Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t all fun and games. While it comes with plenty of rewards, you’ll also experience some downsides. Knowing what they are can help you prepare and handle whatever comes your way.
Don’t get blinded by greed, but instead, let your vision for the future drive your motivation to succeed. The first few years of business ownership are the toughest. Now is the time to lay the foundation for future success. But that process isn’t without plenty of pitfalls and hurdles.
Here are a few unpleasant realities that come with being an entrepreneur and tips for overcoming them.
1. YOU’LL WORK HARDER THAN YOU WANT TO
Most people imagine business owners as people who walk around barking orders. While this supervisorial role comes with time, it’s not how things start out.
In the beginning, you might be your only employee, and the few others you do have will be your teammates, not your subordinates. While you’ll call the shots, you also need to put in the work.
Get used to working long hours, seven days a week. You need to be available for any questions or complications that arise. No one can make those major decisions but you.
Keep your sanity by making some type of schedule and giving yourself breaks. This will help you handle the stress and responsibility that come with entrepreneurship.
One major stress most business owners face is the uncertainty of income. There’s no guarantee that your revenue will be enough to cover overhead costs. That’s why cutting down on payroll is a great way to save money in the beginning.
You may need to perform several different jobs until you can hire more staff. Once you do, be smart about delegating work and tasks.
2. UNRELIABLE INCOME
Most entrepreneurs are in it for the money. But that money doesn’t come easy or fast. It’s important that you plan ahead and realize that you may have dry spells along the way.
You also can’t predict monthly revenue from clients and customers. You may not always have a steady stream of income. Some months are slower than others. Plan ahead for these times by setting payment schedules or auto-pay options. You can also require payment before you deliver your product or service.
Even with these precautions in place, it doesn’t mean that late payments or non-payment will be any less unpleasant, it just means that you’ll be prepared. Don’t let irresponsible customers be the end of your business.
3. IN THE TRENCHES
We already mentioned that being an entrepreneur isn’t all fun and games. Getting your hands dirty is all part of the game – especially when you’re just getting started.
Your team will probably start out small and you’ll be at the center of it all. You may need to perform some less than flattering jobs. Put your pride aside and get to work!
Although this may seem like an unpleasant inconvenience, it actually has its perks. You’re now in control of all aspects of your business. That means no decision is made without your okay. It also helps strengthen your relationship with your employees, creating comradery and loyalty. Your employees will respect you when you’re willing to do the same work as them.
Then, when your business sees some major development and growth, you can move up to a more administrative role but your employees won’t forget the work you put in.
4. BITE YOUR TONGUE
If your mother ever told you if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all, now is the time to heed that advice. Customers and clients are bound to get on your nerves and downright annoy you. But you can’t say anything! You need to bite your tongue and kill them with kindness.
While this doesn’t mean you should be abused or disrespected by customers (or your staff) it does mean you may need to eat humble pie once in a while. The last thing you want as a new entrepreneur is a bad reputation. Once word gets out that you’re unpleasant to deal with, it could kill your business.
Try to take the high road and portray a positive image as the proud owner of your company – even when things get tough. If you need help in this department, consider hiring a manager to handle the customer service side of things for you. Let them deal directly with customers. Some people just have more patience than others. If this is a weakness of yours, hand the responsibility over to someone else.
It might also be in your best interest to hire a social media manager to handle online reviews and comments with class and professionalism.
5. YOU MAY HAVE TO TAKE A BACKSEAT
A business is never as important to others as it is to the owner. This is a harsh reality for most entrepreneurs. They don’t understand why their staff is calling out or showing up late or why their suppliers aren’t answering the phone.
The truth is, while your company is important, no one will care the way you do. Don’t take it personally. With the right approach, you can hire reliable, loyal staff that have your best interest in mind. But one unpleasant reality is that you’ll also encounter plenty of people with poor attitudes and even worse work ethic.
This is especially frustrating when other people’s poor behavior directly impacts your business and income. Whenever possible, weed these unreliable people out of your life and surround yourself with likeminded staff and vendors.
6. GROW THICK SKIN
You can’t expect everyone to love you or your business from the start – or ever, in some cases. Not taking things personally is one of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur. When you’re fully invested in your business it’s only a matter of time before your feelings get hurt.
The good news is, this means you’re committed to your company’s success.
Negative client feedback can sometimes feel like a punch to the gut and an even bigger hit to your ego. While it may sting at first, understanding your shortcomings is an important part of building a successful business. It highlights what areas need improvement from web design to pricing and even packaging. Try to listen to their feedback before getting offended.
Put your personal feelings aside and focus on what’s best for your business as a whole.
Here, you’ve uncovered six unpleasant realities that accompany being an entrepreneur. Although it can be a very rewarding experience, you’ll experience many ups and downs along the way.
Keep your head held high and your eye on the prize. With the right amount of planning and dedication, you can overcome these hurdles and realize your dream as a successful business owner.
So, there you have it, six unexpected but irritating hurdles to expect as a newbie entrepreneur. When things get tough and you feel like giving up, remember why you started your business in the first place.