More people are starting their own companies and there’s a meriad of reasons why they should. You’re your own boss, you have a great plan you want to see realised, you can spend 40 hours a week doing what you like and more. However, if I told you a large deal of people are starting their own “companies” because of the bad economy (they’re freelancing/ taking any assignment in order to get by) the idea of entrepreneurship quickly becomes less glamorous. Additionally, you won’t spend less time working on your company because you work from home; you’ll work more. You hardly have chance of better dividing your time between entrepreneurship and you family, because all your time will be devoted to your company.
This might be a bit blunt but there’s truth in these statements. Here are some things I’ve learnt from working with entrepreneurs day in and day out.
Entrepreneurs are those people you see at the Coffee2Go
If there’s one thing I’d immediately like to point out, entrepreneurs don’t spend hours and hours sipping coffee, typing away the hours in serenity and gazing outside. The only reasons the average entrepreneur would visit a coffee company is because he’s got nowhere else to take a client or because he’s having a breakdown and can’t see another revised cash flow prognosis.
Of course entrepreneurship is about realizing a vision that you’ve cooked up with your buddies at the bar, but the execution of your big dream won’t take place at the local coffee shop. It’ll most likely take place at your living room, a little corner of one of your investors’ offices or an incubator 2×2 M2 office where the rent is low, the internet barely existing and the coffee, well.. not as good as that of the coffee company.
They don’t call entrepreneurship a “financial and emotional” rollercoaster for nothing. Yes, it can be uplifting, thrilling, exciting, fun and adventurous, but make sure you take into account there will be quite some downfalls too. From partnerships not working out to your own friends and family downright rejecting your business dream. It’s tough to hang in there when you experience major drawbacks and the long-term rewards you were looking for are further postphoned.
On the positive side you’re building a legacy. It won’t be an Alexander-The-Great-legacy, but you’re building something larger than yourself, allowing you to develop yourself beyond whatever would’ve been possible without the challenges and ambitions you carved out. You’ll experience the freedom of making your own decisions. Don’t think you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Work weeks still start at Monday and you’ll still have to deal with angry customers, but how you deal with it is up to you. You can plan you own appointment, have a flexible schedule and decide in what direction the company is going. In the end, you decide what’s important, good or the right direction to take.
You thought it all out
Entrepreneurship is an adventure because you don’t know what’ll come up next. It’s like going on a trip around the world: you can ask friends for advice, buy dictionaries, get your tickets up front, arrange hotel and double check your to-do list with your family, but you’ll still run into the unexpected. Locals only speak a dialect, you didn’t need that first aid kit, your hostel is closed due to a gas leakage so now you’re being relocated to a Ritz. It’s extremely important to prepare well and recognize even the possibilities you don’t have a solution for. Just don’t expect that your preparation will get you through unscathed.
This means that your family has to support your entrepreneurial dreams 100%. It means being sensible about inviting friends as partners to the company, being sensible about working hours and holidays, and being realistic about money and alternatives if your company doesn’t work out or goes bankrupt.
In short, entrepreneurship is a very rewarding way of earning your money, but not always an easy one. You hardly have money in the beginning and the chances of failure are large. But if your environment has your back, you have well developed plan and a financial Plan B, starting your own company – even if you fail – will certainly leave you without any regrets!