5 Darker Aspects of Entrepreneurship You Need to Accept Before Taking the Plunge

5 Darker Aspects of Entrepreneurship You Need to Accept Before Taking the Plunge

3 min read
Sterling White

Sterling White is a multifamily investor, specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded, Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units.

Sterling is a seasoned real estate investor, philanthropist, speaker, host, mentor, and former world record attemptee, who was born and raised in Indianapolis. He is the author of the renowned book From Zero to 400 Units and the host of a phenomenal podcast, which hit the No. 1 spot on The Real Estate Experience Podcast‘s list of best shows in the investing category.

Living and breathing real estate since 2009, Sterling currently owns multiple businesses related to real estate, including Sterling White Enterprises, Sonder Investment Group, and other investment partnerships. Throughout the span of a decade, he has contributed to helping others become successful in the real estate industry. In addition, he has been directly involved with both buying and selling over 100 single family homes.

Sterling’s primary specialities include sales, marketing, crowdfunding, buy and hold investing, investment properties, and many more.

He was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode #308 and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to mindset and scaling a business online. He has been featured on multiple other podcasts, too.

When he isn’t immersed in the real world, Sterling likes reading motivational books, including Maverick Mindset by Doug Hall, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone.

As a thrill-seeker with an evident fear of heights, he somehow managed to jump off of a 65-foot cliff into deep water without flinching. (Okay, maybe a little bit…) Sterling is also an avid kale-eating traveller, but nothing is more important to him than family. His unusual habit is bird-watching, which he discovered he truly enjoyed during an Ornithology class from his college days.

Sterling attended the University of Indianapolis.

Instagram @sterlingwhiteofficial

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There is a darker side of entrepreneurship that few talk about. Failure to recognize this can cause a lot of stress and life detours. Here are some of the things I’ve learned on my journey as a business owner and entrepreneur so far.

5 Darker Aspects of Entrepreneurship You Need to Accept Before Taking the Plunge

If you earnestly throw yourself into active real estate investment or are launching your own business, you’ll soon encounter and realize the following.

1. It’s not glamorous.

It’s not all fame and glory, especially at the beginning. You’re often doing things you don’t want to do prior to being able to get someone else in there to take on those tasks. You’ll frequently find you are doing the same small, day-to-day tasks most of the time. Patience is the magic word.

2. You have to make sacrifices.

To find the time, funds, and traction you seek, you have to make sacrifices. You may have to give up a hobby to find the extra time. You may have to humble yourself to do tasks you normally wouldn’t dream of. You may have to cut back on what you spend until you turn a profit. With one of the first businesses I started, I actually had negative funds in my bank account. The bank provided a unofficial loan, which I paid back later, once I started bringing in profit.

emotional decision rehab

Related: 10 Entrepreneurs Share Their Most Memorable Mentor-Taught Lessons

3. Everything is up to you.

If you want to drive your business, no one is going to hold your hand. It is simply up to you to make it happen. You have to figure it out. You have to stay self-reliant and get yourself up and maintain productivity, even on the darkest days. No one is going to do it for you. Try reading the poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson regarding self-reliance. It was an eye opener for me. For those who have never lived the entrepreneur life, this point can be very stressful, and this is often what leads people back to the corporate world. 

4. You must constantly get better.

Even once you think you’ve made it, if you decide to settle, then your fortunes may be reversed. You must constantly innovate and grow. With the way technology is constantly changing and with A.I. coming into the picture, staying ahead of the curve is very important.

5. You’ll likely take a pay cut.

If you are starting a new business it’s likely you’re going to take a pay cut. You may break even or lose money your first year in business.


Related: 6 Powerful Benefits of Quitting Your Job and Becoming an Entrepreneur

The Flip Side

Of course, some do make it. They make it really big after enduring certain phases of entrepreneurship.

The decision to embrace and work through the above challenges really comes down to what you’re looking to achieve. If you want to build something big, then you’re going to have to put in the work. If you want to build something that is a hobby or a side gig, then that’s different. Your goals will guide you—if you remember to revisit them every day.

It’s simply a matter of whether you are cut out for the entrepreneur life or not. As a youngster on the school scene, I thrived during the periods between classes. This is when I sold anything I could get my hands on to friends and fellow students. Entrepreneurship was always in my blood, but it still took work. This isn’t for everyone, just like being a professional basketball or tennis player isn’t for everyone. Even those with talent have to make the sacrifice to get to the next level and stay there.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

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What aspects of entrepreneurship worry you the most? If you’ve already taken the plunge towards working for yourself, what has surprised you?

Let me know with a comment!