This article should not be pessimistic or negative, quite the opposite. Knowing about the harsh reality that lies ahead of you, you will be better prepared for these circumstances and will be able to overcome them.
December 29, 2010
The end game in the form of an acquisition, funding notification, or resulting failure is talked about a lot. They even made a movie in Hollywood about the history of Facebook, which gives a certain glamor to the life of a startup, but the reality looks a little different: it is a difficult and exhausting daily work, and there is little glamor in it.
We often hear about the harsh reality that entrepreneurs face and what it leads to. This article should not be pessimistic or negative, quite the opposite. Knowing about the harsh reality that lies ahead of you, you will be better prepared for these circumstances and will be able to overcome them. What challenges can you face as an entrepreneur?
Your idea of the implementation of the idea may be wrong
You may misunderstand how your idea should be implemented. We can be wrong. This does not mean that we are not smart or do not have the necessary qualities. As practice shows, this is actually a good sign. Ideas are transformed upon contact with consumers and require additional adaptation to the needs of the buyer. You can be overwhelmed by pride and you will not listen to customer advice, leaving everything as it is. By doing so, you can be left without customers and with a product that you can’t even use yourself. You can change what was originally intended, and that’s okay when it comes to implementation.
You may find confusion among family and friends.
“Are you an entrepreneur and does that mean you are unemployed?” or “Oh, that’s cute.” You can hear this reaction from friends, family members and other acquaintances at the stage of starting your business. Despite the results that can be highly appreciated (customers, funding, high traffic, press, etc.) and which means success in business, people may not understand what you are doing. Until you create a company with a beautiful success story that will come to you in a few years, little will change.
It is difficult to explain to an ignorant person what B2B is, especially if you have a narrow specialization. There is nothing surprising in this. The world does not consist of techies and entrepreneurs, it is much more diverse, and this is good news. The fact that you are not understood does not mean that you are doing something inappropriate. I doubt that Larry Ellison’s family understands what Oracle is doing (the company that developed the database management system), but that hasn’t stopped him from succeeding.
You will earn below average for a while
If you started doing business, first of all, for the sake of money, then this is not your field of activity. Sure, one day you may sell your company, but that day is probably not coming soon. In this case, the income received may depend on the size of payments “based on results”, the transfer of rights may take a long time, etc. Even if you’ve made good money, it’s better to spend that money on hiring a talented performer than paying yourself a higher salary. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make more money, but at first it will not be easy for you.
Your wages will be lower than those of your friends, especially those in the financial sector. This test will become a litmus test that will show the true state of affairs. If you really love what you do, then financial issues recede into the background. Of course, your basic costs of providing you with a relative level of comfort should be covered, but luxuries are unlikely to be needed at this stage because you simply won’t have time to enjoy them to the fullest.
Achievement of the result will take 2 times longer … if successful
Multiply the planned time frame for achieving the result by 2, including even that which depends only on you. When the process is slow, you may feel that you are doing something wrong, or that everyone is indifferent to your work. In reality, everyone has their own business and responsibilities. Taking this into account during the early stages of your startup will make it easier for you to add new products, close deals, etc.
Be persistent and provide the other party with what they need as soon as possible. On the other hand, there are many deals that will never materialize. There are always different details, and the enthusiasm can simply disappear. This is also a common thing. If you are building a company on a single deal, or relying on a simple decision (more on that below), then you need to reevaluate the state of affairs. Don’t get upset when a deal fails. This is her nature.
Titles mean nothing. You will be a janitor
And here is Mr. CEO, head and one of the founders! Titles don’t matter much if you are a founder of a company 7 reasons why you should work for a large company with no ten employees and make a product that no one buys. Everyone does a little bit of a different job, including cleaning the toilet. Don’t try to appear taller than you are and call yourself an entrepreneur or anything pompous. In fact, you should love and cherish the everyday life of these early days. Handing out business cards can be presentable, but they don’t say anything.
It is possible that someone in the company plays the role of the CEO (being the face of the company and speaking on behalf of the company), but this does not play a big role in the beginning. You have to be humble and do your best to be successful. You do not have a staff of 50 people who can be given a task. If you don’t get the job done, nobody else will. Of course, you can optimize it for greater efficiency, but this is not productive in the early development of a startup, which requires a lot of you, so it can be difficult to calculate everything.
There is no easy solution
You must be able to handle any trade. Certain types of deals or customers can take you up a notch, but there are many more. It is not necessary to view every trade as an end game, it is only a means of reaching a certain stage in the future. Learn to diversify your risk, and let one important stage succeed another, and business 5 not the easiest steps to manage your brand online develops and grows. The future of the company is in your hands, not an individual performer. Startup success is a combination of luck and small victories throughout the company’s development.
Customers will disappoint you
It’s nice to have customers, but when you’re dealing with tech support, that’s a separate topic of conversation. In the consumer world, be prepared to meet customers who are oblivious to the obvious, even when they have a clear interface in front of them. You will also hear conflicting opinions about the product. Some want it to be red, others blue, and still others purple. You need to respond to each customer’s request, but you need to do it with authority. If you give in to your customers and let them upset you and do what you say, you can quickly find yourself in an even worse position.
You can do it all yourself
Some entrepreneurs have a superhero complex and feel like they have to do everything themselves, or share responsibilities with whoever they started a startup with 14 reasons why you need to start your own startup. They think they can raise a company with 2-3 employees. This only leads to overwork and inability to concentrate. You need to know when to tone down your pride in order to hire people who can do some work better than you. When you hire others, each team member has the opportunity to focus on their responsibilities, on what they do best.
There is no such thing as instant success
In some cases, you will realize that your idea is worthless, or vice versa – you will realize that you are one of the lucky ones who have great prospects. Be prepared to work on a startup for many, many years. The media often describes everything as if you achieved everything overnight. This is not the case, and entrepreneurs spend years working for a company before success comes. Startups do not participate in the marathon, but the competition between them is very strong.
Team building is hard work
Finding partners to create a company is a difficult task. Finding people who have good knowledge and skills can take longer than you think. In the past, you would have been delighted with your business, but it is often difficult to find people who would be equally enthusiastic about the business. They may have ideas of their own that they would like to work on. Perhaps they want to work in comfort and have a high-paying job, or they are simply not interested in the business.
If you are enthusiastic, it does not mean that others should be. If you are lucky, then you will begin a period of growth, so you will need to bring in new people and be well versed in the business on the fly. This is a dangerous period for a startup, as the company is still small and the wrong DNA can turn development for the worse, but you won’t be able to select new hires as carefully as you did when hiring the first ten employees.
There are things that cannot be controlled.
Last but not least is the ability to understand that you cannot control everything. Markets crash, tragedies happen, and other contingencies. You won’t quit what you started because of this, will you? It’s like an obstacle on your way to a concert, sports game, or holiday you want to attend. You may have to get stuck in traffic or take a detour, but as long as you are determined, you will eventually reach your goal.
As Randy Pausch said, “Brick walls are designed to show how much you want something.” This will not stop you from becoming an entrepreneur, but it will be a test for you that will show how ready you are. Many companies die because people give up. I hope this article helps you prevent this. Life as an entrepreneur is not easy, but if you really enjoy what you do and are determined to succeed, you will!
What challenges did you face as an entrepreneur? And what have you done to overcome them?