Things You Need to Worry About When You Are Entrepreneur (& No One Tells You)
The following is a guest post by Isabel William.
Being your own boss may seem like a dream come true. It is an utterly rewarding career path that blows a typical 9-5 job out of the water. Well, at least that is the case when everything is going according to the plan. But, there is a darker side to it that many shy away from, one that is dotted with many pitfalls and challenges.
There, you are put to the ultimate test and your emotional, mental, and physical well-being are besieged. From master, you are quickly reduced to a role of a slave watching things going down in flames. So, brace yourself. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Here are some bitter truths to swallow before our fully embrace the life of an entrepreneur.
Rites of passage
Every single aspect of the business is dependent on you. Moreover, it is also a reflection of who you are and what you stand for. Anything that happens to the company affects you and vice versa. Hence, you have to come to terms with the fact that your private and professional lives are intertwined. Many are those who struggle to strike a fine work-life balance and end up with one volatile mixture. To prevent this scenario, get to know yourself better. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Anticipate problems before they come to haunt you.
Furthermore, brace yourself for a series of trials and tribulations. Every day could bring a ton of stress and anxiety to the mix. Nothing is as easy as it sounds on the paper. You are better off assuming it will take twice the time you presumed it will, if it happens at all. Also, you cannot take the support of the friends and family for granted. It is possible that they might not understand what you set out to do or even think you are crazy for going down that path. Are you going to be able to push through this predicament?
Struggle of being in a driver’s seat
It is not enough to be passionate about something. That is just a starting point. Cold market facts and figures pay little heed to what your ideas and dreams are. The truth is that you may not even feel like you are calling the shots. For example, to build a profitable organization, you have to put the customers first, not your ego. Besides, there are many moving parts related to managing and running a company that you cannot decide to forgo. To name a few, your schedule will be jam-packed with networking, marketing, project management, bookkeeping, etc.
To make it even worse, nobody will be passionate about the business mission as you are. It is quite hard to motivate and engage employees. Financial incentives are just one aspect of this. People want to have a meaningful work experience, inspiring environment, and a sense they are being valued. So, can you ensure this and communicate your vision clearly? If the answer is no, then you are in for a rough ride. Others will doubt your vision until cracks on the spotless surface of your own confidence emerge.
Step up the game
Everything can blow up in your face at any time. At one point, when staying afloat becomes a tussle, you could start missing the security of having a steady paycheck at the end of the month. To deal with this, you need to take proactive measures to safeguard your future. Start saving money and have an emergency fund in place. Also, consider building a pension fund well in advance via a personal superannuation program. This is a chance to preserve financial independence and freedom.
Finally, you should know that the first iteration of your business concept is likely to be a failure. To pave the road to success, you have to embark on a journey of constant reworking and fine-tuning. You must commit to growing personally and professionally, hand in hand with your organization and employees. Sometimes, it is necessary to rethink your practices and get back to the drawing board. Stubbornly following your preconceptions could lead you astray. Therefore, keep an open mind and remain flexible.
Despite all odds
Like it or not, the path of an entrepreneur is twisted and unpredictable. You are your business and the other way around. This means that being an entrepreneur is an emotional roller coaster. To go through all the ups and downs as right as rain, learn to juggle different life priorities, most notably family and career. Know that everything and everyone can be a source of frustration, so discover your coping mechanisms. Be prepared to prove everyone wrong, if need be. So, still want to move ahead? Do you have what it takes to triumph, despite all the hurdles and challenges?