We are living in an age of entrepreneurship and feel empowered with the ability to create unlimited possibilities by making a meaningful difference to the world. The media magnifies the glamour and marginalises the truth of entrepreneurship. This article offers another look at it and gives an entrepreneurial reality check:
It will be extremely difficult if you aren't one to deal with criticism well. As soon as you announce you are starting a business, everyone around you appears to be an expert in starting a business. Everyone will have an opinion about your idea or product and may not be afraid to tell you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to criticism but you have to be able to take the punches and not take everything personally.
Starting a new business means getting everyone to know and understand your idea and product. You will have to go up to people and initiate conversations and often get caught in situations out of your comfort zone. This may be tricky for people who tend to be more introverted.
3) No off the clock
There is no such thing as a 9-5 work schedule when you’re an entrepreneur. You’ll be constantly thinking about how to improve things, reduce costs and sell more. There will always be something that needs to be done.
4) Multiple hats
There are many people only comfortable doing one thing and should never be an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you are often putting on different hats, making a multitude of decisions and you need to be confident in doing so. You will soon realise that this means signing up to be part-time manager, CFO, artist, event planner, designer, and much more.
A lot of employees are even used to their boss providing them feedback but this is not the case for an entrepreneur. Most people won't pay attention to your work at the beginning and can be a blow to one’s confidence and conviction, especially when others are doubting you at the same time. It’s going to be a while before you really get the praise you’re looking for.
If you need external motivation, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur either. When you wake up in the morning as an entrepreneur, there isn’t someone standing in your kitchen ready to give you that day’s tasks - It’s all on you. Self motivating can get unbelievably exhausting.
While no job or career is absolutely for certain, being an entrepreneur brings that realisation even closer. You may be lost on where to start among the endless and growing list, get crippled by the constant decisions, huge and tiny, that must be made with imperfect information. The pressure of thinking how your ideas can support your family is immense.
Life as an entrepreneur can be incredibly rewarding, but you deserve to know that there are two sides. Remember, loving what you do comes from aligning who you are with the impact you want to make in the world and ultimately, that will be the driving force that will allow you to achieve your dreams.
This article was contributed by Samantha Yong.