Many people look at Rob and I and think we have it so good. We have a business, I’m my own boss, we’re on TV, we get to sell cupcakes all day long to happy customers. And the latest, we are the modern day Obamas!
Yes! We are totally grateful for everything we have accomplished so far and being an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding jobs ever! However, I’m here to tell you that being an entrepreneur is also one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had.
There are 3 common misconceptions about being an entrepreneur that I want to discuss in this article.
1. Entrepreneurs work less hours than working for someone else.
Lori Greiner, from Shark Tank, said it best, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours to avoid working 40 hours a week”. While working as an employee, I knew exactly what time I would be home each day. I could plan my nights and weekends with ease. Once I became an entrepreneur, my social life had gone down the tubes. I cancel so many play dates that my kids just decided to wait until school started, so they can actually play with their friends again. I have great intentions on cooking those pork chops only to come home with a pizza. And often times homework is completed atop a freezer, in the storage room of the bakery.
Be prepared to have your life tremendously altered. You may have to trade in hanging out with your friends or some “Netflix and Chill” nights for late night research or coming up with new marketing ideas.
2. Entrepreneurs need a lot of money to be successful.
Rob and I bootstrapped our way to our current success. We started Cupcakeology with my very young 401K retirement fund and money that he started saving once we conceptualized the business idea. Since we were a start-up business, we weren’t qualified for business loans and we didn’t have the personal resources to borrow money from. But that only led us to have to be very innovative and creative with our business. We stand out from the rest.
Since we couldn’t afford the glitzy store front, we creatively turned an office building lunchroom into our retail and wholesale bakery. We created an oasis of cakes and cupcakes leading our customers down a pink hallway that led to the “old school” dutch door, where customers are greeted with our display of cupcakes. Because we are so hidden, we knew we had to market our butts off for customers to become aware of our company. We took to social media with creative videos and photos. We worked our way into local news stations, with our cupcakes, to be featured on local TV. We sent out funny emails to TV and Radio show personalities to grab their attention, to gain a national market, which led us to becoming guests on The Steve Harvey Morning Show and The Steve Harvey Talk Show! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2pv9PO_L3w We worked every farmers market in our area and vended every craft fair available. That hustle led to the inception of our shipping operation, where we ship our cupcakes all over the US. It brought awareness of our company to every township, including NJ and DE. We saw an opportunity to become a vendor in a new program at the Philadelphia International Airport and went for it. Although it only lasted 4 months, we built contacts with CEO’s, presidents, celebrities, producers and other influential people that could help take our business to the next level.
So if you are holding yourself back from starting your own business because you think you don’t have enough money to start, think again. Creativity and lots of hard work will get you started. Then “fake it til’ you make it”!
3. Entrepreneurs are all rich.
Please don’t become an entrepreneur if your only goal is to be super wealthy. Depending on what career you are leaving and what kind of business you are starting, you may be taking a pay cut while working a lot harder.
Most people don’t realize, the majority of sales from your business goes to employees and right back into your business. Especially in the early stages. Some business owners don’t take a salary until a few years after starting their business.
I’m in the business of making people happy, with each cupcake I bake. It brings me joy to hear that a box of our cupcakes brought a smile to someones face that just got laid off from their job. Or that a deceased relative loved our cupcakes so much that its a tradition for the family to get a cupcake on every anniversary. We put so much love and passion into our cupcakes that if a flavor doesn’t make us do the happy dance, it’s not yet good enough to offer our customers.
You should start a business doing what you enjoy and your reward will come from bringing that product or service to life and impacting people in a positive manner. And I believe from there, financial freedom will follow.