Vincent Pugliese

The Reality- Business Is Hard

It would be looking through rose colored glasses to say that this whole ‘running a business’ thing will be all, well, rosey. 

It’s not. 

Being an entrepreneur, running a business, being self employed- is hard. But as I heard my friend John Lee Dumas say, we get to choose our hard. 

I never appreciate the perspective from veteran entrepreneurs who gloat that this is easy. Certain days are easy. Certain weeks might feel easy. But, overall, this ain’t easy. What those entrepreneurs who are chilling at the beach, with those rose colored shades protecting their eyes from the rays are forgetting is all of the discomfort that comes from this life that they might have just gotten used to. 

There should be a manual for each of us to study before we even think of starting our own business. Maybe I am starting one now, come to think of it. What do we wish we would have known, understood, prepared ourself for and been ready to deal with before we even started?

1- As noble as your vision is, and as much as you are in it to help, people will talk about you. They will talk behind your back. They will talk about you to your face (I prefer this version). They will say things to you that they would never have said if you were just ‘working a job. 

2- Your friends won’t support you. Get used to it. Expect it. Prepare for it.  The support you do get will be bonus. But if you go out to make it on your own, be prepared to get the cold shoulder from friends who either never had it in them to go after it, or from the ones who tried it but couldn’t make it. Do you wonder why you get tons traction when you post on social media about your kids, your politics or your favorite movie but when you post something business wise, it’s just not the same?

3- When you start, some (or most) of your clients will be friends. But don’t be surprised if they turn out to be your worst clients. They will ask for discounts. They will expect you to work much harder for them than if they hired someone that they don’t know. I don’t know what it is about the alignment of the universe and whichever way the vortex is directed, but it’s almost a universal law. They will him and haw, nickel and dime, push boundaries on your time. And then you will go to a store with them where there is no connection and they will overspend, have no demands and think nothing of it. 

The good news? Once you’ve moved past this stage of your friends being your clients and you’ve learned boundaries, it does change for the better. There is a reason why veteran entrepreneurs have a “We don’t work with friends policy”. 

4- Entrepreneurial anxiety is a real thing. I don’t remember waking up at 3am as an employee except to wonder how the heck I can get out of the rate race of being a career slave. But as a business owner? It’s happened more times than I can count. Did that post get scheduled? Crap, I forgot to respond to that message! That invoice still wasn’t paid? Why did they not sign up when they said they were going to? Is it all falling apart? Will anyone even care about this?

These are real thoughts from real entrepreneurs. These are real thoughts that have woken up real entrepreneurs in the middle of the night. 

5- Until you know better, you will do everything. Remember at that job when you had a marketing department. Yeah, that’s you. Finance Director? Yeah, you. Sales? You guessed it. You. Creative talent? It’s so you. Everything else as well? You, again. 

So these are just five things. I can keep going. And going. And going. 

Maybe you are asking yourself this question. Why do all of this? It sounds awful! And some of this is awful. But that is why the business owner is a special breed. They went though this even though they weren’t given this manual. They have lost sleep, lost friends, doubted themselves, wallowed in insecurity and been stuck in throws of depression. They quite literally have had days when they felt like their ideas were going to change to world and the next day sat on the end of their bed, with their head in their hands, questioning everything. And that was before the day got interesting. 

I really think future entrepreneurs need this manual. Maybe they would have stayed in our neurotic little club a little longer if they knew what was coming. We prepare kids for twelve years in school to be a good little employee for forty five years but give no preparation to this world of entrepreneurship. Because if they saw all of the bad stuff, if they were read for the challenges that awaited them, if they were hardened to the realities that come with this wild ride, they would be able to make it to the last page of the manual where there would only be four words. 

It’s all worth it. 


An Introduction To The 80/20 Rule

What I want to bring to you, each week in this blog, is a topic that will help you gain the freedom that you want in your life. So many people crave financial freedom. But what is overlooked is the concept of time freedom.  When you can learn to free your time, and be less

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How (And Why) We Should Accept Compliments

