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The post about entrepreneurs that was never supposed to be published





You will probably hate me after this post, but I have to get it off my chest. Too much stuff piled up in the last few months that it needs to be said publicly. You never hear about this because we (the entrepreneurs) are strong, tough, invincible. We invent new stuff, we solve people problems with our products, and we solve governments problems with paid taxes. Yes, we are the go to solution for everything. Everything that surrounds you, and that you are using currently is a result of an inventor or/and an entrepreneur – fact! Yet no one asks us how we feel, what bothers us. People just ride our ass.

Case one – Working tired, sick, depressed

 

You are knocked down every day
You are knocked down every day

By working, I mean 12 hours (in some cases 14-16, who is counting?), I mean Saturdays, Sundays. I mean being diagnosed with some shit disease that lasts couple of months, and you doing something so stressful like fundraising. During all that, people tapping you on the back, telling you: that’s great, come back to us when you are making more money.

Ok, lets practice pitching – from 10pm to 1am after having 5 meetings, and working about 10 hours. And change the pitch 3 days before demo day, because it’s so crucial for people to understand what it is that you are saying. And you are saying something no one ever said before. How do you teach someone something they never saw – well compare it with something they have seen. Problems is, people then have misconceptions and they misunderstand you.

Case two – no love

Imagine being in the Antarctica. Alone. Or in some cases, there’s a few of you. Like an expedition. Trust me, some days, you wish you are alone in the Antarctica, better than being with an expedition. No sex for 4 months. No hugging, no kissing, your love is…. somewhere. To some, no big deal, to some heartbreaking.

Antarctica
Antarctica

I heard one startup co-founder telling me how he was just recently blessed with another child. And after a few months being home, he had to leave for Silicon Valley. The older girl who is still 5-6 years, told her daddy:”Please daddy, don’t forget me and the little one.”.

And after that he left for Silicon Valley, to build his startup.

It is an up at dawn, pride swallowing siege that no one will ever fully tell you about! But today, I gathered the courage to give you a small portion.

Another startup co-founder told me that his wife just gave birth to twins. And while they were 6 months he had to leave to attend an accelerator program. Now when he talks with her wife, she holds them both in her arms – via video conference. You are my hero Sampad!

I met a startup co-founder whose wife was diagnosed with cancer, and still he went to Silicon Valley, to get his startup funded, and it was with the support of his wife.

In case you have tears in your eyes, it’s OK, because I sure as hell do.

How do these people find the courage, strength, persistence to not just continue, but to crush it?

It’s such a shame that investors, and users don’t care about the entrepreneur heart breaking story. A story where you meet the love of your life, you just changed “the relationship status on Facebook”, and then you have to leave for 4 long months. SHOW ME TRACTION BOY!

Oh right, I don’t get to be a cry baby cause I have a new iPhone, iPad, Air, fire, balls, shit.

Case three – compared to war criminals, slavery and connected to controversy

Slavery
Slavery

In some countries (and you people will recognize yourselves), citizens actually compare entrepreneurs to war criminals! You know how the word “theory” always goes with “conspiracy”? Well in some countries the word “controversial” almost always goes with “entrepreneur”! The picture is distorted because of the media! If someone is controversial, he is not an entrepreneur, he is shit, and call him like that! People need to be taught what entrepreneur is, and isn’t. It’s like saying Yoda and Lord Sidius are the same tip of guy. Well they are not!

Calling entrepreneurs slavers, and knowing that they are the ones who get up each day, thinking about 1 thing – how the hell do I make money so I can:

– make payroll
– pay taxes
– pay company bills
– make new services
– (there’s a catch, if you make too much, you get to pay more taxes, ha!)
– everything else that all normal people think about: help my parents, take my girl out, pay for personal bills, pay value added tax, etc…

I am an entrepreneur.
I am an entrepreneur.

Everyday we fly into the unknown. If I take an investment will they crucify me later? If I open a company in a foreign country, will I go to jail for something wrong I did, that I didn’t know I am not supposed to do? Will I amount so much debt for financing my startup that I will have to pay for it for the rest of my life?

Yes, I am a war criminal and a slaver. Well then, why do I have to pay for my employees taxes, health and pension security? And pay extra if I miss a day? Why don’t I just give you the money, and you deal with your security, and taxes, and missed payments?

It’s OK, you go home and sleep. I go home and worry how I am going to pay your lunch.

So, what happens next? The difficult part.

Books
Books

Learn, progress, evolve, grow, help others! If you are not happy with your work, paycheck, boss, don’t blame them, blame yourself! Yes, I just spit in your face! I don’t care, I am a blood sucking controversial slavering war criminal. Learn something difficult, and a miracle will appear! Make my life easier for change, and help me, help you!

