8 Harsh Realities of being an Early Stage Entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur has become a fad these days. There are a lot of success stories, lots of blogs/webinars/live speeches by experts talking about how normal people made it big, how an entrepreneur has fun in life.
However, success comes in with an extraordinary amount of hard work. There is no easy path to success. Those are not necessarily spoken about in the open. I have seen a few people get enamored and jump into entrepreneurship. I am not saying entrepreneurship is bad. I am just talking about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Let us talk about a few harsh realities in the early stage.
Work all the time
You will be under immense pressure to build the product/capacities, talk to potential customers, to prospective employees to hire them, talk to multiple people to raise capital to meet the bare minimum expenses month on month. You will be under so much of excitement and pressure to complete as many of these as you can. Hence you will end up working almost the entire time – 7 days a week. This will be a marked change compared to you leaving your responsibilities behind in the company when you would finish your work for the day.
Learn everything about business
You will have to learn all the aspects of the business. This is different compared to your job where you might have specialized in one or two aspects of the business. You will also not be able to afford to hire senior seasoned reps to finish the jobs. You will end up doing the bulk of the activities and the tasks yourself. You eventually have to learn all the aspects of the business.
The higher you go, the lonelier it becomes !!!. You will have to communicate a completely positive image to your employees in-spite of the negatives you will face in business. You will have no shoulder to cry on. Your leadership skills will be put to test and you will be expected to ensure that your team does not get any negativity.
Mental strength will be tested
You will be under severe pressure every day to make your startup grow bigger. However, you will be unable to do it constantly in the early days. Your mental strength will be tested every day and you will have to wither this and come out stronger.
Initial ideas will be wrong
You will have to give in to the fact that your initial hypothesis about the market needs and your solution may not necessarily be right. The ideas you have, at a high level, will be right because this has come out of you analyzing a pain point in the market. However, this pain point needs to be tested out at scale and the solution needs to be validated from solving the critical customer pain points.
Take time to make money
You will have to give it a few months to a few years to begin making money. This is because the initial revenue you will make will go towards meeting the expenses you had and the ones you will have for the next couple of years. You will have to forecast expenses and save enough money for that. This will be to ensure that you don’t take all the money out and then have no money to fuel your expansion plans.
Delays will frustrate you
There will be delays at multiple fronts. This could be from getting the P.O’s, getting your employees to join you, getting your funding to name a few. Nothing will work in a linear fashion. You will also not have any buffer left in any of these as you are in your early days. This will increase the frustration as there will be no backup.
Many elements out of your control
You will finally realize that the control you assumed you had in the early days will no longer exist. You will find that you will be dependant on a lot of people to help you collectively build out your startup. You will have to depend on so many external factors and coordinate all of those calmly to complete your goals on time.
So, you have to realize that running an early-stage startup is not easy. You have to wait it out before you hit it right. Unrealistic expectations about your startup will only get you disappointed very early and will lead you to make big mistakes.
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