Tomorrow will mark my two-year anniversary of being married to the most wonderful woman I know. This is given me cause to think about the importance of family, love and support in my journey as an entrepreneur. When I have cause to think about something, I blog about it. Warning, this one could get a little sappy.
For a while, I will confess that it was love and my new marriage preventing me from taking the leap as an entrepreneur. Not that she was not supportive, but it was my own desire to produce and provide for the woman I love that kept me in the traditional job market for a long time. I had a fear, a fear that I still wrestle with to this day, that starting my own business would lead to lifelong financial uncertainty and would seriously hamper our ability to start a family, something we both desperately want. Several months in, however, I have realized one unavoidable fact. I would not be where I am right now without my wife's encouragement, support and unwavering belief in what I do.
She is not the only one that I have to thank. My parents, her parents, my siblings, her siblings and every other branch of the family that I could name have been incredibly supportive of me shunning traditional avenues of employment in favor of what I know I'm good at. Add to this the dozens of friends (many of whom I consider to be as close as family) and the countless others who read this blog, share my news or tell me that I'm on the right path and I can't help but feel an incredible sense of support.
This is ultimately a good thing, since I know that without it I would be very unhappy right now. The fact is that being an entrepreneur is terrifying. You are committing yourself to long days with potentially very little payoff and to a range of stresses that most people wouldn't want to touch with a 10 foot pole. I live it every day and every day I experience a new roller coaster of good, bad and indifference with regards to my business venture. The only thing that is kept me in the least bit even-keeled and cheerful through any of it has been the love of my wife and the empowerment I draw from all those people I named above. Without it, I am confident that I would have given up within the first few weeks. The fact that I am eight months along and see no signs to stop is a testament to how strong that force is.
So if you're going to be an entrepreneur, here is the most critical piece of advice I can offer. Get your support system in place – a partner, family, friends, colleagues, online communities – and lean on them whenever you can. You will not survive without it. At least, I cannot survive without it and I'm okay with that.