THE BLOG

9 Things You've Done That Are Harder Than Starting a Business

08/24/2014 09:00 pm ET | Updated Oct 24, 2014
  • Jeff Steinmann Author, How to Quit Working: A Simple Plan to Leave Your Job for a Life of Freedom

Entrepreneurship is a natural human function. It's just an exchange of value between two people and human beings have been doing that as long as we've existed. As the world has become more complex, the logistics of exchanging value have become more complicated. Many say it's too hard.

But ordinary people do things every day that are way harder. If you've made it through any of these things, you've got what it takes to start a business.

1. Stayed married
The complexities and challenges of maintaining a sustained, intimate relationship between two people are endless. Negotiating those complexities takes a tremendous amount of time, patience and understanding.

If you have the commitment, patience and understanding to stay married, you should have no problem committing to the work and being patient enough to start a business.

2. Raised kids
I'm not even talking about raising good kids. Just keeping them fed, clothed and out of serious trouble is a long, hard 18+ year task and a commitment you take seriously.

If you have the patience, focus and commitment required to do the hard work of raising kids for 18+ years, you can use that same patience, focus and commitment to successfully start a business.

3. Gotten a divorce
Divorce is a very stressful time. It requires coping with loss, disappointment, hurt, pain and uncertainty about the future. This happens to a large number of people and we always make it through.

If you've been through a divorce, you can probably handle the rejection, disappointment, loss and uncertainty that inevitably accompanies a startup.

4. Lost a loved one
One of the hardest things we have to deal with is when someone we love dies. It's a terrible feeling and when it happens, we wonder if we will be able to carry on. But we do. Every single day, people die and their loved ones move past the grief and get on with their lives.

If you've experienced the pain of losing a loved one, you'll view the frustrations and disappointments of starting a business as minor, because you know where they really belong on your priority list.

5. Moved to another city
Your life is completely uprooted. You have a new job, a new home, new friends, a new church and more. Everything that was familiar has changed and you have to rebuild your support network.

If you've moved to another city, you've proven that you're capable of dealing with the massive amount of fast-paced change that comes with starting a business.

6. Quit Smoking
Discipline and commitment are the keys to kicking this gross and cancer-causing habit. It's easy to give in to the temptation, but you must stay committed and have the discipline to resist the temptation.

If you've broken this dangerous habit, you have the discipline and commitment required to start a business.

7. Had a major illness
Major illness, particularly when life-threatening, is an event that will shake you to the core. It will make you question everything you believed and deeply understand what's important and what's not.

If you've dealt with a life-threatening illness, you understand what's important in life and what's not, which is critical for starting a business.

8. Experienced an empty nest
After spending 18+ years raising kids, focusing every second of your life on them and putting their needs ahead of yours, suddenly having an empty house is a major shock. Everything about your life is completely different.

If you've had your kids move out, you've experienced the type of huge lifestyle change that you'll experience when you start a business.

9. Had a baby
I'm a 39-year-old man. I know nothing about pregnancy, but the simplest logic tells you it's really hard and painful.

Starting a business doesn't hurt that much and it only makes you sick in the morning if you drank too much the night before, which is typically done either in celebration of something good or drowning the sorrows of something bad.

Starting a business is not easy, but if you're wondering if you can do it, refer back to any of these things you've experienced and know that you've done something harder. People quit their jobs and start a business every single day. It's your turn.