Everyone from the start-up industry talks about how great it is, but no one really talks about the problems an entrepreneur faces. Here are some of the struggles a person goes through while being an entrepreneur.
Life would be extreme as an Entrepreneur. Highs would be every high and lows will be very low until your startup can become one of the corporations that you always hated to work for (may the reason why wanted become an entrepreneur in the first place). You have to prepare yourself emotionally before you enter this world. Many won’t be able to survive the lows.
Better have a great alma mater. If you are not from the very best institute and company (even VCs admit this bias), you’ll have a hard(er) time getting funding.
Dreaming of becoming a Billionaire? Among VC-backed startups, 75% of founders received no financial returns from their years of hard work building the startup. The Founder’s Dilemmas:
The most recent study, by Profs. Brian J. Broughman and Jesse M. Fried, found that among a sample of venture capital deals, the common investors in roughly half the cases were entitled to nothing when the company was sold, even when the sale was for tens of million. And in all but one instance, the majority of the sale proceeds went to the venture capitalists and other holders of preferred shares. In Venture Capital Deals, Not Every Founder Will Be a Zuckerberg
For those, you spent a lot of time (even money) on the perfect business plan. In real life, things never work the way you plan. Business plans rarely survive the first contact with customers. As the boxer Mike Tyson once said about his opponents’ prefight strategies: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth: Why Business Plan And I Run In The Opposite Direction!
You need luck. Hard work and smartness alone won’t take you to the top. You need luck (i.e. timing, ecosystem and capital has to come together, among other factors and the saddest part is that you don’t have much control over luck. There were several instances were the better product has failed and history has shown that time and again.
Doing what you love is a myth. It’s more like you’re doing several things that you don’t like in order to do the one thing you like. So it won’t be that easy as you might have thought. So the next time someone says, I’m not working, I’m following my passion; don’t fall for it.
Sacrificing quality time : As a new entrepreneur you will find sacrificing your time with your friends, family, social life, hobbies and many such aspects of the life. Your new venture is more likely to consume your good amount of time and energy.
Uncertainty: You can put fancy figures in your excel sheet and do a financial projection based on your idea but the ground reality is, ‘whenever you are starting a new business , uncertainty is always going to be there’. The entire process is about hoping for success but never knowing where things will turn.
Inconsistent income flow : If you are habitual to monthly pay cheques, this may cause a good amount of discomfort for you.
Risk of failure: Someone has said it correctly that Indian parents may say to their kids , ‘Beta aaj se tu mere liye mar gaya hai’ ! :P
Before starting your journey as an entrepreneur you should seriously think whether you are mentally tough enough to cope up with the stress of failure.
Personality traits : This happens many a time with geeks- techy people. If you are shy, calm, quiet and bit of introvert person you will find it tough to compete with a seasoned confident businessman.
Building your core team is a challenge: There are two things in the beginning . First the idea and second, the people who believe in it. Good programmers and marketing professionals are hard to find and even more difficult to retain.
Finding investment is tough: When you are working on turning your ideas into a profitable business , consistent cash flow is inevitable. Many new entrepreneurs have difficulties in financing on their own. Pitching to an investor and receiving funding is not easy.
Looooong working hours: In job you are expected to work 8-10 hours a day normally. When you become an entrepreneur , you have to work for endless hours. Your ‘to do list’ goes on increasing with tasks and most of the tasks sound important and urgent. The days stretch on you and when you finally go home the work will also follow you.
At the end, if you are passionate enough to achieve something, you should go for it. But, it is best if you are realistic and know about the struggle you are going to go through.
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