Becoming an entrepreneur is a huge deal. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. But because the choice to transform into a business owner has been so heavily glamorized over the past decade, many people feel surprised and guilty about the fact that it can actually be a pretty tough choice to make. There’s no doubt about it—once you’ve made up your mind to take the plunge and live as an entrepreneur, your life will never been the same.
In particular, here are five decisions that’ll change your life forever as an entrepreneur:
1. The decision to become an entrepreneur.
The actual decision to join the rapidly growing number of entrepreneurs is a life-changer in and of itself. So many things come along with choosing to go it alone in business—some good, and others not so much.
But one thing is clear: once you’ve made the choice to join the club, that’s something that nobody else can take away from you. Sure, you can choose to return to work for someone else as an employee, but you’ll never truly stop being an entrepreneur. Once you've had a taste, you’ll never be able to forget.
2. The decision to never stop improving.
A hallmark trait of entrepreneurs is their perpetual discontent. Most of the time, this is a good thing. As an employee, you’re performing to meet standards. As an entrepreneur, you’re continuously looking to make things better, to improve on the present and to slash the status quo.
You won’t be able to see things simply at face value anymore. The urge to figure out why and how to improvise or redesign what you’re currently experiencing will never go away. Entrepreneurship places an insatiable desire for “better” within you.
3. The decision to dive full time into your adventure.
Many of us who take the plunge begin by running a business on the side. This is the smart and safe approach, so to speak, and it’s not surprising that a large number of people take it. But the day will come when you’ve had enough, or an opportunity is brought before you that you simply can’t turn down. So you cut other ties that are holding you back, and choose to set sail into the ocean of full-time entrepreneurship. The new waters you now find yourself in will bring with them more stress, but also more freedom than you’ve ever imagined.
4. The decision to never give up.
Failing and giving up are two very different things. Events that you’ll perceive as failures will come. They’re the unavoidable part of every entrepreneur’s story. Yet, we still carry on.
The decision to never give up changes your life forever, and will always make you different from those around you. Even if entrepreneurs die before starting a successful business, they simply ran out of time—they never gave up.
5. The decision to give back.
One of the greatest things about being an entrepreneur is the opportunity to give back in a bigger way. Choosing to view the world based on who you can help is a life-changing decision. You notice the people that helped you see your calling. There are those that saw you through the first few tough times of your venture, friends, family and charitable causes. Even the people who are just beginning right now need a helping hand from someone who knows what it’s like going it alone in business.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.