I bought 20 books this month, when will I read them if I am so tired that today I woke up tired after 9 hours of sleep, and then went back to bed to get 1 more hour of rest. You don’t necessarily have to buy books, maybe your knowledge can be acquired differently, through seminars, courses, networking, but the dog has to learn new tricks.

A man of humble beginnings walks a path that ultimately leads to the salvation of many…but at the cost of the man’s own life. That is the path of a messiah called the entrepreneur.

[EDIT 22nd, August, 2014] If you liked this blog post, perhaps you will like the ebook]

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups
26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

Goran Duskic

I am the founder and CEO at WhoAPI, entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in the hosting and domain industry.

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12 Comments

  1. One of the most heart wrenching blog posts I’ve read in a long long time. May the force be with all of us.

    cheers
    sampad

  2. Someone once told me;

    “If you can imagine yourself being ANYTHING but an entrepreneur, then you should go and do it… because being an entrepreneur is damn hard.”

    The reality is for many of us – we can’t imagine ourselves being anything else… yes it’s a big sacrifice, but the opportunity to build something world-changing (some more than others) is strong enough to keep us going… the good news is, you become a better person for it.

    Here’s to the ones with ‘just the right amount of crazy’

    😉

    Reuben

  3. Renato Renato

    Is it a kind of self-slavery?

  4. toni toni

    Then again, I’m an entrepreneur.
    And, yes i’m working long hours (you’re right, who is counting), and I’m fully aware of all the problems entrepreneurs have in country where they are compared to war criminals and slave masters, in country where you see and feel that the government is actually working against you, although they live of entrepreneurs, and so on, and so on..
    But, I’m working with what I love. It’s like my work is my hobby. I don’t need a rest from my job and my work. And I live with my girlfriend, we are planning to get married, have kids.. What I’m trying to say is – entrepreneurship is not hard for entrepreneurs. It has its ups and downs, but it is what I want. If that guy was a worker on the platform (or something like that) it would still be hard to leave his wife and kids and all that. If you need to complain about your job, i have an advice for you, either you change it or shut up and keep working for whatever reason it is that you work (my be the high salary..).
    I have not sensed that author here complains about being an entrepreneur, but there are a lot more things in the world with more problems and much more thing to complain, and with almost all the “hard stuff” and hard decisions written above.
    Bottom line is, you can actually be any entrepreneur and be happy, have a life, not work like a slave, etc. And if you need to complain about how hard your life is because you are an entrepreneur, its like listening to a waiter, either you change it or shut up. Or a doctor, imagine all the stress and problems in life while saving lives. If you can’t handle being an doctor with all the problems and all the privileges that this life carries, change it. The best doctors are born to be doctors. Same with entrepreneurs.

  5. Hey Goran, I felt Your Frustration as I read!!! I must say, that maybe it’s time to recharge Your Batteries (sort of speak.) I Would think, you would show someone else how to do it for You, so that You may have more time to Enjoy Yout Wealth and Time!!! I just Started my Investment Company and that’s one of The Things that I OFFER as a Pitch, More Quality Time with Family, I do all The Work!!! Thereby giving My Partner or Investor more Time to Stop, Relax, and Breathe!!! GODSPEED TO YOU MY ROTHER!!! Please, Consider passing the Torch. I’m looking forward to YOUR NEW TWEET, EXPLAINING HOW YOU’VE GIVEN YOUR SELF MORE QUALITY TIME!!!

  6. Vedran Vedran

    Poduzetnik, a ne zločinac. Dobar bi ti bio slogan za majicu. Može i međunarodno.

  7. Troy McLure Troy McLure

    Wow, you sound like a whiny little bitch. You have to do business administration and pay taxes – boo hoo! No one has ever compared an entrepreneur to a slave owner or war criminal. And the decision to give up your family and those who (once) love(d) you is purely your own.

    Grow up, and grow a pair.

  8. […] I’ve thought about quitting but as soon as I do I stop and buckle down. Not because I feel there is shame in quitting, but if something isn’t working, you owe it to yourself and everyone else to quite and do something else (see The Dip by Seth Godin). The most dysfunctional thing in startup culture right now is a macho attitude of “just take it and suck it up.” We need more of posts like these to set people straight. […]

  9. Maybe, you guys can not even imagine what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in this country, not only because of bills and taxes paid to the state but because of the extra effort that must be made to charge for your work. Maybe you have not experienced when your client avoids paying for months and sometimes never pay. And that is a frustration and that is happening everyday. I tell you this is a war zone and you need to be an artist to make it lived.

  10. […] was a long Easter weekend in the middle of it. Thing is, ever since I suffered from mononucleosis during my stay in Silicon valley and 500 startups accelerator program every once in a while I get these mild neck pains (like the ones from a bad […]

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