Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we get asked weird things.
Things that make you scratch your head and say, “did I just hear that correctly?”
Turns out you’re in good company.
In dire need of support and reassurance, I turned to my fellow personal finance bloggers to see what kind of weird stuff they get asked.
The results are hilarious!
The video below details some of my favorite comments.
Noteworthy comments are:
Q: “So…. what do you do again?”
A: “C’mon mom, I’ve already told you a thousand times…”
This is a common question. I guess working on the internet, selling digital courses and monetizing clicks is a strange world. And yes, most online entrepreneurs do sit around in their pjs all day. In case you were wondering, it is AWESOME!
Q: “You’re so lucky you don’t have to work very much!”
A: “Define not very much. Does 70 hours a week count as not much?”
Au contraire! Entrepreneurs typically work longer hours, harder days, and have the extra burden of being the person in charge of figuring it out. This is especially true for start-ups. Your brain is on 24 hours a day.
Q: “How much money do you make?”
A: “How much is your salary per year? Oh, I’m sorry. Was that too personal?”
Guys, people actually ask this- with a straight face too! If you aren’t the IRS or my significant other it’s none of your business.
Q: “What’s your backup plan? We all know businesses usually fail.”
A: “My backup plan is to not fail.”
To be fair, trying to start a business that we think will fail is not exactly the goal here. In our hearts we believe this crazy idea has legs. We already have enough self-doubt, we really don’t need any more fuel to the fire.
Q: “How many views does your website have? How many email subscribers do you have? etc.”
A: “Is this the modern day who caught the bigger fish talk?”
Ah yes, the comparison game. The game in which no one wins. Unless you are planning on partnering with someone, this is really irrelevant information.
Q: “Can I pick your brain?”
This is a tough question to get asked because it usually means someone is in desperate need of help. While you want to help them, as an entrepreneur, your time is very limited. Sometimes that one coffee date means missing out on seeing your already neglected family for an extra hour. Picking your brain requests also usually mean, “can I get you to share your knowledge for free?”
Q: “Can you watch my kids?”
A: “Oh sure! Would your boss mind if I dropped off my dog at your office Thursday?”
The only difference between someone who works from home and someone who works for “the man,” is the office location. Working from home does not mean you have more free-time. It just means your desk is the kitchen table. It’s still work and kids are distracting. If you’re not comfortable bringing kids to the office with you, don’t ask if someone will watch your kids in their home office.
Q: “Would you run this errand for me? Since you don’t have much going on.”
A: “Seriously? You want me to put my Grey’s Anatomy marathon on hold??”
While it is true entrepreneurs have time flexibility, this does not mean we are not on a schedule. Most entrepreneurs have certain times where they can tune out, get sh*t done and get in their zone. Point is, we are working. Let us work in peace.
Q: “I could totally do your job!”
A: “And I could totally be an engineer overnight too!”
Writing, blogging, online marketing, and any other type of business takes skill. Skills are not learned overnight; they are developed from years of practice and dedication. Saying you can do the same thing without having any experience is incredibly insulting.
Q: “When are you going to get a real job?”
A: “Real job? You mean with a cubicle and Xerox machine.”
When Pew Research shows that 70% of people hate their job, it’s awfully tempting to laugh when someone says you should be doing a certain job that society deems “real.” Real is two week vacations, 401Ks, and checking out at 5pm. Entrepreneurs expect more out of their work and life.
But this last comment from Patrice Cunningham Washington’s father had me rolling on the floor.
“So people actually pay you to speak? But why you? Were other people busy?”
Hopefully this article sheds some light and brought some laughs. Most importantly, I hope it shows that there are multiple ways to approaching a career. Being an entrepreneur is a career and just because they work from home does not mean they should be treated any differently.
Special thanks to everyone from the FinCon community who shared their insights on what people really say to them!