In TV shows and movies, entrepreneurship seems glamorous and exciting. From being your own boss to partaking in regular power lunches, popular culture would have you believe entrepreneurs have it made. While these depictions aren’t entirely untrue, working in this capacity isn’t without its challenges. If you find yourself enticed to give up the 9 to 5 and take the entrepreneurial route, consider some of the realities of starting and running a business.
1. You’ll Have to be Patient
Don’t sign the lease papers on the Hummer just yet. For most entrepreneurs, the early years are particularly lean ones. Plan to survive on a tight budget during your start-up years, as you will likely have to continually recycle your money back into your business to provide financial backing it needs to grow from a seedling into a mighty oak.
2. You Won’t Have Time for a Personal Life
Starting a business isn’t for sissies. It takes lots of time and effort. Particularly during the early years of your business — and perhaps again as it grows or goes through downturns — you’ll have to be willing to clock lots of hours at the helm. Be prepared for your work needs to impede on your personal life, as they almost certainly will.
3. You’ll Fail At Least Once
Though they might not advertise it, even the best entrepreneurs experience setbacks. While some may be small and can be brushed under the rug easily, others are life altering and all-too public. Entrepreneur Kaleil Isaza Tuzman’s personal setback featured in the documentary StartUp.com chronicled the rise and fall of his GovWorks efforts. While you might not see your struggle land on the big screen, you should expect — and prepare for — some bumps along the way.
4. You’ll Get Emotional
Even if you pride yourself on being tough-as-nails, the intimate nature of birthing a business and the all-encompassing importance of running it will get you right in the feels at least once. Expect to get emotionally invested and don’t fight it. Even the best of the best have emotional flare-ups. It’s because you care that you get emotional, so it’s not something of which you need to be ashamed.
5. You’ll Have to Expect the Unexpected
Regardless of how well you plan — of how detailed your maps to plan A and plan B and plan C may be — you will encounter some surprises. While you can’t anticipate what the surprise will be, you can anticipate that something unexpected will arise. Be ready for this so you’re not too severely thrown off of your game.
6. You’ll Be Making Difficult Decisions
When entrepreneurs make decisions, the stakes are often painfully high. As you build and grow your business, you’ll make choices that impact not only your life, but the lives of those who depend on your business. Be ready for the constant second guessing that commonly accompanies making decisions that count. Though it’s not the best part of being an entrepreneur, it’s an unavoidable component.