5 Business Lessons I Learned From Starting a Company

Starting and growing a business teaches perseverance, resilience and stamina, to name a few.

learn more about Kimanzi Constable

By Kimanzi Constable

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the biggest draws to becoming an entrepreneur is creating true freedom in your life. The idea of being in control of your schedule, income and time is what drives so many of us to brave the odds and set our stake in the ground.

That said, starting a business is hard and many businesses won't get off the ground. And many won't be profitability for years.

The stats about business failure can be scary, but they don't have to be your story. Starting and growing a business gives you many incredible and invaluable lessons.

I've been an entrepreneur since I was 19 years old and getting here -- to profitability and living my dream -- has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Starting a business taught me these five valuable lessons.

Related: Avoid These 3 Big Mistakes I Made as a First-Time Entrepreneur

1. It's much harder than you could have imagined.

Leaving a steady paycheck, retirement benefits and health insurance for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship is frightening. You think you know how hard it's going to be and then you start a business and realize you really didn't have a clue what you were getting into.

It pushes you to dig deeper and deal with failure along the way, but it helps you grow in other areas of your life. Dealing with the struggle teaches you how to get through the harder things you'll face in life. It teaches you to focus on why you started your business and figure out a way to make things work.

2. Most people in your life won't understand

As an entrepreneur, you'll get to the point of giving up trying to explain your vision to family and friends -- they just won't get it. We're wired to seek security and a career provides security in most people's minds. Even with the best business idea, you'll experience resistance and confusion from those who you thought would understand.

It's OK that most people won't understand. Focus on building your business and dream. They might criticize you while you're starting, or your business is down, but once you achieve success, they'll come out of the woodwork cheering for you. Don't bother trying to convince them what you're doing is smart. Actions speak louder than words, so prove you know what you're doing with the action you take.

3. There will be times when quitting isn't even an option.

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes, businesses aren't meant to carry on. That doesn't mean life is over, it just means you have to pivot.

There are times, however, when you're in to deep and quitting isn't even an option. You may have too much time and money invested and have to figure out how to make things work. Sometimes you can't quit, just like certain situations in life. During those times, do what you can to weather whatever storm comes your way. Quitting may seem like the right choice during these times, but you're an entrepreneur for a reason -- you can find a way.

Related: How These Entrepreneurs Failed Their Way to Millions

4. You will have a love/hate relationship with your business.

There will days you can't sleep because you're so excited about what's happening in your business. There will also be days you can't wait to get to bed because everything that could have gone wrong, did.

A business is something that may be in your family for generations. During that cycle, you will experience a crazy range of emotions. Never make business decisions during those emotional times. Learn to ride the ups and downs and embrace the life you've chosen to live.

5. The freedom it provides is priceless.

At the end of the day, you're doing this because you value freedom. The freedom to live life on your own terms is priceless. Don't use that freedom to work even longer than you did at your day job, use your freedom to spend your time doing what's important to you.

The most valuable resource you have is your time, because it is the one thing you'll never get back. How you spend your precious moments on this earth is vitally important, and they have to go beyond your business.

Related: There's Only One Way to Have It All

Kimanzi Constable

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Content Marketing Strategist

Kimanzi Constable is an author of four books and has been published in over 80 publications and magazines. He is the co-founder of Results Global Impact Consulting. He teaches businesses modern content strategies. Join him at RGIC.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Money & Finance

7 Ways to Make Extra Income Even With a Full-Time Job

Want to make more money? Real estate investing, Amazon ecommerce and the sharing economy are waiting for you.


How to Cope With Career Baggage and Heal Emotional Scars From Past Jobs

Here's how professional scar tissue can show up in new roles — and a few tips for managing it effectively.


Improving Yourself Takes 9.6 Minutes of Work Each Day

Micro-habits are the antidote to a chaotic world, offering a pathway to sustainable change.


Reduce Fleet Downtime With These 5 Strategies

Irrespective of the timing or cause, there are strategies or approaches to effectively managing and decreasing fleet downtime.


50 Work-From-Home Jobs that Pay As Much or More than Average Salary

If you're tired of driving to an office and would love to work at home, there are plenty of high-quality full-time work-from-home jobs for you.


How to Select the Right PR Partner in Today's Economy

While it may seem complicated, identifying a good PR fit is crucial for your company's longevity.