Saivian Says, The Truth about Starting a Business: It’s Not All Rainbows and Unicorns

I’m at the beach right now on vacation with my family. I finally got around to waking up and catching some sun for the first time this year. This has not been an easy post to write, but it is necessary says Saivian.

Getting started in business is HARD work, possibly one of the most difficult things you can ever do in your life. Today I will tell you all about my experience starting three businesses over the past nine years, knowing these stories could change your life forever if you take action upon them…

I will also give away some very important numbers that were part of my experiences so that you can get a basic idea of what it actually took for me to build each of these businesses — You might be surprised by how much “blood, sweat and tears” are actually required.

The Reality:

You see, when you’re starting a business it’s not all about sitting in your pajamas all day long, working on your computer from the comfort of your own home. (Although that would be nice!)

In fact, the first two years of my first business I averaged only 2-3 hours of sleep per night because I was working so hard to make it successful says Saivian. And that was on top of my “day job” which I also had at the time.

I was constantly networking, meeting new people, pitching my services/products, trying to close deals, and doing whatever else I could do to grow my business.

It was tough and I didn’t even realize at the time exactly what it was going to take for me to make my company a success.

This might be one of the best analogies ever: When you’re starting out and trying to accomplish your goals, it’s like digging a hole in the ground with a spoon — It’s REALLY hard work!

However, as soon as you start making progress, eventually, you’ll get cuts and bruises all over your hands because IT IS HARD WORK. Then once you build up momentum (and maybe invest in some shovels), it will become easier and easier…

FIVE Numbers That Will Surprise You:

Let me share with you the five numbers that surprised me most during this so that you can have a better idea of what you are in for if you are thinking about starting a business…

1. The average number of hours per week an entrepreneur spends working on their business VS the average number of hours per week they actually work their “day job”.

It’s not uncommon to hear entrepreneurs say that they only spend 20% or even 10% of their time working on their actual business while still employed at their day job.

But here is the truth: From my experience, it takes someone who has already built up some momentum at least twice as many hours to work on your startup than if you were just doing both jobs simultaneously (i.e., keeping your day job while building your startup). I believe this is one reason why so many entrepreneurs fail…

For me personally, I would work from 8 am – 4 pm at my day job and then come home and work on my startup until 12 am or 1 am every night. Keep in mind that this is WITHOUT any income coming into the business!

2. The percentage of businesses that make $50,000 per year vs those who make $500k+ per year.

When you are first starting out, it’s probably not very realistic to expect that you will be able to quit your day job anytime soon (if ever). Therefore, for many people, this means they will only be working part-time on their business while still having their day job as well explains Saivian.

This was definitely true for me — Even after spending countless hours building my business, it still took me an additional 3 years to reach the point where I could comfortably say that I was making more than $50,000 per year from my business ventures.

Interestingly enough, only 2% of businesses make more than $500,000 per year but they are obviously doing something very right!

3. The average amount of time it takes to start making a full-time income from your business.

Again, this number will vary depending on a lot of different factors (e.g., the industry you are in, how much capital you have to invest, etc.), but on average it takes about 4-5 years to start making a full-time income from your business explains Saivian.

Keep in mind that this number is for businesses who have ALREADY reached a point where they are making a full-time income (not just generating some revenue).

4. The percentage of businesses that are still in business after 5 years.

This was actually one of the most surprising numbers to me — only about 36% of businesses are still in business after 5 years.

Now, I’m not saying that you should expect your business to fail in 5 years, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind and something you should be planning for.

5. The percentage of businesses that is profitable.

Lastly, this was another number that surprised me — only about 50% of businesses are profitable.

Again, I’m not saying that you should expect your business to fail, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind and something you should be planning for.


When I first started building my business, I had no idea what the numbers would look like when I got started says Saivian. However, after some time (and some research), these are the five numbers that surprised me most about how this all works.