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We don’t usually associate profanity with any word containing more than 4-5 letters. Well, there’s a nine letter word that some find to be so obscene, vulgar, and ten times more offensive than any of the 4-5 letter words. Please, cover your children’s ears as you read this blog post aloud (not really). The word sacrifice seems to catch the attention of those who are offended by the idea of sacrifice and all it entails. Why is sacrifice like the ugly duckling, something so unattractive? Simply put, sacrifice is a decision to give up something for something else. For instance, you might choose to sacrifice your luxury vehicle and home for a less expensive vehicle and home while starting up your business. It’s important to keep all of your expenses at a minimum when starting a business. Another example, you may choose to sacrifice your living space to offer shelter to a friend or family member who is in need. The return on kindness is immeasurably great and beneficial.
As an entrepreneur, consider asking yourself, what do I want to sacrifice to get my business where it deserves to be? Everything that is worth anything and is something great began with a sacrifice on someone’s part. Everyone’s sacrifice may look a little different. Yours won’t look exactly like his, and don’t force a sacrifice upon yourself and your family to mimic a sacrifice of someone whom you admire. Your sacrifice is your decision for your life, it’s the pride of your success story. Time, relationships, money, family life, possessions, and egos will more than likely be sacrificed to some extent while in business. This doesn’t mean forsaking your parental responsibilities, throwing valuable friendships out the door, and giving up on marriages are all inevitable for entrepreneurs. It only means that you may not make it to every every little league game of the season. You may not take that international vacation with your spouse every year. You may not be able to console a friend 3 days out of 7 every week. Prioritizing your time, expenses, and your work is extremely important. Taking time out for any meaningful relationship is vital for your well-being as well as the other person. But, prioritize appropriately. Stay focused on the big picture. Set up your life now to be able to spend even more time with loved ones later. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so make wise decisions for your business so it’ll be able to stand when you’re gone.
Starting and running a business requires knowledge, finance, a contingency plan, organization, time… and sacrifice. Here are 7 key things to remember about sacrifice:
Sacrifice is a business principle- You can’t get something for nothing, and if you can, it probably isn’t worth much. Sacrificing to grow the business is rewarding. You will see a return on your sacrifice. If you look closely you can see how much the sacrifice is allowing you to get ahead in some areas that can be considered challenges.
Sacrifice is big picture thinking- Take time out, a considerable amount of time out, and think about your main goal in life. Then, break your main goal down into several goals. Research, assess, and write down what it is going to take for those goals to come into fruition. Every decision you make and everything you do should be in direct line to your main goal. This means that your day to day life, particularly the choices you make today will have an impact on your long term goals. Try to make the most educated decisions possible, when you fail, because you will at some point, don’t worry. A failure only says that you tried. Keep trying, keep pressing.
Sacrifice isn’t supposed to feel good- When you decide to sacrifice, you don’t want to compare your possessions, your socioeconomic status, your friend’s marriage, or any part of your life to others. Shopping at certain stores may not be in your budget, that you set by the way, but it’s not the end of the world. Set your budget and your mind on the big picture. You have some business goals to reach. That’s far more important than the brand of clothing you wear—temporarily. Work hard now, feel good later. Have a long term perspective on your life. Feel good knowing what you’re building is so great that it takes great effort, which includes sacrifice.
Sacrifice isn’t supposed to be convenient- There will never be a “right time” to sacrifice. A sacrifice is supposed to inconvenience you for a pre-defined period of time. You shouldn’t try to plan a sacrifice around vacations, promotions and bonuses at work, or after the kids graduate college… and get a job…and move out of the house. That may never happen! You know your life better than anyone one else, what’s important when planning a major sacrifice is that you be realistic, open and honest with yourself and your family, and be prepared to face opposition.