One of the toughest things about being an entrepreneur is missing out on personal events. The reality of knowing there are times you have to say no to family and friends for the sake of your business is not an easy thing to endure.
I remember once my friend Stephanie, who is an amazing professional baker, told me that to be an entrepreneur, you had to be dedicated because your business would be your life. At the time, I did not at all understand how a person could put work before family and friends.
Boy was I in for a rude awakening when I started my writing career. I have missed out on countless happy hours, birthday parties, girl's nights and more because I had to put my business first. I was bummed at missing out, but it was more of a FOMO reaction than sadness in those instances.
However, recently I had to say no to the wedding of someone who is extremely important to me because of a fantastic business opportunity. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it was beyond difficult to have to say no. I agonized over the decision and dreaded having to tell my friend I could not attend.
The wedding is tomorrow. I know I made the right decision for my business, which is essentially the right choice for me. It doesn't make it easy though knowing I am missing out and not the FOMO missing out. The sadness of knowing I can't be a part of someone I dearly love's special day, is a hard pill to swallow.
Saying no to personal events is the nature of being an entrepreneur and owning your own business. Although the guilty feeling doesn't go away, there is one thing that helps ease the pain, family, and friends understanding. The times when you have to say no, are less daunting when people support you so much in your business venture, they simply say I will miss you, but I get it.
I was fortunate enough in my recent wedding situation to get that understanding and support. It truly made all the difference in the world, for Haley to say I will miss you, I am bummed but I get it.
So, to those who know or love someone that is working to build their business, be kind and understanding if the person can't attend a special event or even a night out. Remember, it is no fun for us to say no. It is not our first choice, but sometimes it is the necessary one.
To those who understand the pain of saying no to personal events for business, know it is ok to be sad but don't beat yourself up! It isn't easy being an entrepreneur.