Entrepreneurship can look very glamorous from the outside in. Looking at people doing what they love and the media showcasing the fortunes made by mergers and acquisitions in the 8-9 figures can be very tempting but is that the reality of entrepreneurship? Is entrepreneurship truly working a few years of your life so you can enjoy the rest in a way others envy?
There are three realities that every entrepreneur must face when they choose to become an entrepreneur, and those realities no matter how harsh, are what makes an entrepreneur truly just that.
1. There are no guarantees: No matter who, what, where, and when; there simply is no guarantee when becoming an entrepreneur. No matter how hard you work, how great your idea is; there is no minimum guarantee, there is no guarantee of a monetary payout, and there is not even the guarantee that you will see your project to the end. Every hour, minute, or second you devote to your project is nothing more than time that may have been for nothing more than experience. The harsh reality is indeed that you are among a group where only less than 5% of the people actually succeed and even worst is that the other 95% never get their time back and sometimes are in a worst position as a result. Ultimately think about the opportunity cost of your time and all else you could have done if you hadn’t decided to become an entrepreneur.
2. The road of an entrepreneur is often traveled alone: Keep in mind that very few people have the guts to do what you do, which is to give up comfort and guarantee for risk and instability. Many don’t do it, because they are afraid to fail and therefore will be reminded of how weak they are if you succeed. This is often why they will turn you down, discourage you, make you feel incompetent or remind you of the bad decision it was, each and every time you have an issue. Even your family will tell you to not waste time. It is very true that no one will believe in you until you gain significant traction which to them is most likely money based, and it will often make us feel weaker as a result of their lack of support.
3. There is no break: People often go into entrepreneurship to be their own boss but they quickly realize that being your own boss and not having the support of a major business or brand behind you means you have to work 10 times harder and 10 times longer to barely make ends meet. Many entrepreneurs believe they can still have a comfortable life and a good work/life balance right from the start and in very few cases, this may be true but in all others, you unfortunately have to do what you have to do to stay afloat. We may find this to be easy but it certainly doesn’t become an issue until you look back at your week and realize you forgot to eat on multiple instances, and worked over 15 hours a day for the past month, without mentioning that weekends don’t feel like weekends as the work is never ending.
More work, less pay, and an unrivaled amount of instability is what you sign up for when you take on entrepreneurship and unfortunately almost every odd is against you in your quest for success. Ultimately, as scary as this sounds, being an entrepreneur is the single greatest task you can undertake in your life, and believe me when I say that perhaps the hardest one.