Don’t be Fooled: Entrepreneurship isn’t Instant Gratification

by / ⠀Startup Advice / January 11, 2012

In October, my posting, “The 5 Things in Business that College Can’t Teach” reviewed 5 important qualities and abilities that are essential for entrepreneurs.  These qualities are of such an utmost importance, that I felt it would be beneficial to take a closer look at each.

1.      The ability to Adjust  (You Better Adjust…If You Want To Make Money)
2.      The ability to Persevere
3.      The ability to have “Blinders”
4.      The desire to keep Learning
5.      The ability to stay Hungry

Part 2:  The Ability to Persevere

Instant Gratification

Those two words have become a staple in the world we live in.  With the constant improvements in technology, almost anything is available at the click of a button.  As Under30CEO’s, we’ve grown up with Instant Messaging, E-mail, Google, Fast Food, Text Messaging, and the Internet.  These technologies and innovations have become such an important part of society, we subconsciously expect instant gratification.

In general, the instant gratification we’ve come to expect, is great!  Instead of driving to the store to buy an artist’s new CD, just pull up Spotify.  Need to quickly learn to tie a tie before a presentation?  It can be found in 20 seconds on YouTube (Yes, I did this multiple times in college).

As an entrepreneur though, don’t expect instant gratification! 

Recently, I bought the audio-book of Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t by Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki.  Interestingly enough, they mentioned keeping a job during the start-up process.  Reason being, they understood what many young entrepreneurs don’t.  Building a business is a process.  It’s a process that might take several years before any major results are seen.

Are you willing to go 2-3 years without taking money out for personal salary?  Most importantly, are you still going to believe and have passion in your “idea” without instant gratification.  Mr. Trump & Mr. Kiyosaki kept stressing the importance of  persevering through the lack of results in the beginning stages.  Mr. Trump said, “You will have to work on a project, until you think you can’t do it any longer.  You will have to take a lot of criticism and negativism and hear “no” repeatedely.  It will get worse, before it gets better.” 

I recently came across a video about Lisa Bettany, Co-creator of the iPhone app Camera+, on GlobalTVBC.comBettany’s story was compelling for a few reasons.  The first is that she mentioned her mom was paying her rent.  Definitely not the luxurious life of entrepreneurship that can sometimes be publicized.  The most interesting part of the interview though, was the amount of time she worked without seeing results.  Bettany said, “I took a huge chance on this app, because we worked on it for about a year and a half without seeing any money”.

There is no such thing as overnight success.  Media coverage can fool us into thinking the highly successful entrepreneurs were created overnight.  It tricks us into thinking that one “big break” is all that is needed.  Yes, opportunity can be something to propel your business.  Unfortunately, what we don’t see, are the countless hours of work and perseverance it took to catch the “big break”.

See also  Poll: Does Entrepreneurship Run in Your Family?

“Overnight success stories take a long time.” – Steve Jobs

What if there is a setback in your business?  What if everything doesn’t go as planned?  The only thing you can guarantee as an entrepreneur, is that nothing is guaranteed.  Everything won’t go as planned.  This is why there are so many successful companies that ended up with a product or service they didn’t initially envision.

In the tough times, it’s extremely important to remind ourselves of why we became entrepreneurs.  Maybe the reason is to make an impact on the environment.  Maybe it’s to provide society with a product to make life easier and more efficient.  Whatever the reason is, make a habit to remind yourself of this, “Entrepreneurship is like spending a few years of your life that most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t”.

Michael Fear is the Founder & CEO of Get Better Today &  His mission is to help people understand that getting better everyday is not an option, but a necessity.  You can connect with Michael and Get Better Today on Twitter: @MichaelEFear & @GetBetterTday.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.