Entrepreneurship and owning your own business is a beautiful thing. Lately, I have seen it being glamorized a bit more than usual. Disclaimer, this isn’t a post to deter you from pursuing your dreams, but to give you the realest expectations for your journey. There will be a lot of ups as well as a lot of downs. I love having something to call my own, that’s related to my passions and will be a part of my legacy. But, I would be lying if I said that things always went the way I wanted to or I didn’t have to learn any hard lessons along the way.
Time Will Be Your Biggest Resource
In the beginning, you will need to devote a lot of time in order to get your venture up and running. A lot of time may mean long days and even longer nights. You will be tired. Sometimes I find the adrenaline of seeing the end product gets me through it. But, I also have those days were I may feel guilty for taking a break or not spending the time I think I need to be spending on completing the tasks to achieve my goal. In the beginning, you set the rules and the boundaries. As much as you need time to start seeing your results, you also need a break! Taking a break helps you reset, think clearly and work efficiently. My advice is spend your time wisely. Track your time, estimate how long a certain task should take you and compare how much time you spent. Calculate if it may be better to outsource a task or spend the time learning to complete the tasks. Time is not only your biggest resource (next to money) but also your most valuable. How you use it will determine if you stay on track or fall behind.
You Will Fail
You may not hit your goals the first time around. You may not generate a lot of revenue the day you open your store. You may not have any website visitors the first day you launch your website. Failing is inevitable. What matters is how you re-coup after the failure. I am a firm believer in taking a step back, assessing what went right and what (could have) went wrong and creating a new action plan. Entrepreneurship and business ownership is not a one-size fits all journey. It is an ever-changing landscape and you choose the path. Assess, adjust, and keep going. It’s not always glamourous. Things don’t always go the way you want. But the strongest entrepreneurs are those that are strategic and willing to keep pushing ahead to the finish line.
At Times You Will Feel Alone
Once you first get started, you may expect your friends and family to be your number one supporters. The reality is, they won’t, nor should they be. Rely on your target audience for support. If your family and friends show love, that’s great! But, it should not be an expectation.
You may also feel alone because you don’t think there is anyone in your circle that can relate to your journey. While this may be true, this is a great opportunity to start networking, especially with others who are starting or managing similar ventures! Start connecting with other like-minded people. Join facebook groups. Follow them on twitter. Join a few email lists from thought leaders in your industry or niche. Not only can you learn a lot from this network, but also create a few friends that share similar experiences.
You Will Be Consumed and Overwhelmed
This is something I am guilty of. As a consultant/freelancer I help other’s grow their business and at times I get so consumed in their business that I neglect my own. My website will go months without an update or blog post. My social media post dwindle. Emails to my contacts become non-existent. Of course, I am a special case since I become a part of my client’s ventures. But, I see how it can be a relatable problem no matter what industry you are in. You become so focused on one area of the business that other aspects are neglected. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by creating a system of checks and balances. Use one of your favorite project management tools to organize all the things that need to be done and when they should be done to maintain your business. Due dates and clear tasks help me stay organized and on track. And, if you work with other clients, set business hours so all client work must be completed during a certain time.
The rewards of following your passion or starting your own business are tremendous, but there are downsides. Hopefully, this post didn’t scare you and you now feel more equipped to face business ownership with confidence.