Entrepreneurship is very exciting, but with the good there are a lot of bad and ugly parts about it. Now this post isn’t to discourage you in any way, but you need to know what you’re getting into. A lot of people out there (mostly the ones trying to get you to sign up for their program) will try to sell you the dream… nice cars, nice boat, and traveling around the world. Now while you can get those items it’s going to take a lot of time and dedication. By time, I’m talking years!
There is a lot of talk in the about being an entrepreneur with shows like Shark Tank, but what you see on TV is nothing like it is in life. (Except for The Profit – They do a little more on entrepreneurship than most shows). Here are a few things that you should be ready for if you’re planning on starting your own business full time.
1. Money – You better have some saved or be ready to knock down some doors. Money will most likely not come right away. Depending on your product or service, you must build trust with your customers. You can’t dump tons of money on Google, Facebook, or TV and get clients flowing through the doors or your website. If your business is in the service industry, you need to network your butt off. Go to every networking event in your area and meet people. If you’re in the product business you need to get that product in front of as many as you can by going to trade shows, industry specific events, networking, etc. Now, these days it is easier to get in front of people with social media but don’t sit at home all day on social media trying to grow your business. Get out and met people.
2. Freedom – While you’ll be your own boss, this is one of the biggest lies many entrepreneurs tell themselves. While you do have freedom to do what you want, if you’re not working on your business or growing it, you will soon no longer have freedom. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d rather work 60-70 hours a week than work 40 hour a week for someone else. However, you will be working longer hours than you ever did. You will be working nights, weekends, or when your clients need your help. The only way to have more freedom is to grow. Hire help as fast as you can. Don’t fall for these fake social media post that talk about working one hour a day at the beach and traveling. While you can have that kind of life it won’t happen right away, and could take several years. Entrepreneurship is hard work. Period.
3. Family / Friends – Your friends and family will think you’re nuts and that you should get a job. Many of your friends and family won’t understand what you’re going through. You will lose friends but you will gain new ones. Surround yourself with like-minded people and make new friends. You want to be around people that will lift you up and not push you down. Don’t let someone discourage you of your goals. Your family will be the worst ones (only because they love you).
If you’re married or in a seriously relationship, this gets even more tricky. You MUST (absolute must) have a supportive spouse. If you don’t, your marriage or business will fail. Do not think your spouse will wait around because you’re doing this for them. While some may, there are many that won’t. The mental stress from entrepreneurship is hard on everyone.
4. Mental Stress – Not only do you have to worry about the stuff I spoke about above, the journey is hard and will have many ups and downs. One day you’ll be on top of the world and the next you could be curled up in corner because you don’t know what to do. As mentioned above, surround yourself with like-minded people. You want to always be positive and keep going because you will want to quit every day. It will be lonely and you will need others to help you get through it. Your family will not understand unless they’ve been down that road themselves. You also don’t want your loneliness to make you isolate yourself from others. Loneliness and isolation can turn into something worse, such as depression, which can wreck your business and sometimes your life.
While these maybe scary don’t allow it to prevent you from starting a business or living your dream. Entrepreneurship is hard but worth it in the long run.
Let me know if you have any questions about starting your own business.