The whole world goes crazy about entrepreneurship during November thanks to Global Entrepreneurship Week. However, before everybody gets excited by the buzz and ditches their day job, let’s look at the reasons why entrepreneurship isn’t for everybody.
1. Inconsistent income
In my experience, this is the one thing that many fledgling entrepreneurs really struggle to adapt to. With a regular job, you know exactly how much you have coming in and can budget accordingly. When starting a business you don’t have this luxury and each month can fluctuate - and with that so does your attitude, belief and lifestyle. This inconsistency can cause extreme motivation as you know that it’s all or nothing, but adjusting to this way of life is difficult.
Solution: This can be combated by ensuring you have some savings buried away incase you don’t earn a penny. My advice? Work out your bare minimum living costs and have at least six months of these costs saved up before you start up.
2. Bad work / reward ratio
When working for somebody else, you get praised or rewarded based on your outputs and effort. When working for yourself, there’s nobody around watching and waiting to give you a bonus or a pat on the back - this can lead to a lack of motivation and interest.
Becoming somebody who doesn’t require consistent outside praise is crucial here as the life of an entrepreneur means that you will always be working for medium to long term rewards, rather than short term gratification.
Solution: This can be overcome by setting some key goals and rewarding yourself with simple and inexpensive things such as going to the cinema, seeing friends, taking an hour out to have some 'me' time or anything else that is taken for granted for when working for others.
3. The odds are stacked against you
We all know the stats, 50 per cent of all start-ups fail within five years. Getting comfortable with the stark reality that your business may fail is paramount to life as an entrepreneur. The odds are stacked against you from the very moment that you decide this life is for you, and so you need to carefully consider how failure may impact you, but also those around you and potentially those who depend on you and your income.
Solution: The best entrepreneurs embrace failure and use it as motivation. If they do fail, they keep their can-do-spirit and with each failure take experience and learning to then draw on the next time around.
4. Dealing with negativity isn’t for everybody
Nobody likes to hear criticism about themselves or something that they have been working on, but in a start-up you need to take everything on the chin, as it will help make you and your business better.
This negativity can often come from people closest to you, your partner, friends or maybe family. Ignoring this and powering forward without their support can be hard, but it often needs to be done and is one of the biggest causes of entrepreneurs giving up or quitting too soon as they can’t handle the personal stresses it creates.
Solution: The successful entrepreneurs take all comments on board and evaluate their validity. Getting a mentor to help deal with the mental and emotional side of dealing with criticism of your business can also be crucial.
5. You’re not the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg
Yes, having a role model, or reading about very successful entrepreneurs and founders can be inspiring. But if you’re starting life as an entrepreneur with the plan of becoming the next Jobs or Zuckerberg then you’re already behind. Putting other entrepreneurs on a pedestal can be very damaging as you will constantly compare yourself, and your business journey to those people without actually knowing the true in and out story, as you have only read the glamour stories and not the horrible ones where entrepreneurs have to file for bankruptcy or suffer a marriage breakdown.
Solution: Don’t focus on becoming the next rockstar entrepreneur, focus on becoming the best version of you as possible - that will lead to your success. Spend time reading the failure and dark stories of entrepreneurs as well as reading the glamourous success stories.