I’ve never been good at accepting compliments. Now don’t get me wrong. I want the compliments- sometimes way too often. I have craved the compliments but I was never good at accepting them. WIth that,  I was called out publicly a few years ago on a mastermind call that I was on with John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneurs on Fire. I don’t remember who it was, I think it was Roger Whitney, the host of the Retirement Answerman Podcast who gave me the compliment. Roger is my friend yet the compliment took me by surprise. Others in the group agreed with him and I responded with a very muted, okay, thanks, or the whole ‘it’s no big deal’ type of thing. And John called me out on it, which I so appreciated as painful as it was in the moment. And this is why I love masterminds. And why I love accountability. I don’t respond well when people complain about judgment or they say ‘who are you to question me on what I did’? You can have a great life- go do your thing-  but we’re not going to relate. I like challenges,. Especially when they come from people care about me. And if you can’t take constructive criticism from somebody who cares about you, you’re always going to be limited in your growth. So some people can call it criticism, but it was one of the best pieces of advice.  John basically said to me, don’t do that. You need to be able to handle compliments better than you do. And he explained that we are diminishing the other person’s gratefulness by doing that. And I’ve never really thought of it that way. Actually, I know I’ve never thought of it that way. I always thought that I was being humble. I didn’t want to brag. I didn’t want to pound my chest and say, yeah, I did do that. Nobody loves somebody that does that. But there’s a big difference between being quiet, defensive, and evasive than there is from the bragger. It’s actually two ends of the spectrum and neither of them are good. So I’ve met John many times. I’ve seen him at conferences. He gets swarmed by people, often people that want to tell them how much he’s helped them with this podcast. And he mentioned to me how he handles compliments. He handles it with a lot of gratitude and appreciation and he makes sure that there’s the big smile that goes with it. As well as a giant, thank you. And the appreciation for this person to go out of their way to give him a compliment. You have to understand the true thankfulness does not give off an appearance of vanity or excessive pride. What you are doing is you are appreciating that person’s compliments and giving them recognition. Now I’m going to guess that if you’re listening, you probably don’t go overly crazy on self praise. It’s just a guess. I’m also going to guess that you might go way on the other end and you might deflect or even feel uncomfortable but what’s even worse is if you reject it. But when you reject the compliment, you are not only  downplaying yourself, but you’re downplaying them as well. And without meaning it you’re downplaying their intelligence because if they truly believe in what you did and they’ve truly given you a great compliment, and you tell them that it wasn’t any good or it really wasn’t worth it, Basically what you’re telling them is that their opinion is an accurate. It’s an insult to the person giving you the compliment. So when you reject or deflect a compliment, what you’re really doing is you’re projecting the idea that you have low self esteem. I’m sure you’ve had it where you’ve given a compliment and it’s been blown off. It’s happened to me. And I don’t know about you, but I feel that way. I feel like I gave a compliment, I believed in them and they didn’t believe in themselves. And it made me feel like maybe I was wrong in thinking that way. Somebody else we might want to avoid when you’re in that spot is to get into a compliment comparison. Have you ever done it? When somebody gives you a compliment and you have to give them a compliment right back. Someone says, ‘Your hair looks great! And you immediately respond with ‘Oh, your hair looks great too!’. And they’re like, I’m wearing a hat. And you might think, why couldn’t I just accept their compliment? Instead, I needed to give it right back. And now it seems phony because what will happen is you’ll come across insincere. So to begin with you’re deflecting, you’re getting it away from yourself, which goes back to what we talked about earlier. But you have to think about this- were you really going to compliment that person on what you did compliment them on? Would you have just walked up to that person and said, ‘Your hair looks great today’ when they’re wearing a hat? No, of course you wouldn’t. It’s got to be sincere. It’s got to be meaningful. And it’s got. to be honest. So stop doing that.

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The Price of Perfection

The price of perfectionism. According to author Valerie Young, perfectionists who hit 99% of their goals still feel like a failure. These are the people who are the ones who need to know every piece of information before they can start. I am sure that there are people that are cringing as they’re reading this. Even in our mastermind calls, there are people that will say- no- I need to get this thing done perfectly before I can move on to that next thing. They are the ones that who say things like ‘I’m not an expert enough to teach people what I know’ and that I need to learn more. You need to study more before you can even start to put anything out there. Does that sound familiar? That in essence is perfectionism. These are the ones that are always looking for new certifications or a new skills to learn before they can go forward. The perfectionist just need that next certificate, that next course or or if they can get this next part just right then I can get started. So in the episode of The Total Life Freedom Podcast, I talked about my book and self-sabotage. Today I’m going to give you a lesson that I learned that forced me to actually finish and publish my book and get over my own perfectionism. So when I first had the idea of writing a book, I went to different book clubs to learn. I wanted to meet with other authors, to see what they’re doing and soak it all in. I was hoping to learn from them, get inspiration for them and maybe possibly help. But I really wasn’t sure who or how I could

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How To Reinvent Yourself

And Then Covid Happened… That is a book title if you’d like to run with it. And I’m not talking about anything to do with health. But I am talking about how so many businesses and careers were tossed around and flipped on their side like a swath of boats strewn along the land after

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The Rich Don’t Work For Money

Andrew is walking towards me. He has a tarantula in one hand and a plastic red Solo cup filled with money in the other.  In that moment, it was obvious that he was on to something. Andrew is our oldest son- a sixteen-year-old who who was fifteen at the time. He has always had an

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