What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Entrepreneurship”? A good looking guy, dressed like a GQ business model with the latest and most expensive foreign car. Right? This is a common assumption and mostly a misconception about the lifestyle of entrepreneurs. Although this is mostly the case in Hollywood movies, it is not exactly true in real life.
This imagination and assumption are true for some of the successful entrepreneurs. A small percentage. The 5 percentile that has worked really hard, failed several times and finally succeeded in their business, so now they are showing off on Instagram. You are seeing their success and thinking that is how entrepreneurship is, for everyone. I’m sorry but that is not the case.
I know, successful entrepreneurs promote this false stereotype because sometimes when you ask them what they do for a living, and how they are so successful, they casually say “I am an entrepreneur, just believe and you can do it too.” As an entrepreneur myself, I would say that is far from the truth, believing alone doesn’t help you succeed. Entrepreneurship is not so pretty. No one will tell you how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur.
I got a rude awakening when I decided to become a full-scale entrepreneur. I realized that sustaining a business is actually a survival of the fittest.
had a business plan, an outline, an investor and I was ready to go. I did go …and then I started hitting roadblocks and fails that are common when you are starting up in the business world and think you have it all figured out but don’t. You start to encounter problems that make you realize that you really don’t know much and you need mentorship from someone who has gone the route and come out on top. Tips and advice only someone who has walked the walk can offer, not some abstract mumblings or copy-paste tips from someone who has no clue.
1. Our family thinks we are crazy.
Most entrepreneurs have a rocky start. I did. Fresh out of law school, everybody expected me to start wearing that wig and gown and making court appearance…but I had other ideas. No one told me I’m crazy but I could see it in the sideways looks I got when I shared my idea with family and friends.
So, I know a lot of people encounter this too. For people still in school and trying to chart a different path, they would get the most resistance. Mom says “Stay in school.” Dad says “Don’t get too ahead of yourself.”
Have you been there? I know a lot of us have.
2. Minds race with new ideas all the time.
If you run a business, the lines are blurred between your personal and business lives. And thoughts. It’s not a good thing, it’s not advisable but it just happens. Trying to go to sleep at night? You are thinking about the next marketing strategy, how are you going to implement, what you need to kick off, etc. Out with Family? Oops, you forgot to email ABC supplier and call XYZ client. Welcome to your new normal.
3. Are we becoming a bad friend?
Overloaded with emails, scheduling, supplier conversation, events, clients, timelines, it’s an endless to-do list. And then social life is automatically moved to the back-burner. Social invites are not RSVP’d, Whatsapp messages are not replied in 5 days and friends become a little bit upset. The excuse of work is now overused and ineffective but hey this is our job, how else will we make a living?
4. Yeah, we pay ourselves but how much do you need to pay to take care of the bills?
Usually, when starting out, we or an investor invest savings and hard-earned money into getting the business off the ground. When you have an investing partner like I did, you invest your time, effort and your life basically. From getting and leasing office space to paying a graphic designer, to logo design, to supplier business trips, it all requires money, and that usually puts the business at a deficit in the beginning. And then you have to pay yourself because, where else are you going to get the money to pay your own personal bills and live on?
Getting yourself into a financial jam can be hugely demotivating, and bad for your business. According to ArtsOfSelfhood, you need to assess your work input and work out how much you should pay yourself. Your assessment should be realistic then act on that.
Regardless of all the struggles, we go through, we would like to think that it is 100% worth it, looking forward to seeing the momentum moving and the business starting to make an impact. It’s tough, and at times we often question some sacrifices we make but no giving up. Like Karina says “Entrepreneurship is a sprint, not a marathon”.
Dumb Little Man – https://www.dumblittleman.com/building-a-startup/
Art of Selfhood – https://artofselfhood.com/2017/01/20/starting-business-tips-advice/