Are You Ready for Entrepreneurship?
Being your own boss is something most of us dream about. Not having to answer to anyone, getting to call all the shots, working from home in your pajamas – sounds like heaven, right? Absolutely! Being your own boss is incredible, but it’s not all sunshine and ponies. There are certain qualities that can actually be really stressful. Before you dive into entrepreneurship, make sure you’re prepared for everything that comes along with it – good and bad.
- There will be sacrifices. Sacrifice is the name of the game for most entrepreneurs. To be successful, you usually have to give up some stuff. This can mean a stable job with a steady paycheck, your social life, and free time in general. Most people who own their own businesses, whether it’s real estate investing or landscaping, work far more than the standard 40 hours per week. It takes a lot of time and energy to start a new business from the ground up, not to mention the constant learning and innovation that is required to stay relevant in your industry. So yeah, plan on making some sacrifices.
- You’ll need to get your time management under control. When you’re not operating on that 9 to 5 schedule, you may find it difficult to stay on task. You’ve got the whole day, right?! Wrong. Time management is more important than ever when you’re an entrepreneur, simply because there is. So. Much. To . Do. You may have a whole day to play with, but your workload probably just increased tenfold. It’s critical that you plan each day from start to finish. Organize your tasks, prioritize your goals, and most importantly, hold yourself accountable. Taking a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ approach may be fun, but it’s not sustainable, and your business will likely suffer because of it.
- Every task will fall on you to complete. Here’s another fun fact about entrepreneurship – your job description includes, well, everything! Yep, every single task will be your responsibility, unless, of course, you’ve hired an assistant or outsourced some particular job. If you’ve worked in a “regular” job before, this can be quite the culture shock. In those jobs, there are multiple employees, and tasks are divvied out among them. No one person is stuck with everything. In your business, it’s the opposite. You’re stuck with everything, so get ready for it.
- You may have to take a pay cut. This is a tough one for most people, but it’s one you may have to deal with. In order to get their business up and running, many – and I mean many – entrepreneurs are forced to cut their own salary, at least initially. The startup costs for a new business aren’t cheap, and everything from equipment to labor costs are going to be your responsibility. Be prepared for this, and plan ahead and save as much as possible before you actually take the leap.
- Your stress level will likely skyrocket. Guess what all of the above adds up to? That’s right, increased stress. Having little time for yourself or family, handling every job yourself, and not making the income you’re used to can result in a lot of added stress. This is not only unhealthy physically and mentally, but it can also sink your business if you’re not careful. The best way to combat this it to plan, plan, plan. Make your decisions carefully, and consider all the possible outcomes before taking action on major things. Build time into your day to relax, and remember: This is what you wanted. Hard work really does pay off, and you can do this.
Okay, I know I’ve just painted a lovely picture of entrepreneurship/working from home. NOT.
In all seriousness though, my goal is not to discourage you from setting out on your own with your business. Rather, I want you to know and understand the realities of this path before you set down it, so that you can fully prepare for it. Good luck!