3 Reasons why full-time entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted
Social media often shows us the best bits of business. Snapshots of entrepreneurial success. Overnight business prodigies. In reality, creating a successful business takes effort. It’s been about 3 months since becoming a full-time entrepreneur. This time has taught me 3 reasons why entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted.
1. Building Character Hurts
Building a business over the last 90 days has built my character. Character are the values and principles within a person. One’s character is truly exposed under pressure. This process can be painful. Building a business is pressurising. I like the pressure. Although challenging, it’s forcing me to improve my leadership, time management and communication.
Resilience is a key trait of entrepreneurship. LeBron James winning his fourth championship 17 years after starting his NBA career is resilience.
All successful businesses are open. If you don’t remain open long enough, you’ll never get to the destination.
If one can’t practice true patience, entrepreneurship will be hurt.
2. Profit takes Patience A business that doesn't make profit, is like an apple tree that doesn't make apples. Apparently, it can take 2 to 3 years for a business to make a profit. I’ll let that one sink in….
Of course, this depends on how capital intensive the business is e.g. an oil drilling company is a lot more capital intensive compared to a start-up selling digital products.
A disconnect between projections and reality can be disheartening. The budding entrepreneur should be prepared for a disconnect. However, I’ve learnt that the character trait of patience is key to reap the rewards of a business.
Thankfully I acquired some savings and have minimal expenses. If you don’t but are still considering taking the leap, I’d advice building some savings and cutting your non-essential expenses to invest in yourself, then the business.
3. Problems don’t care about your ideas
A business must first find a market with a problem. The entrepreneur who does not have a problem most likely does not have customers willing to pay for their product or service. One can’t be an entrepreneur without paying customers. Customers pay to get their problems fixed.
Finding a suitable market product fit is not for the fainthearted. Assuming you’ve validated your problem, most likely you will have a relatively strong connection to both your market and product. However, if the market deems your product invaluable, you’ll usually need to:
a) Adjust your idea (product/service) b) Communicate the product’s value more effectively c) Completely change your idea (product/service) All options require a slice of humble pie. If you’re allergic to humble pie, entrepreneurship may not be for you.
The truth is there are a lot of things to consider in regards to full-time entrepreneurship. I would be lying if I said it’s been easy. I am however enjoying the challenge and all that I’m being stretched to learn. For any aspiring full-time entrepreneur, I would seriously consider these three reasons. Nonetheless, the benefits can also be great — something I’m eagerly learning.