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6 Downsides of Entrepreneurship That You Need to Stay Prepared for The only way out is to remain aware of its existence, but not let it get to your head and to keep perfecting your craft with attention to detail and great execution of ideas

By Amtosh Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet. The celebrated stories of these self-made businessmen can make entrepreneurship seem like a cakewalk. However, as with all things in life, success stories don't happen overnight and you have to work for your business first before it works for you. Risk-taking, failure and a little bit of insanity go hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship. We need to know what is enough and when is enough, which is a constant battle. So, to make it easier for you, here are some of my key observations on the downsides of entrepreneurship that are often overlooked:

● Abandoning the steady paycheck Deciding to venture into your own business often means saying goodbye to your current secure job. However, some people are lucky enough to have a backup option in case things don't go well. But in most cases, it's a risky plunge as there's no secure income, especially in the initial months. Sustainability is at stake and one ought to start looking for alternate sources of income to balance it out.

● Relying on cash flow Managing money, especially for startups, can be quite daunting. Even if you have options for credit, securing a regular cash flow is very difficult and stressful. There can be days when your bills add up and exceed your cash flow schedule which can, in turn, result in the usage of emergency funds. Such issues need urgent attention, so be prepared to handle such situations on a daily or weekly basis.

● Competition is rough and incessant With an increase in the volume of new businesses and closure of some, competition is at its highest peak. You'll find yourself constantly thinking and rethinking your ideas and having to make sure that it moves beyond the realm of out-of-the-box gimmicks to indeed offer a great solution. The competition will always be rough and incessant, and once you decide to walk the path of entrepreneurship, you will have to face it. The only way out is to remain aware of its existence, but not let it get to your head and to keep perfecting your craft with attention to detail and great execution of ideas.

● Estimating popular interest Before you decide to execute an idea, there has to be thorough research about the audience's preference and interests. But since people are unpredictable and choices are subjective, your research may not always be accurate. Even when all the data appears to be in your favour, there's a chance you're overestimating the interest in your company, and if your projections are off, your entire financial model could implode.

● Striking a balance - sleep, stress and sanity Once you're an entrepreneur, having sleepless nights can be quite frequent. You're constantly thinking about how to perfect your next idea, and there is no off switch to give your brain a timeout. You're always on the lookout for the next big idea to help your business. You'll find yourself looking at everyday things in a new light. For instance, instead of just idly glancing at hoardings or advertisements on buses, you'll find yourself reverse-engineering the cost of the campaign.

● Personal health and peace of mind Last, but most important, is your personal health and peace of mind. There is so much to do when it comes to your own business that you're never able to relax and tune out. Striking a balance and taking certain days off to make sure you're staying healthy is essential. You need to make sure that in the midst of all the chaos, you don't lose your perspective and USP.

Some key learnings from this and now have a better perspective for your entrepreneurial journey. As long as you're passionate about your idea and ready to take up the challenges that follow, you're good to go. Don't worry about being successful but instead work towards being significant, and success will automatically follow. All the best!

Amtosh Singh

Co-Founder, PropShop24

Amtosh's journey with gifting started with his firm, Far Left Retail Pvt Ltd. Realizing the need for off-beat gifting options; he co-founded "PropShop24‟, India's first online out-of-the-box brand that has collaborated with over 500 companies to create a marketplace of unique design led products. During the course of building PropShop24 he soon discovered one of his most tightly held business learnings; “Watch your numbers like a hawk. Orders, customers, cash flow, margins etc; you need to be looking at those numbers carefully at least thrice a week.”

Determined to not let "PropShop24‟ become just another e-commerce website, he pays special attention to the quality and relevance of the products added to the website. Focusing on getting the right brands on board instead of having a thousand brands. They have recently expanded into food, blue label products, beauty and jewellery as well. Attempting to test his brand in the brick and mortar format, he also opened a store at Flea Bazaar Café in Lower Parel.

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