Being an Entrepreneur may sound exciting but the reality of the matter is far from glamorous. It’s hard work that involves many hours of dedication and often there is very little sign of a reward for long periods of time. However there is a saying ‘Nothing in life worth doing is easy’ and this is certainly true when it comes to being your own boss and transforming yourself into an entrepreneur. We have 11 realities to share with you if you want to know some hard truths before packing in the day job. They are not designed to put you off, just to prepare you for the road ahead.
Be Prepared to Make Mistakes
Your initial idea will probably be flawed and will need working on to make it right. In fact, many of your ideas will probably end up being wrong and thrown out the door throughout your entire career. Don’t take this as a personal failure, learn from the feedback you get from customers and clients and move forward. Learn to be flexible and to change when change is needed.
Expect a Drop in Income
One of the first things to do is get some accounting software and learn how to use it. You will probably see a drop in income for a while and should expect this to be the case. Software will help you to keep an eye on incomings and outgoings and stop you from getting into trouble because you were unable to see the facts. When you do earn money this will probably have to go back in the business rather than in your pockets. Be prepared and build some savings.
Your Friends and Family Will Not Have a Clue
Friends and families will be supportive but they will not truly appreciate the work you are doing. Many will feel as you are an entrepreneur that means you have a lot of spare time to hang out or help them out. You may find that people do not take you seriously and think you are spending time in front of the TV. Just accept this is the case and carry on regardless. In time they may come to understand, just try not to let them be a distraction in the meantime.
Everything Takes Time
Give yourself plenty of time to achieve your goals, no matter how small they are. You may be changing things internally, working on a new deal, or launching products. Don’t expect this to be completed in a short time scale and that way you won’t get frustrated when things take so long. Also never depend on that one deal; deals don’t always work out but that doesn’t mean the idea is flawed.
You Are the Dogsbody
You can give yourself a much grander title than a dogsbody, be it CEO, Director or Chairman, but it won’t mean much. As an entrepreneur you will have your hands in everything, even cleaning your own toilets or making the coffee. You may have a nice title but be prepared to get your hands dirty.
Let Go of the One Deal Idea
There is no one single deal that will transform the success of your company. Deals will help but it’s not healthy to continually focus on that one deal that will finally make you. Think of multiple deals as rungs in the ladder that will help you get to where you want to be. Spread the risks by obtaining multiple deals rather than gaining one partner. Use your accounting software to see the advantages of multiple deals and work your way to the top.
Expect Frustrations from Customers
You will need to be prepared for tricky customers. In almost all businesses there is no such thing as one size fits all. Some customers will be easier and more flexible than others. Each customer will need to be treated differently and you will need to work hard not to show your frustrations sometimes. Be prepared to show your authority on the subject while remaining useful and professional when responding to each and every one.
It’s Hard Finding the Right Team
When it comes time to hiring help and building a team expect to go through some rough patches. You may hire some people that simply do not care about the business, only about their wages. Others may not be interested in your ideas and only want to work on their own. You may have a passion for your business but this doesn’t mean that everyone will. It’s unlikely that your first employees will be the ones that make the perfect team, but you never know.
You Won’t be Successful Overnight
You will have to spend a long time building a successful company, it can take many years. While you may think there are companies out there who are brand new and immediately successful this not the case.
You Cannot Control Everything
Finally you need to understand that there are things that are not in your control that may affect your company. Just because you face hard times or uncontrollable mishaps doesn’t mean you should give up. Keep fighting and you will get there.
JonJon Yeung is a freelance writer and enjoys writing on Technology, Entrepreneurship, Business and lives a Savvy lifestyle. He writes about software products for businesses (in particular Intuit Accounting Software http://www.intuit.co.uk). He also provides great tips for small businesses.