When we first tell someone we are building a startup and trying to become an entrepreneur, we get all kinds of responses. On the whole these responses are quite negative, mostly concerned with how difficult it is to actually succeed. People will list all the difficulties, all the reasons why it will never work.
How many of these have you heard when you say you’re trying to become an entrepreneur?
- “But you won’t have a consistent income!”
- “How are you going to afford it?!”
- “How are you going to keep yourself motivated?”
- They may even throw some stats at you as though it’s the first time you’ve heard them, normally something along the lines of “50% of all startups fail within five years!”
- They ask you why you’re considering sacrificing years of your life for something that may not even work out.
- They ask if you already know the ins and outs of all the legal and financial stuff.
It can be really difficult to ignore all this negativity, often from those closest to you.
However, the truth is that when you try to become an entrepreneur, you don’t actually need to have your whole startup planned out. You may even start your business while you’re still holding down a job just to keep yourself on an even financial keel.
Take it from someone who is building two startups as we speak, no-one ever starts off with everything figured out! No-one is ever an overnight success! This is a fallacy based on looking at an entrepreneur after they’ve had success, after all the building blocks of their startup have been put together and after all the knowledge they have has been accumulated. Essentially after they have already become an entrepreneur!
I know for a fact that you learn most of what is necessary as you go along and you meet extraordinary people who can help you with certain aspects of your business.
The other thing that the negative naysayers never seem to understand is probably the most important reason why we build startups. And that is that us entrepreneurs often have no other choice BUT to follow the path of entrepreneurship.
Mentally, the thought of dealing with 45-50 years of doing work that does not mean anything to us is an insane one. Become an entrepreneur and accept a few years of sacrifice and hard work (no-one said entrepreneurship was easy!) instead of slaving away at a 9-5 job, just for someone at the top to line their pockets??? It’s a no-brainer.
Just for good measure, let’s list some potential upsides of succeeding as an entrepreneur that make the journey totally worth it.
- Be your own boss!!! No dress code, no nothing! No more, “Please boss, can I work from home today!”
- Decide when, how and how much you want to work on any given day. When you’ve finished what you planned to get done, you can decide to sign off for the day rather than staring at the clock waiting for 5pm.
- You decide when you can or cannot have a holiday, forget the need for a holiday entitlement.
- How much you earn is actually correlated how much you work, forget working like crazy for a salary that never increases! You might even get to a passive income stage!
- You have an actual say on the direction of your company, no more red tape or going through the proper channels. The only sign-off you need is that of your client if indeed you even have clients.
- Knowledge you gain over the course of building your startup is golden – life skills that can be attributed to any situation. Scoff at skills such as time management and networking at your peril!
- You will meet some amazing and talented people – entrepreneurs like to help fellow entrepreneurs, you will need to network and interact with others to build contacts in your industry and it really is worth it!