Entrepreneurship is a really rewarding venture, but it can be really risky and challenging too. And since the field seems to be so appealing, more and more people in today’s times are leaving behind their conventional 9 to 5 cubicle based jobs to make a career in entrepreneurship and follow their dreams. People like Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have given people hopes about success and fame in the industry, but the bitter truth is that only a few people manage to succeed. Studies have gone to reveal that as many as 9 of 10 enterprises have failed in the recent past.
A lot of people have romanticized entrepreneurship. They believe that it is the magical solution to all problems and job-related woes. What they do not take into account is the amount of dedication and hard work that goes into starting a business from scratch. A layman cannot even imagine the sheer amount of hard work and toil that has gone into the building of entrepreneurship.
Expectation #1: I will be able to control all decisions. I will not be at the beck and call of anyone and will have time to do everything that I have wanted to do. I will be my boss.
Reality check: You will be working harder than you can ever imagine! All your time, energy and savings will be invested in the company, and you will have to give your day and night to it. In fact, in the initial phase, your business will not even be able to generate enough funds, and you will have to live with minuscule funds. Your health, relations and personal life will greatly be affected by this venture. And the customer will be your new boss, who will not always be understanding or polite. And completely forget about payments on time.
However, remember that your business is your baby, and it is always going to be worth it!
Expectation #2: Things are going to work out super smooth, and I will soon be a millionaire.
Reality check: Things will not work out smoothly at all, and no sooner would you have fixed one problem, that another one would pop up. Execution is the most difficult part of any business venture, and a lot of entrepreneurs fail in that. You will need to have a solid plan for each and everything and will have to work out every contingency. How are you going to market your products? How are you going to approach investors? How much manpower do you need? Where will supplies and raw material be sourced from? Where will the funds come from?
Thousands of questions like this are waiting to be answered, and you alone can decide the answers to these.
And the worst part is that even though you might have a full proof plan, things might not go as planned. There is always a risk factor involved, which makes having backups, and backups for your backups all the more important!
Expectation #3: My investors believe in my idea, and we are sure to be friends in the long run.
Reality check: Any relation where the money comes into the scenario is by nature fragile. And more so when it comes to investors. You will have to build strong relations with them, on the foundations of trust and your ability to deliver the promised results. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, returns are what investors are looking at. And you will have to work hard to build long-term investor confidence in you and your enterprise.
Expectation #4: My idea is the best out there, and people are going to love it.
Reality check: Your product may be out of the world, but that does not sort out things. A business involves so much more, and there are a lot of connections and relationships that you need to look into. You will have to account for a lot of factors to ensure that your product turns out to be a success. You need the right people to build your product for you, and reliable relationships with vendors and suppliers are essential for smooth operations. Other than that, promotion, marketing, after-sale services, government policies, and norms are also factors that you need to think about.
And while all this is happening, balancing your finances and ensuring that you always have operating capital to continue operations is a must.
To sum it up, success does not come easily to anyone. It is not about luck and privilege, but rather about dedication, commitment, and passion. It all boils down to how much you are willing to put at stake, and how badly you want it!