The Ugly Truth About Being an Entrepreneur
I’m here to give it to you straight friends: the gritty truth about being an entrepreneur.
Many individuals would gladly sacrifice the 9–5 grind for a chance at becoming an entrepreneur, with the promise of becoming your own boss, developing a business of your own creation, and watching it grow and thrive.
Being a cofounder and witnessing the startup develop from a startup into a truly successful company has been a wild and rewarding experience, but there are definitely some aspects about being an entrepreneur that no one warned me about.
You Have to be Insanely Self-Motivated
To simply say that you need to be self-motived in order to become a successful entrepreneur is an understatement. You need to be the kind of person who will move mountains or die trying at times. You’ll also need to be authentically curious about the world, with a thirst for solving problems. When you first launch a startup, you’re on your own. Eventually you may grow your team and bring great folks onboard to help, but for a while you’ll riding solo. This means you (and only you) are the marketer, the finances coordinator, the PR director, the head of customer service, etc. You will be wearing every hat under the sun.
However, if you’re self-motivated, this can be a fun and exciting learning opportunity. Just know that you’ll be playing every instrument in the jazzensemble, so prepare to be challenged!
You Won’t Get Rich — At Least Not Right Away
If your business starts to grow and become successful, it can feel fantastic! Suddenly you’re seeing big money roll in, and you might get rands sign eyes. It’s tempting to go on spending sprees (because buying a Range Rover / AMG makes you a superhero) and reward yourself for all of your hard work. The reality is you should be feeding and growing your business with the money it brings in — not treating your business like your personal piggy bank.
Good bootstrapping builds a long-term profitable business, so avoid self-indulgence and keep yourself on a low salary. Besides, your worn-out boots look vintage, and you can get all your daily nutrients from drinking water.
Procrastination is a Death Sentence
When you become your own boss, there’s no professor or manager breathing down your neck. You set your own hours and you exchange a suit and tie for sweatpants (jeans if you’re feeling classy). Your office space ranges from an incubator , your room / friends or colleagues room to local cafes and restaurants. All this lack of structure is extremely dangerous for procrastinators, who might find themselves watching just one more Game of Thrones episode before getting back to work. Suddenly it’s 3am, and they dose off without doing the work.
Finding Your Dream Team is Tough
Establishing your first startup is immensely exciting, and while you may feel 100% onboard, it can often be difficult to get others to share your enthusiasm.Don’t be too shocked when your friends and colleagues aren’t so keen on joining you on your magical journey into the wondrous world of startups.
My advise is hire the right people for the right reasons instead of your relationship with them.
Your Pride Could Be Seriously Wounded
The harsh reality is that around 80% of businesses fail, which doesn’t make for great odds. What’s worse is that as an entrepreneur, your roadblocks become public knowledge as family, friends, and acquaintances continue to ask, “so how’s that company of yours going?” You can’t imagine how fun Xmas is.
Accept that you may fail, but instead of wallowing, learn from your missteps.Some entrepreneurs go through several failed startups before finding their golden ticket. It requires a degree of humility to accept education and insight from your mistakes, so check your ego at the door.
Success Never Tasted So Good
Being an entrepreneur can be tough, but the rewards are tremendous. People can tell you how good it feels to see your business win and thrive, but until you see it happen, it’s hard to really comprehend the sheer joy and satisfaction. Especially when your business gets acquired and you have money and freedom to pursue other ventures you want.
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T : @ngalekat