12 Secrets to Finding Fulfillment as an Entrepreneur

Members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their insights on what it takes to stay happy as a business owner.

Published on May. 18, 2022
12 Secrets to Finding Fulfillment as an Entrepreneur
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Headshots of contributing YEC members
Top row, from left: Ryan Rose, Solomon Thimothy, Duncan Inci, Ryann Dowdy. Middle row, from left: Jared Weitz, Ismael Wrixen, Mary Harcourt, Vanessa Nornberg. Bottom row, from left: John Brackett, Fehzan Ali, Syed Balkhi, Jared Atchison.

Owning a business can be a trying journey. If you’re in it for the long haul, you may find your passion or motivation — or maybe both — waning over time. With the stress of running and scaling the business, plus dedicating the time necessary to develop your skills as an employer and industry leader, you can too easily let your own happiness and fulfillment take a back seat to the success of the company.

As business leaders themselves, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council understand the stressors of entrepreneurship, but they also know what it takes to thrive despite them. Below, they share some of the secrets to staying happy and fulfilled as an entrepreneur and why doing so is important.

12 Secrets to Finding Fulfillment as an Entrepreneur

  1. Happily implement work into your life.
  2. Build a business around your passion.
  3. Check in with yourself regularly.
  4. Allow yourself to change your mind.
  5. Connect with your “why” regularly.
  6. Find balance.
  7. Delegate tasks you don't love.
  8. Accept that there will always be challenges.
  9. Set short- and long-term goals.
  10. Recognize it’s a marathon.
  11. Tie your work to something meaningful.
  12. Prioritize yourself.

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1. Happily Implement Work Into Your Life

You have to genuinely enjoy implementing your work into your life. I define work-life balance as entwining your work into your daily activities so that its not compartmentalized separately. Avoiding “siloing” work prevents me from thinking of it as separate from my life and instead allows me to see all beneficial angles. — Ryan RoseJoneKiri


2. Build a Business Around Your Passion

Build a business around something you are truly passionate about. A business idea might look attractive and potentially profitable, and sometimes even easy to implement. Nothing is easy if you intend to achieve fantastic results, though. Things will get tough. Youll need that passion to keep going. — Solomon ThimothyOneIMS


3. Check In With Yourself Regularly

Routinely check in with yourself and ask what you want out of your business venture. You can lose sight of your initial goals when raising capital or working with manufacturers. Track your successes, little and big. Remember to ground yourself by focusing on your strengths. — Duran InciOptimum7


4. Allow Yourself to Change Your Mind

Question everything. Be OK with changing your mind. Give yourself permission to stop doing things that dont fulfill you, whether by shelving a product that you dont love or by outsourcing activities that you dont enjoy doing. Changing your mind and reinventing yourself (and your business) as much as you want is OK. — Ryann DowdyUncensored Consulting, LLC


5. Connect With Your ‘Why’ Regularly

We become entrepreneurs because of a dream or idea we have. But the reality of being an entrepreneur is hard work and long hours. The secret to staying happy is to identify the “why” that initially led you down the path to open your own business, then take time to connect with that “why” regularly. — Jared WeitzUnited Capital Source Inc.


6. Find Balance

Entrepreneurs can easily become bogged down by their work because we are notoriously passionate, driven and persistent. Although these traits often drive much of our success, they can also lead to our downfall. Too much work and no play becomes miserable and unfulfilling. For entrepreneurs to stay happy and fulfilled, they must have balance and make time for activities that benefit them holistically. — Ismael WrixenFE International


7. Delegate Tasks You Dont Love

Delegate. Make a list of everything you love doing in your business and another list of the things you dont like. Take the list of things you dont like doing and outsource them or put someone else in charge of them. You’ll be left with a list of things you love doing in your business. These are the things you find joy in. You will feel more fulfilled and happy when you are able to do the things you love to do. — Mary HarcourtCosmoGlo


8. Accept That There Will Always Be Challenges

When I started Metal Mafia, I was focused on getting the business to the point where every department would run smoothly. Each time we got close to perfection, something would go awry — someone would quit, a product would be late — frustrating me to no end. Only when I accepted that there would always be a challenge to face did I begin to feel fulfilled and happy as an entrepreneur. — Vanessa NornbergMetal Mafia


9. Set Short- and Long-Term Goals

In my experience, the secret to staying happy and fulfilled is to set both long- and short-term goals. If you simply say, I want to build a successful product, and then you do, you will feel fulfilled for a little while, but youll need to think about what happens next. Preparing quarterly and annual goals helps me stay focused on my five-year plan. — John BrackettSmash Balloon LLC


10. Recognize Its a Marathon

The secret to being and staying happy as an entrepreneur is recognizing the marathon and expecting frequent challenges. Its also important to recognize that because business is a marathon, you need to compartmentalize your work in a way that allows you to stay grounded and enjoy your family, friends, hobbies and life in general. — Fehzan AliAdscend Media LLC


11. Tie Your Work to Something Meaningful

When you achieve success as an entrepreneur, the usual goals of making your business grow further or creating new products wont be as exciting as before. Instead, youll start searching for ways to tie your work to something more meaningful, like helping other people and giving back. Look for ways to connect with people and help them early on, and youll always feel fulfilled and happy. — Syed BalkhiWPBeginner


12. Prioritize Yourself

No secret formula exists for staying happy as an entrepreneur. You need to actively strive for these things every day to feel like youre living a meaningful life. Prioritize yourself as a business owner because your time is precious. You dont have a lot of it when youre an entrepreneur, so intentionally setting aside time to enjoy the things you love is a must. — Jared AtchisonWPForms

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