with the best possible relationships, leverage the momentum created by your morning routine, boost yourself with the smart productivity hacks, accelerate your business with a team of rockstars…and become an empowered entrepreneur.

Are you ready to make this happen?

About the Author

being an entrepreneur Yannis Pantelis is a motivational speaker and the creator of Empowered Entrepreneur Secrets.

He helps business owners from around the world to scale their businesses without breaking the bank, so they stop grinding and start loving their businesses and their lives.

Click HERE to Follow Yannis on Instagram

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