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Before You Strike Out on Your Own, Know These 3 Realities Entrepreneurship is a sexy word with lots of promise, but like anything, there are some challenges to this dream. Be prepared!

By Adam Toren

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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.

Related: The 4 Things No One Tells You About Entrepreneurship

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.

Related: The 4 Mantras of Successful Entrepreneurs

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.

Related: Put Yourself on the Road to Success With These 5 Principles

Adam Toren

Serial entrepreneur, mentor, advisor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Phoenix, Ariz.

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