Guest Blog: Jacob Repp on “Life As An Entrepreneur”

I’ve had the privilege to own my own financial services business for about two years. And let me tell you it has been a roller coaster of a journey. People, including my clients, always listen to my advice. The hours are short and the effort it takes is easy. I never wake up in the morning or go to bed at night thinking about the next steps and where my next business is going to come from. And there are never times when I hate my boss (me).

Obviously, that is all sarcasm because there are days that I wish that I can have a sick day or send someone in my place because I’m not feeling like doing something or going somewhere. Those don’t exist. There is no room to complain about my boss because any success or failure falls on my shoulders, nobody else’s. Oh, and because I am the boss. Being an entrepreneur is a constant love/hate relationship and a double-edged sword. The same freedom you have can kill you. The consistency of income isn’t there. Everything that I do has a lag effect, usually 2-3 months down the road, which doesn’t bode well if I’m looking for some instant gratification. My 8-5 job friends also don’t get it. “Just worry about that tomorrow” or “Don’t take your work home,” are common phrases I’ve heard, but as you know if you are an entrepreneur your life and your business are intertwined. You have to grind, and you have to think about what’s next constantly. Nothing goes according to plan, and there is only so much that is in your control. What is plan B, C, D, and E? Corporate American just don’t understand that mentality.

These two years have been two years of joy and sorrow, success and failure, growth and pain, excitement and regret, and faith and second-guessing. It’s weird because I love what I do and I’ve experienced probably every emotion possible while trying to grow my business. Do I miss my life in corporate America? There are times. But being able to build something from scratch and literally make life-altering impacts on the lives of real people in the midst of the good, bad, and the ugly of life brings so much satisfaction. I wouldn’t try that for the world. I’m still learning how to value my time, how to prioritize, how to find times for self-care, and everything else that any self-employed person struggles with, but it is totally worth it. Someday I’ll be at the table making decisions that will shape Des Moines 30-40 years from now into an even better city. Until then, let’s partner together, help as many people as possible, and change the world together. Us entrepreneurs need to stick together because the journey can get lonely and discouraging. There are days you just need a whiskey and Coke and a friend that understands who will laugh or cry with you. Reach out to me, I totally get it. We need each other, almost like therapy.

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