Entrepreneurship is today one of the biggest buzz words around the globe. Every day we are bombarded with news stories or profiles of successful entrepreneurs that made it big. The story follows a simple narrative give or take a few minor details.
It almost always begins with the entrepreneur working at a multinational or some other big firm where he gets bored with the routine. Seeing an opportunity to leverage technology or a big idea he leaves his job and starts his own business along with a few trusted friends. Then begins the whole clichéd musical montage we see in movies and LO and BEHOLD the entrepreneur is now a millionaire with flashy cars, giving interviews in big magazines about the business and how he made it.
All these stories miss out on one aspect of the entrepreneurship journey. The Struggle. We never hear stories of those individuals that are currently chasing the dream, failing but not giving up and struggling to get noticed.
So on that count here are 5 points that most entrepreneurship and business articles miss out on.
The Sleepless Nights
Those dreaded sleepless nights where you don’t get any sleep because of the stress. Tomorrow maybe a big meeting with venture capitalists or investors, or the launch of a new product/service whose success will make or break your venture. The stress keeps you up, messes with your thought process and the worst part is it puts the fear of failure in your head. You become irritable and ready to launch the nuke on the first person in front of you especially if he/she tells you to chill.
On the job you can easily take out time for your significant other (SO). With running your own venture, the entire thing gets turned on its head. When you feel that the hours in a day are not enough for the amount of things you need to accomplish, how can you even fathom taking out the time to relax. This takes its toll on your relationships, now you don’t have the time for those late night chats or long lunches you used to enjoy. Even a few calls during the day make you feel angry on the amount of time lost that could have been given to the business.
God forbid, that your SO does not have a career or something to keep themselves occupied during the day, you start getting into arguments over the pettiest things and your relationship hits obstacles never faced before.
Especially in a country like ours where family is the ultimate social phenomenon and everyone can give unwanted advice on your career choices. That Khala who cannot stop rubbing your nose into how your cousin got that new flashy car from office or the uncle who travels all over the place on “business trips”, with sideways glances to check your reaction.
Your parents try to make sure that they give you full support at every decision, but you cannot help but notice the hidden disappointment that their smiles and soothing words hide.
You think about your choices and how you got there. It is just a thin line between using the doubts as motivation or wallowing in stress and depression.
Burning through the Savings
That money you saved before starting your business thinking it is enough for a year of operations, well it’s just not. In only a few months you are left with just a little amount from which you have to pay salaries, keep some for your family and home plus pay off the vendors whose services you are using. Entrepreneurship is the simplest way to burn through cash especially at the start.
Next you are forced to sell off assets just to stay afloat, including that prized car. The disappointment at being forced to give up on things you have grown attached to is killer.
Is it worth it?
Hell yeah!! There is no better feeling than the satisfaction you get after finally turning a profit or making a successful venture. All the doubts, all the stress and every bad turn suddenly becomes worth the effort and toll it took on your mind, body and soul. The release found when you find your risk taking validated is unmatched. An achievement that is yours alone that no one can take away.