We all have different reasons and motivations for starting a business, whether we want creative freedom or want to merge our passion with our entrepreneurial side, the outcome is the same. Entrepreneurship is one of those things that you can read about and theorize but much like riding a rollercoaster, you must be in it to fully understand it. There are certain things no one tells you about starting a business.
1. You won’t get to do what you love all the time
There’s all this talk about doing what you love, that may happen 15% of the time. The rest is spent on all the other activities that you may hate, or you will find new things you love doing too.
Many enter the world of entrepreneurship thinking that it entails working on your passion projects 24/7. The reality, however, is that most entrepreneurs and small to medium business owners only have a finite amount of time to work on projects that they love. Starting a business is easy but maintaining it takes a significant amount of admin. The work that inevitably keeps the lights on, is the least glamorous.
2. You’re not alone
You’re not the only one with this problem and you don’t have to deal with it yourself. Join a group of entrepreneurs, find people with common interests, you may make lifelong friends too!
Unless you are inventing a new technology or system of working, it is not likely that you are the only person who is trying to address the problem you are trying to solve. It is easy to get absorbed in the ideas phase and strike out alone in the execution, but the truth is you will get much further when you find people with common interests’ and you invest in skill-sharing and collaboration. Not only will you increase your network, but you will also achieve your goal much quicker.
3. Collaboration is Key
Learn as much as you can from others – they’re not all out to steal your ideas
There is an adage that goes something like “ideas are free, execution is expensive”. The truth is anyone can have a multimillion-dollar idea, but the difference is the people who action ideas and those who strike out attempting to be those ideas to life. The best ideas come from collaboration, where like-minded people gather around an idea to find the best ways to activate them in a way that is both profitable and impactful.
4. Focus on Profit and Costs
You will probably run out of money. Every company comes to this realization at some point or another, but you will come out the other side of it stronger. The “why” can only take you so far. What do I mean by that? I mean that the reason you started your business will be your fuel for so long before you get to the point that it takes an incredible amount of time, sacrifice and effort to make your idea profitable one.
5. Marketing Marketing Marketing
It may be easy to think that you’ve got the best idea that people will just flock to your firm, they won’t. Whether you like doing this or not, you will need to spend money on marketing. It doesn’t matter that your idea is the best if no one knows about it. It will take a lot of marketing to get your name and brand recognized enough to be trusted. Ultimately people buy from brands that have a solid reputation who are relatively well-known, at least to their immediate circle of influence.
6. There’s no road map, you must forge your own path
Chances are, you’re doing something completely different (as is the nature of startups) so you will have to forge your own path. The truth is, no one has the answer when it comes to becoming successful. There are so many paths to success but ultimately authenticity and good quality service are what will put you on the path to success. You must be brave enough to follow your intuition and believe in your idea enough to take it as far as it can go.
7. Find constructive and healthy ways to reduce stress
Don’t wait till your 40 and trying to undo all the damage you’ve already done. A run after work is just as good as having 3 beers to relieve the stress of the day. Your business, despite the industry you will be working in will test your mental and physical strength. Having to push past rejection and rise to meet challenges requires exceptional mental fortitude that is cultivated on the field so to speak. It is a must to prioritize physical and mental wellness to offset those late nights, hectic travel schedule and demanding personal life.