Cinderella was not the only one running after her dream of a better life, it’s what all of us do, every single day. Lucky for her, she was part of a fairy tale. Prince charming came along and things ended in the typical “happily ever after”. Sadly, no one asked her what happened after that, Was she really leading the perfect life? Or was there something missing?
Most of us notice the ups of a life of an entrepreneur for instance the freedom to do as they please, following their dreams, not having to listen to a superior etcetera but the truth is they don’t live in any fairy tale and there is no such thing as “happily ever after”. Every dream comes with a cost. The cost is in the form of hard work, minimum social life, constant and untiring efforts, unexpected challenges and so much more.
We went out and asked some of the entrepreneurs what’s missing from their life. So in their own words..
Ali Rehan | Founder and CEO – Eyedeus Labs
Peace time – being an entrepreneur, you are always in the firefighting mode – you have to tackle some emergency or urgent situation almost every day and it never stops! So I miss the “peace time” at work where everything is going with the flow and you don’t feel like a rapid-response team member!
Faizan Laghari | Founder – Mini-Venture and StartupJobs.pk
A clone – I have a well-rounded and very fulfilling life (alhumdolillah) after 11 years of tweaking it so. But if anything is needed, it’s another ME so I can get more done, and work on the oh-so-many more ideas that I want to work on!
Farhan Masood | Founder and Director – Solo Smart
No Answers – Joy of being an entrepreneur of a startup has its own price to pay and one of the biggest thing that ones misses from his life is predictability. You as an entrepreneur have no answers to many questions like How a day or week or a month would look like?, when will this happen?, how much time this may take? When will I get paid? and a special one if you are married… when will you be back home?
Haris Nadeem | Founder – Team Android and Android Pakistan
Sleep – I run several websites. And I study as well. Managing work and studies together is super difficult and it always comes down to sacrificing something of yours – which in my case is sleep. Day time is spent in my university and nights are spent on my laptop working.
Kalsoom Lakhani | Founder and CEO – i2i Accelerator
Balance – I think it’s really hard to develop a healthy work/life balance when you’re an entrepreneur – too often your work bleeds into your life, you work ridiculous hours, and your brain is *on* all the time. But I think to be a good entrepreneur means also being mentally healthy, and maintaining healthy personal relationships, which ultimately comes from finding a work/life balance.
Khurram Zafar | Entrepreneur & Investor – Fortune 500 Consultant
Aligned Priorities – One can make a case for misaligned priorities as family, friends, and at times health and spirituality take a back seat. It’s tough to strike a perfect balance between them all at all times especially during the early years of a startup, but building a successful company is incredibly rewarding and can empower one to more than makeup for the lost attention to other important things in life. The priorities must shift at some point. I think Bill Gates is a great example of this, which is why I respect him a lot.
Maria Umar | Founder and CEO – The Digital League
Carefree Days – I guess I miss the carefree days of working for someone else. The onus of failure was on my boss. All I had to do was carry out her instructions, do my bit, and then go home and not think about work at all. Also miss being around people in real life. Sharing jokes, making digs at the boss, sharing lipsticks, recipes, cabs.
Maha Yusuf | Global Shaper at World Economic Forum
Certainty – Being an entrepreneur (especially those working on startups) means ceaseless struggle, getting things done like a hustler, coping with infinite tasks at the same time, doing stuff under extreme uncertainty and yes, there will always be people saying No. But this is what it is. Pretty much like jumping off a cliff and learning to build a parachute on the way down!
Nabeel A. Qadeer | Program Manager – Plan9 and Serial Entrepreneur
Friends and Family – As an entrepreneur, you eat, sleep, think & talk about your product (or your company) most parts of the day. This tends to directly impacts your Work-Life balance. There are times when you are so engrossed in building something of your own that you tend to miss out on experiencing some special occasions pertaining to family & friends. To maintain the equilibrium where your loved ones get the same amount of time and attention as your product does is the real challenge; Not to mention, one should know how to cope with this challenge.
Saad Hamid | City Manager – Elance (Sleeps, Eats and Drinks – TEDx)
Focus – As an entrepreneur I fall in love with new ideas everyday which makes it hard and even harder at times to focus on what to delay and what to ship. For me there’s work, then after work, and then after-after work so round the clock it’s a battle of heart and mind where it’s hard to decide whether to go in one direction or the other. But hey, I am getting better at this.
Usama Khan | Co-Founder Cloud9 Startups and Founder, MeriTaleem
Patience – Everyone wants to be an overnight millionaire. Entrepreneurs know it’s hardly the case. Yet, there’s this little devil in us that wishes the sudden success and attributes every milestone achieved as a step towards that. This makes us particularly impatient and cranky at times which deviates focus in most cases.
Love – Being a (not-yet-successful) entrepreneur is being hated by most people in your life. Whether it’s your parents, your friends, your girlfriend/wife or your customers, everyone hates you. It’s not about what you did to them. It’s about what you did not do for them. Ultimately, your crazy change-the-world ideas, illusory dreams, selfish work (read fun) routine & weird imagination are blamed and you are hated for being who you are.
Waqas Ali | Founder – HomeTown
Food & Health – One of the biggest mistakes I made was to destroy my health. In order to learn stuff I worked pointlessly for tons of hours without taking food and proper sleep. It resulted me being underweight and not enjoying best of health. I wish I were doing better in now, but you know I am not yet.