When people envision creating their own business, the world is full of promise.
They think about quitting their jobs, making an impact on the world, and living the lifestyle they always dreamed of. They picture themselves being able to do whatever they want, whenever they want. The sky’s the limit.
I hear it all the time. It’s easy to feel amped up and ready to take on the world. But once the reality of the uphill grind sets in, a lot of people gradually let go of their dream and look for another shortcut to success.
Running a business is hard. Now, this isn’t meant to put you off from doing so. Not at all. Instead, think of it as a way of preparing yourself for the difficulties that lie ahead.
Starting and running your business is an incredible journey for those who are willing to walk that road. So if you think you have what it takes, learning about the harsh truths of running a business will encourage you to keep moving when you encounter obstacles.
Here are five things you should know before starting a business:
1. It’s a commitment.
When people say that learning a skill or building anything requires a long-term approach, many of us just nod our heads. It’s as if we hear it all the time, but it doesn’t really register internally. As a result, many people get tired of working on their business and chase after something new because it feels fresh and exciting.
Starting and sticking to a business is like trying to master any skill. It takes patience and responsibility to nurture and grow a business. Sometimes working on it can feel boring, while other times it can be fun. The key is to be consistent.
2. There will be growing pains at every step.
“If I can just get this off the ground, then everything will be okay.” This is a common train of thought people have when they first start a business. They figure that if they can just past the beginning, which they believe is the hard part, then it’ll be smooth sailing afterward.
While this may be a nice way to motivate yourself initially, the truth is that each stage of your business will have its difficulties. Once you’ve learned to grow your business past one step, then the next step will have a different set of challenges. You’ll have to continually think about how to get your business to grow, innovate, and sustain itself in a changing environment.
3. You’re not as good as you think.
People, especially beginners, tend to overestimate their abilities. We think we can do anything we set our minds to. It’s only when we attempt something and fail that we realize our true skill level.
That’s okay. It’s completely normal and just part of the process. You can keep improving by practicing and learning from those who are more advanced than you are. Which leads me to my next point…
4. You will learn a lot.
Unlike most jobs, where you do the same things over and over again, starting a business requires you to be a jack-of-all-trades. You’ll have to manage many aspects of the business yourself, which will teach you a lot in the process. Outside of your business, you’ll also learn along the way by reading articles and books, attending seminars, and talking to other people.
Sometimes you learn by trying things out, and other times you learn by making mistakes. The learning curve can be quite steep, and you won’t know what to do right away at times. It’s all part of the process.
5. You will feel like giving up.
Do you ever hear successful people talk about those tough times they faced when they were starting out? That will be you. You will question your efforts. You will want to pull your hair out as you wonder what on earth you are doing. You will feel like quitting.
There will be times when it feels like you’re putting in all the work, yet you’re getting little in return. It will sometimes feel like you’re hitting a brick wall repeatedly. And then there will be times when you finally make a breakthrough and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Those times will make you feel that all the pain was worth the effort.
Everyone who tries at something will have these thoughts going through their heads. The difference is whether you give in or keep pushing forward.
Originally published on Medium.
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