Non-Entrepreneurs Just Don't Understand Me

entrepreneur entrepreneurship Feb 03, 2021
Non-Entrepreneurs Just Don't Understand Me

After I was fired in July 2005 from my corporate job, I decided to become an entrepreneur.

Being completely transparent with you, I thought that the money would come rolling in once I became an entrepreneur.

It did not.

My first endeavor was to become a wedding and portrait photographer. I think I just wanted the excuse to buy all that cool gear. The truth is I had no idea what in the world I was doing: either being a photographer or running a business.

While that business failed, the one thing that came out of this effort was my love for speaking and training, so it wasn’t actually a failure.

According to my wife, who attended my speaking gigs, people really enjoyed my presentations. She told me that many attendees would take copious notes.

But I didn’t want to speak about photography

When I first started speaking, the purpose was to promote my photography business. But now that it was no longer, I had to come up with another topic.

My first idea was “how to go from hopeless to hopeful.” Yep, another dud.

Then I tried “how to overcome roadblocks on your path to success.” Another dud. Note to self: don’t attempt to teach people how to be successful when you’re not a success yourself.

Then one day, I had a phone call with my then coach.

I was not feeling my usual Tigger-ish self (from Winnie the Pooh). In fact, I was feeling more like Eeyore.

My coach asked what was going on.

I want to speak, but I don’t know what my topic should be.”

To which he replied, “Why don’t you speak on productivity?”

I paused.

I don’t know where that came from…why would you say that?”

He replied with the words that set me on the path I’m on today: “I know a lot of people, and you’re one of the most productive people I know. You should share that gift with the world.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

In January 2011, I launched

Feeling good about myself, I sat back and waited for the money to flow in.

It did not. Again.

I was so confused. I had a business, a topic, and a website.

What else did I need to do?

Where’s the money?

I was so confused.

What was I doing wrong?

Was I not meant to be an entrepreneur?

What in the world was going on?


Let me get real with you here.

Between the time I was fired in July 2005 and the end of 2020, I made $40,000.

Not a year.


And that’s not a joke but a real number.

If you are thinking to yourself, “how could anyone survive making $40K over 15.5 years?” you’re not alone.

The answer is I had a very supportive wife. She believed in my dream and went to work as I tried to figure out how to earn an income.

Lack of success was my fault

I can’t tell you how many courses I purchased or coaches I hired with the very little money we had from my wife’s job after paying our bills. It was insane.

Becoming desperate, I would get hooked by every ad on social media promising that it would be the thing that helped me make massive amounts of money.

It did not. Again and again.

But before I tell you the Paul Harvey “Rest of the Story,” let me get back to the subject of this article.

Through all the years, I can count on one hand (and wouldn’t have to use all of the fingers on that hand!) the number of people that believed in me and my eventual success.

That number is 2.

Yes, seriously.

My beloved wife, Michelle, and my Aunt Rori (age 84).

I can sense when people are lying to me or feeding me a line of crap, and I’ve never felt this from either of them.

The thing Michelle has always told me is, “what if?” In other words, what if she gave up on me, I get a “real job” (whatever that means), and then the money starts rolling in? What if?

So, I kept on keeping on.

Every. Single. Day.

I found out who my real friends were

There are friends…and there are friends.

I’m not talking about “friends” on social media but rather people who really care and want the best for you.

Several people who were nearing retirement age (I consider the “R” word to be vulgar) have told me, “it’s time to give this thing you’re trying to do up and get a real job” and “I don’t think it’s fair to Michelle to make her work to support your family. Don’t you love her?” Both of these statements really irritated my wife. In fact, she felt personally insulted.

At first, these statements made me angry.

But then I felt sorry for those who said and/or thought these things.

I couldn’t imagine working 30 or 40 years, retiring, and then dying.

Nope. That’s not the plan for me.

If that’s what you want, you do you.

I’m planning to live to triple digits…which means I still have around 45 years to go.


While I’m not a billionaire or even a millionaire yet, I can tell you that things are finally starting to head in a positive direction.

I now have paying clients, and more people are consuming what I put out into the world on Medium (if you like what I’m writing here, please follow me and give my articles a clap if you enjoy them), in The Mark Struczewski Insider (my email newsletter), on The Mark Struczewski Podcast, or on social media.

While I wish it didn’t take as long as it has, I know that everything happens for a reason.

This is my time.

And I am more than ready.


I’ll close by sharing this story.

The other day when I was out on my 30-minute run at 5:15 am (I get up seven days a week at 5:00 am), I listened to a podcast, and a thought popped into my head: 5–5–5–5.

$5k a month = $60k a year (gross).

$5k a week = $260k a year (gross).

$5k a day = $1.8M a year (gross).

$5k an hour (every single hour over the course of a year) = $43.7M a year (gross).

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that or why $5k was the anchor. I’m just sharing what it is.

I won't tell you where I’m at right now other than to say it’s not $5k an hour (yet)!

No matter where you are, the important thing is to believe in yourself.

If anyone is telling you to give up, to get a real job (if you’re an entrepreneur), or in any way not supporting you, jettison them from your life.

There are plenty of people who are in the world who are cheering you on.

I’m one of them!

Let’s do this.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading it.

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