Let’s start out with a quote by Sir Richard Branson that we at The Million Dollar Club believe says it all.
“Starting your own business isn’t just a job. It’s a way of life.”
It’s a trend. Don’t you think? The global glorification at play that impels us all to venture out on our own and become entrepreneurs. It’s sexy. It’s the answer to everything. It’s the way to go. Everyone seems to talk about leaving their office jobs, to follow their dreams, make lots of money while sleeping, and live with a renewed zest for life.
We are not going to argue with that. If you know a little bit about us and what we stand for, then you know that we actually do encourage people to do what is in their hearts, become entrepreneurs and make their long dormant dreams come true. We’re doing it ourselves and it really is an incredible and awesome journey. What most people don’t tell you though is what to watch out for. As passionate of advocates as we are, we also want to inform people about the stuff that no-one really mentions.
Here is our very own MDC list of 6 things no one tells you about being an entrepreneur.
1 Being your own boss doesn’t mean you don’t have to answer to someone
No one does things alone. Whoever said that starting your own business equals doing and saying whatever the heck you want, was fidgeting with the truth.
Of course, you do get to decide on many things; you are the owner of a business and there’s no boss to answer to, gives you things to do and makes the heavy decisions for you. True. But what you will get in return are customers and clients. How about your employees? Financiers, landlords, governmental organizations, and suppliers. Just to mention a few new ‘bosses’ that will keep you on your toes.
2 You really can’t work whenever you want
It’s true. Having your own business isn’t at all a break from work. If you don’t network, if you don’t get out there and connect with potential customers and clients, make sure everyone is paid, your products are top notch, and your employees are happy then there wouldn’t be a business to run.
Being an entrepreneur, especially when you start out, means you will probably work more. You have to be the one telling yourself to stop and take a break, make decisions and set boundaries. Everything is done by you, or at least run by you. Behind all the success there is always someone that is putting in the hours.
3 Being an entrepreneur doesn’t guarantee a fortune
Entrepreneurship is quite the temptation and seems an impossible unreachable dream for many. Some people are convinced that their boss is loaded with cash and is enjoying the benefits of other people’s hard labour. Only when they start their own business, they realize that net profit margins can be thin, almost non-existent at times. Obviously, we at the MDC look at things from a thriving perspective, but we think it’s good to know that even though making money is simple, sustainable money doesn’t always come easy.
4 You will feel like a total loser at times (read often)
Starting your own business can make you feel like the most incapable person on the planet. You will doubt yourself, compare your journey to others, and meet your most deep-rooted paradigms more often than you’d like. Rarely do things go as we planned and more times than anticipated you will fail. However, if you try to keep an open mind and be curious about the so-called misfortunes that are inevitable, you will turn every obstacle into a lesson from which your business and your character can propel itself to a higher and more successful plane.
Remember that every winner is a loser that tried one more time.
5 Your business won’t be profitable from day 1
We all start out with the romantic notion that things will be tough at first, but if we do our best, we will become financially successful soon. True, but take into account that your idea of success depends on your definition of soon. Where it can take an e–commerce shop of t-shirts to become profitable within 2 days, it can take a brick and mortar fashion store 3 years.
Either-way, if a business owner does not have sufficient working capital to cover the losses incurred until the business reaches profitability, then it will fail due to liquidity problems. Start–up costs are always more than what we estimate and securing profit always takes longer than expected. Have faith but also be well prepared.
6 You will have to give up things
There is no dodging this fact. Many people have great aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur but aren’t willing to do what it takes. And the truth is that owning your business will require of you to give up certain things.
Of course, you have to prioritize family and friends, and know when it’s time to practice self-care, however having a business of your own always comes with some sacrifice. You just need to take a good hard look at what can be eliminated from your calendar so you can allocate that time to things that will move the needle toward your goals. Success comes from looking at the things you want, realizing what it takes to get it, and then go and make it happen.
A few words of encouragement to end our enumeration of entrepreneurial reality; even with this information you are going to encounter things that you had no idea would be part of entrepreneurship. You will experience things that can be challenging and expose you to a steep learning curve many times. The way to deal with your desire to become an entrepreneur is to look at things with excitement and curiosity.
If you are able to see, that part of the package ‘business owner’ deal is a rocky road, then you will already have won.
The MDC team.