Looking at the rising number of small and medium sized business ventures, becoming an entrepreneur seems to be the desire of many. Through the help of various online platforms, establishing our own business appears to be easier than ever before. We have got Kickstarter to raise enough capital to get the business started, Instagram to market our products or services, Amazon to reach our customers and seal sales. Yet. we might need to look behind the stage curtains and see if it is actually that easy to live in the entrepreneurial dream.
When attending business seminars and reading or listening to the stories of successful businesses, we tend to focus on the happy, fun parts instead of the whole bumpy ride. Unfortunately, such biased focus will not prepare us for what is really coming. It definitely requires sacrifices. Therefore, instead of highlighting the entrepreneurs’ glory, this article discusses five things that are inclined to be missing once we stepping down our feet in business stream.
One of the most misleading fact about having your own venture is that you will be able to control everything. The truth is way much different from that. As an entrepreneur, especially in the early process of establishing a venture, there will be a lot of things to handle. Whether you like it or not, you will not be able to do everything by yourself. Job delegation is key to keep up with the fast moving business. Unfortunately, this is rarely easy. There is often a lot of emotional investment in a new business and it can be difficult to let others get involved. If you are someone with a tendency to micro-manage everything, saying goodbye to the ability to control everything will not be a piece of cake.
2. Free time
Having a lot to do for your startup business, like brainstorming marketing ideas and branding, meeting big potential clients, supervising the work of your team, and other entrepreneurial duties takes most of your time. Even if you have already become the entrepreneur of an established business venture with a large number of employees, there will still be quite a lot of things to do as you strive for the company growth. Trying to open up new doors for business expansion, finding solutions, maintaining good rapport with stakeholders, suppliers, (exclusive) clients will not spare a lot of free time. Therefore, if you are still planning on starting a business of your own, be ready to sacrifice your time.
The third is certainty. As business is unpredictable with many affecting factors, such as government policies, trends, infrastructure, market fluctuations, and global currencies, entrepreneurs are bound to face the uncertain. Retail stores which were a must-have to start a business in the past, are no longer that essential as people (in this case, the market base) have moved to online shopping. Dealing with the such uncertainty, entrepreneurs are forced to constantly seek new ways and keep up with such business dynamics.
In spite of the uncertain business nature, many who have experienced building startups share their struggle with money issues while beginning their entrepreneurial journey. Expecting a large sum of income in the early stage can be devestating as the facts tend to show the opposite. Some needed to use their personal savings to keep the business running and continue their dream pursuit. Others had to work part time to pay their employees. While there may be a few who are lucky enough to experience an instant success, getting ready to live frugally will keep your spirit up during the (possible) lean times. So, the fourth thing which has been proven to crossed out from most startup entreprenurs is abundant income. To be noted, payoff usually takes a few years.
5. Thinking that being the boss makes you the boss
The fifth is the fact that although you have the CEO or founder title that you have always wanted, the role of a CEO is actually more chained than that of an ordinary employee. If you think that by being the boss, you will get to do everything you want, you cannot be more wrong. A CEO is usually handcuffed to stakeholders, investors, and a board of directors. Not only that, s/he may need to consult with your key employees and customers before launching new product(s), applying new company policies, or any other significant decisions. In addition, a good boss will try to set good examples. Thinking that, as a CEO, you will be able to slack or idle around at the office, is not going to happen if you were to build a successful business.
Having read the five (bitter) common facts, you will be able to decide wisely if the journey is suitable for you or if you simply need more time and better preparation for it.