Let’s debunk some of the myths and misconceptions about entrepreneurship, based on my own experience founding and running a company.
For the past five years, I’ve been an entrepreneur. I’ve attempted a lot of things in the past and failed miserably. Many people believe that I am an entrepreneur because I want to make money or make a difference. Yes, those are among the reasons on the list. But the most essential reason I am an entrepreneur is that I am at a loss for what to do with my life.
Nothing else challenges me enough to keep my mind active. That is why I am doing what I am doing. However, doing so is extremely tough. Running a startup is both difficult and soul-crushing.
Let’s take a look at the top five problems that entrepreneurs confront.
- Self Doubt
The most significant barrier that businesses encounter comes from within. It’s a battle within me. Self-doubt screams at you all the time, making you wonder if you have what it takes to achieve.
Self-doubt may consume you and turn you into a negative and miserable person if left uncontrolled. A person like this can’t be a successful entrepreneur.
The solution is to spend at least one hour each day learning something new. Read books, listen to audiobooks, and spend time following great businesses on Twitter.
The easiest method to overcome self-doubt is to look at those who have succeeded and believe that if they can, so can you.
- Dealing with ambiguity
Another significant barrier for entrepreneurs is navigating the complexities of running a company.
There will be a lot of compliance and taxation. It will be stressful and often frustrating to navigate your business via such intricate frameworks. Work will be delivered in tiny increments, and there will be several tasks to do.
Making a to-do list will result in an endless to-do list. Due to the length of your to-do list, you must continually prioritise jobs, outsource, delegate, and even neglect some until they are urgent and critical.
The only way to deal with complexity is to put in a lot of effort. This would entail working on weekends, early mornings, and late evenings, as well as doing work while waiting for anything.
When we were waiting to board the following aircraft, I recall my companion frowning at me because I spent 10 minutes replying to an important email. We were the last to board the plane, but I finished my work and put it out of my mind. No successful firm can be formed without making some early sacrifices like these.
- Putting Together an A-Team
It is not a job to be an entrepreneur. However, it will feel like a high-stress job with several bosses (your clients) for several years at first, and you will feel like a lone captain of a ship with no crew. Some individuals grow out of it, while others are locked in it for the rest of their lives because they can’t put together an A-team.
An A-team is a group of people who care as much about your company and consumers as you do. When you start establishing an A-team, things will start to become simpler, and you’ll be able to focus on the company’s long-term goal and growth rather than tackling pressing but minor issues in day-to-day operations.
Most entrepreneurs are unable to assemble an A-team since the goal of their company is to provide them with freedom and money. With such priorities, it’s impossible to recruit an A-team. If you want to recruit top talent and establish an A-team, your company must have a greater aim and vision of having a significant effect on the world. A purpose-driven company attracts top talent.
- Keeping intimate ties in check
Many entrepreneurs find it challenging to manage personal relationships, particularly romantic ones. Unless your partner is exceptionally supportive and aware of an entrepreneur’s mental condition, you may find yourself divided between things to accomplish at business and things to do at home.
Entrepreneurs’ thoughts are always humming with ideas, tasks, worries, and anticipation of the future. It’s like if you always had a few programmes running in the background on your computer. If you’re married or live with a spouse, entrepreneurship might be even more difficult if your partner doesn’t understand how your mind operates. When children are involved, the situation becomes even worse.
Thankfully, I have someone who understands and provides me with the mental space I require. If she asks me a question, I usually take 5-10 seconds to reply since I already have a lot on my mind.
Getting into a long-term relationship while attempting to establish anything may affect your relationship and your startup endeavour if your spouse doesn’t understand your mental state and isn’t supportive.
Either find someone who is really supportive or remain single until you are certain that you have created something good that you can rely on in the future. For entrepreneurs, there is no such thing as a work-life balance since work is our life.
- Managing funds and cash flow
When you first start a business, it’s like having a pet. Then it acts like a nagging child. It has the potential to develop into a monster that is difficult to control if left unchecked.
A company is a complex creature with numerous moving elements. The sum of the elements results in a result. A company need input as well. Capital, manpower, concentration, creativity, and teamwork are all examples of input. Revenue and profits are the outputs.
A tiny firm uses less energy than a large one. A tiny firm can nevertheless produce more than it consumes. The natural temptation is to increase the input if you want more output. But, on sometimes, the equilibrium shifts and things fall apart.
Consider a 50-kilometer marathon runner who consumes 2,500 calories per day. You can’t expect a five-year-old child to run the same distance if you feed him 2,500 calories. It takes years to get that level of fitness. It isn’t only a metric for measuring input.
Many entrepreneurs overfeed their businesses at an early stage, and the firm becomes ill as a result. Managing capital, cash flow, and people in the early stages of a corporation requires a lot of gut choices and instinct.
Unfortunately, this is a talent that, in my experience, cannot be taught. It is only through experience that one may learn it.
Slowing down something that is aching to develop requires a lot of guts. Capital may be a two-edged sword. You want a healthy company, not one that is overweight. Fasting the input and allowing things to settle is the most difficult thing to accomplish in a business, but it is also the most vital. Apart from patience and expertise, there is no simple approach to manage cash flow.