Escaping the clutches of a soul-destroying job where you get to make your useless boss even richer by starting your own enterprise and becoming your own boss may sound like the coolest thing you can do, and it is. But it is also seriously tough to succeed at. There are tears, there is sweat, there may even be a little bit of blood, as well as the dire need for true grit, thick skin, hard work and unrelenting determination.
We’re not trying to put you off. Oh no. Being an entrepreneur is just too important and awesome to raise the bollards and lock the doors, even through the medium of demotivating you. All we want to do is help prepare you for the challenges that are associated with going down this path, and the best way to do that is to highlight the hardest parts of an entrepreneur’s job, according to entrepreneurs.
- Saying, “I quit”
In order to make it as an entrepreneur, you need to accept there will be a time where you have to fully commit to your rather risk-loaded idea and say the words “I quit” to your current job. On paper, that should be easy because it’s just two words. However, the reality is somewhat more daunting as you will be saying ba-bye to the security and comfort of your current career – waving goodbye to a steady income and a plethora of perks – and for what? To leap into the unknown where nothing is certain. That. Is. Not. Easy.
- Feeling totally inadequate
You are trying to go up against the odds in order to build a successful business of sorts without really having a clue what you are doing. You will probably even wear a t-shirt that says “fake it until you make it” in order to feel a little bit better about yourself. Don’t worry, this feeling of being in way over your head is totally natural. Even Mark ‘Facebook’ Zuckerberg found he felt lost, trying to build a company without having any experience of how to build a company. The thing that gets most people through is the people around them. This is what will steady the ship a little more. It is what will help you make sense of the decisions you have to make and take the pressure off your shoulders.
- You’re a manager now
This has to be one of the hardest things you will ever come up against because managing people is a skill you acquire over time. It is knowing how to hire the right people, motivate them to do their best and reward them in a way that is applicable to them, all while understanding their very unique wants and needs. The tricks to this come with time. Of course, you can help yourself by hiring experienced managers to work with you, or understand how outsourcing works, whether that be using digital marketing services, freelance bookkeepers or a creative copywriter to keep things fresh. You need to know what your strengths are and where you lack slightly so that you can assemble a business that counters these to create something special. That is the trick.
- Scaling up is hard
When you start out, you probably dream of serving millions of people one day, as unlikely as that may be. It doesn’t have to be scaling like Google did, going from 10,000 searches a day to fifty million-plus, but scaling of any kind is a challenge. You need to know how to set yourself up to scale, how to manage your cash flow, how to latch onto a sudden boost in revenue and how to improve your infrastructure so that your sudden success does not become your biggest downfall either. It is challenging, there is no doubt about that.
- Making things simple
That is what people want these days. They want things that make their life simpler. Call it the Apple effect, call it minimalism, call it what you will – it is the thing that is focused on simplicity that really sells. Unfortunately, making something simpler tends to be a lot harder than making something that is complex. You have to work a lot harder at the front end in order to succeed. You need to think very clearly in order to turn the complex into the simple. It is challenging, frustrating and at times nigh-on-impossible, but it is totally worth it because, as Steve Jobs said, “once you are there, you can move mountains.” No one can argue with Steve Jobs. Period.