It’s not an easy thing to be an entrepreneur. You are ravaged by challenges, self-doubt, petrified by the fear of failure and suffer from a lack of motivation, from time to time. It is not an easy thing to start a business.
You are probably aware of the stats – 80% of startups fail within the first 5 years. For online businesses, the failure rate is even worse. But there is no occupation that is as exciting, satisfying and potentially profitable as that of an entrepreneur’s. While it is true that you will have to deal with uncertainties early on in your entrepreneurial journey, it gets easier and easier as time passes on.
Let’s find out what the major challenges that an entrepreneur has to deal with.
Dealing with Self-Doubt
As an entrepreneur, you are doing something that most people don’t, because an entrepreneur’s job is highly uncertain. Whether you succeed or not cannot be predicted, in spite of your best efforts. You will notice your friends from college earning nice cushy incomes, doing far easier 9-to-5 jobs while here you are, putting in 20 hour days, often for nothing – as most startups take years to become profitable.
So you will be ravaged by self-doubt. Is entrepreneurship challenges really the thing for you? Your family and friends will be worried about you, and counsel you to give up dreaming and get a real job. Every entrepreneur goes through this phase and so will you. It is important to have an iron will and see through it, because the rewards of entrepreneurship are far greater than what any 9-to-5 job could give you.
Dealing with the Stress
The stress is constant. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly wracked by the fear of failure and several worries. What if your business does not take off? What if you are unable to meet your obligations on time? How will you pay your employees next month? Is your best employee talking to your competitor? Or worse, is your top engineer sexually harassing a young intern?
Several issues crop up when you own your own business, and many are really hard to deal with. It’s not easy – as a business owner, you are required to make cold calls to potential customers. You will be put down politely by some and rudely by others. The stress is always there and it can affect your family life as well, if you are not careful enough.
Can you handle the stress? Can you handle rejection? Can you go through the day without worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow or next month, for that matter? If you can’t handle the stress, then entrepreneurship is perhaps not for you. You’re better off with the 9-to-5 job.
Dealing with Lack of Motivation
As an entrepreneur, you must stay highly motivated at all times. You cannot at any point afford to switch it off. When you have a boss or a manager watching over you, this isn’t that hard as you will be reprimanded severely if you doze off on the job. But as an entrepreneur, you are your boss, there’s no one to watch over you. If you are not doing your job or maintaining a strict discipline, there is no one to admonish you.
So, there can be a challenges temptation to take it easy, relax and have fun. Burn your cash by throwing parties and have a great time. Many startup founders go on this route only to crash out soon enough. Startups are not fun – they are serious work. You must stay constantly motivated and be serious about what you do if your business has to have any chance of survival.