What is it that makes us all think we’re cut out for life as an entrepreneur?
The answer is different for everyone…
For some, it is relentless confidence in our ability to take a concept and turn it into reality.
For others, we’ve gained so much input and experience throughout our working lives, running the show ourselves seems like the next logical step.
Some poor souls are just plain too clueless to know any better…
Escaping the grind does come with a price. And that price is a pretty hefty one, in most instances. Though there are plenty of cases where the stars align and a new startup headed by an inexperienced entrepreneur or three just takes off and takes over the industry overnight.
For most who enter entrepreneurship, you’ll learn the following 25 realities before you take your first vacation as a business owner:
1. Daily dose of anxiety.
Facing your fears and rocketing yourself out of your comfort zone will be required daily.
2. Try again. And again. And again.
“If at first you don’t succeed try, try again” will become the resounding mantra in your daily life.
3. Be nice. Always.
You’ll often have to be nice to people you’d normally never bat an eyelash at to get ahead.
4. Listen more, listen better.
Good entrepreneurs know how to talk to people, great entrepreneurs know how to listen to the people that matter most.
5. Make difficult decisions.
You’ll have to miss a few dance recitals and baseball games along the way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
6. Slave to success.
Though you’re no longer a slave to the Man, you’re still a slave to your success. You’ll work longer hours, often for less pay at the start.
7. Hear lots of NO’s.
Eighty-percent of sales prospects say “NO” four times before saying YES. And that’s just the ones that end up agreeing to the sale. You’ll hear lots of no’s, from lots of people.
8. Get buried in paperwork. Lots of it.
You suddenly gain consciousness one day in the office and marvel at how stupid you once were for thinking your last job had lots of paperwork.
9. Choose your friends wisely.
As an entrepreneur, you can’t keep those same negative-minded people in your life you once coveted as friends.
10. Face near-“death” experience. More than once.
The constant struggle to innovate and bring something different to the market is a daily struggle that will sink many around you, and the pressure not to become one of the fallen will come close to breaking you more than once.
11. It’s your mistake. All of it.
There’s nobody left to blame for your own mistakes and shortcomings. Plus, now you’re on the line for ensuring the financial well-being of your employees.
12. Always learn from your mistake.
As an entrepreneur, learning from each mistake becomes essential to the doors being open a year from now.
13. Everything is on the line – all the time!
14. Constant money shortage.
A stark reality for entrepreneurs: You’ll often wonder when the point will come when there is more money left at the end of each month than there are days.
15. Be a go-getter.
Nobody is going to give you anything unless you ask for, or outright take it.
16. You are your brand.
Every PR nightmare your business deals with will teach you just how important your image is to your business’s success, and how everyone who works for you is a vulnerable extension of that brand.
17. New challenges, every day.
Each new day brings a new set of challenges you’ve never encountered before.
18. You wish there’s more than 24 hours a day.
There are never enough hours to get it all done – you’ll need to learn the art of delegation and efficient time management to keep from going nuts.
19. Money, money, money, money.
It’s never mattered as much as it does now that you’re running a business.
20. People don’t understand you.
Even the friends who respect and support you still don’t get it. It’s not the same talking to your friends from high school or college that are still working the 9 – 5 grind.
21. Business becomes your world.
You wake up one day and you know more about business than pretty much every college graduate entering the market does.
22. You need others.
Regardless of how OCD you are, you realize you can’t do it all.
23. Always prepared.
Entrepreneurs of all levels quickly realize the calm always comes before the storm – you can never be too prepared for the unexpected.
23. A slim chance of massive success.
Somewhere along the way to your eventual success, you start to think you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning and eaten by a shark at the same time than you do making this business a raging success.
24. Money reveals who people truly are.
You’ll learn that even the nicest people will step over others when money, prestige, and survival are on the line.
25. Doing it is the only way to go.
As you continue working at making your business a success, you realize that despite everything you initially learned before launch, there isn’t a seminar or book in the world that could have prepared you for the journey you now find yourself on!
What are some of yours?
Share the interesting realities you’ve learned as an entrepreneur in the comments section.