5 Realities About Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurs Say Nobody Tells You


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If you’re thinking about starting your own business and you’re surrounded by good people cheering you on, I’m sure you’re going to hear a lot of things.

You will hear that you can do anything you put your mind to. You will experience the freedom of being your own boss. You will hear about the potential to grow your business and build an empire.

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In reality, many smart, ambitious people contemplate starting businesses that went nowhere, the freedom of entrepreneurship can become a prison, and not only do most businesses fail to become empires, but about half do within their first five years fail.

No one tries to talk you out of pursuing your dream, but the wisdom of entrepreneurs who’ve been there is certainly more insightful than that of your mom, husband, or kids.

Read on to learn what real founders in the trenches wish they’d been told how to get in.

It’s lonely at the top

No matter how much support they get from their friends, family, online groups, or bankers, entrepreneurs are always on their own — and that loneliness has forced many strong people to quit.

“I wish people would talk more about how lonely it can be starting a business,” says Bethan Vincent, who founded her company. open speed, in the already difficult times of the pandemic. “The nature of entrepreneurship means you are trying to do something no one has done before. This alone is very isolating as there is no beaten path to follow. The loneliness you feel is compounded by the fact that you and you alone are ultimately and often solely responsible for the success or failure of the business. That can be extremely challenging mentally.”

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If you’re well rested, you’re not doing it right

Sleep insufficiency is the order of the day for entrepreneurs – and a constant state of grogginess only adds to the stress of starting a business. If you’re really up for it, there will be little time for sleep, but worry can keep you up at night, even if there is one.

“Being an entrepreneur means long hours and little rest,” said Oscar Rodriguez, founder of OssieRodriguez.com. “There’s always something to do, whether it’s working on a new product or dealing with a difficult client.”

All of that is hard enough when you’re fresh, but sleep deprivation only adds to the feeling of loneliness Vincent spoke of earlier.

“Being an entrepreneur can be very isolating,” Rodriguez said. “You are responsible for making all decisions and there is no one to turn to with ideas or to lean on when things get difficult.”

It’s a roller coaster

If you haven’t started yet, perhaps you are imagining that you will start small and then grow, grow, and grow in an upward trend. But in reality, steady and consistent growth is a business myth – expect plenty of ups and downs.

“People don’t realize that entrepreneurship is nonlinear,” said Jodi Soyars, an attorney who heads the San Antonio firm Soyars and Morgan Law with her business partner. “One month can be amazing while the next can be devastating. In order to be successful in the long term, you have to smile in both the bad and the good times.”

It’s easy to suffer for your personal life

As you can see, the life of an entrepreneur tends to be stressful, uncertain and sleepless. If you don’t have the strict discipline needed to put up some walls between your business and your family or social life, you could end up losing everything.

“One reality as an entrepreneur that becomes clear very quickly is that you really don’t have a set work schedule,” said Yasmin Purnell, founder of The wallet moth. “It can all too easily mean that you are always working, especially if you are passionate about your business. Every successful entrepreneur needs to be an expert at time management, not just when it comes to meeting deadlines, but also when it comes to setting boundaries for their own time. No one is going to tell you your shift is over or suggest you have some vacation time to take some time off. You are the boss, and the reality is that you now have full control over how you draw the line between your work life and your personal line.”

Even if you succeed, there will be no shortage of failures

From zoning laws and marketing to taxes and customer relationship management software, entrepreneurs always face a steep learning curve. Because you keep encountering unfamiliar challenges, you don’t always find the right solution – at least not right away. For most entrepreneurs, long-term success is built on many short-term failures.

“In the early days of starting your business, you don’t know anything about the company culture, ongoing competition, financial issues, and legal issues,” said Dr. SS Nandal, CEO and Director of MG creations. “As an immature, you have to experience many failures that can disappoint you and even make you quit. Failure creates an environment of hopelessness and depression. Keeping motivated in this environment is the hardest part. It takes a lot of mental toughness to survive and become a successful entrepreneur.”

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About the author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning author, Andrew Lisa was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the country’s largest newspaper consortium, the Gannett News Service. He has worked as a business editor for amNewYork, Manhattan’s most widely circulated newspaper, and as an editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication at the heart of New York City’s Wall Street investment community.


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