The word entrepreneur is quickly becoming synonymous with other words such as billionaire and opportunity. It’s easy to see why when you read stories about WhatsApp selling for more than $19 billion or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg not only making billions, but being responsible for making others billionaires as well.
While there’s plenty to be said for the entrepreneurial spirit, there’s a less sexy side to this charismatic word that up-and-comers need to know. It’s not all billion dollar apps and sunshine. There’s a tremendous amount that goes into being an entrepreneur outside of just luck and a great idea.
Here are three realities of entrepreneurship you need to know:
1. You’re going to work harder than you anticipated. Many people think naively that when they quit corporate America, or skip it altogether, it’s going to be a flexible, fancy-free lifestyle as an entrepreneur. Nothing could be further form the truth -- at least to start. For a bare minimum of the first few years, you’re going to likely work harder than you ever would or have for someone else. It’s going to be your stress, sweat and tears birthing your business ideas forward and there won’t be time for happy hour or water cooler chat. You’re going to work very hard in the beginning. Plan on it and then when you end up working even more, you won’t be surprised.
2. It’s going to take longer than you planned. Anyone who has ever gone through a construction or remodel project knows the old adage that it’s going to take twice as long and cost 20 percent more than you’re planning on. The same can be said with entrepreneurship in most cases. This isn’t to discourage you from trying, but rather to help you improve your planning. Get your household in order, your debts paid and money saved and set aside. Be the biblical Noah and prepare your ark before you set out, because you’re going to need money. It’s going to take some time to launch your dream. Cut expenses or build savings but make sure you are prepared to weather the storm so you can see your plan through to the promised land.
3. It’s going to be better than you imagined. The truth is there is no promised land. Success and entrepreneurship is an ongoing journey. However, when you have your first big triumph, when you can live with a little more ease and when you can change the world because of your ideas and products, that’s what it’s all about. It’s going to take time and sure, it’s even going to be challenging -- but it’s so worth it. The journey and the destination are two things I would never change. Try it out and see for yourself.