The entrepreneurial road is full of surprises, and you will never grasp the full extent of it unless you take it yourself. People have entertained different notions of entrepreneurship. Some of them may be close enough to the truth while others are far from reality. Nonetheless, it is best to know straight from business owners themselves about the bigger picture that the entrepreneurial journey entails.
If you read through the previous posts, you will find that most of the misconceptions on entrepreneurship and business owners are not always true. EO members who shared their stories cleared the air and narrated what happens behind the scenes. Depicting the various facets of running a business, good and bad, will help aspiring entrepreneurs who want to embark on this journey see the entrepreneurial world from different angles.
1.) Business owners make loads of money
One of the main problems entrepreneurs constantly face is cash flow. It is not only because they put in their money to start and run a business but mainly due to the huge responsibility that comes with it. The real challenge is making sure that they provide for the people who work for them. More often, entrepreneurs are the last to get paid or end up not getting paid because they have to prioritise their staff and other things to keep the business going.
2.) The entrepreneurial life is glamorous
Others associate entrepreneurship with luxury and extravagance. Newsflash: it’s not a red carpet walk at all times. In truth, many business owners describe it as a path filled with peaks and troughs. It’s a rough challenging journey. However, because they love what they do and are passionate about it, the rewards for them are priceless. They find fulfilment in creating something, achieving goals and seeing their business impact people’s lives.
3.) Entrepreneurship is easy
Contrary to what others believe, running a business is a tough thing to do. Otherwise, the majority would be on it if it were too easy to do. Business owners have to make difficult decisions at every stage of the business, from startup to scaling it. Certain businesses fold up and don’t make it to the five-year mark. Entrepreneurs have to contend constantly with internal issues as well as external factors that can adversely affect the business.
4.) Success comes overnight
While a lot of people think that success in entrepreneurship comes quick, it takes many years to plant the right seeds to bear the fruits of one’s labours. There are those that grow faster than the others, but it doesn’t mean that it happened with a flick of a finger. There are also several dynamics that come into play before an idea becomes a reality.
5.) Entrepreneurs are lucky
Entrepreneurs succeed not out of pure luck. They may get some help here and there, especially with a good team around them, but most of it is because of their boldness to take risks and determination to keep going despite the odds. They have the drive and the passion for their chosen path that makes them persevere despite the heartbreaks, frustrations and disappointments.
6.) Entrepreneurs have no boss
True enough, an entrepreneur is his own boss, but it doesn’t mean he is not accountable to anyone. He is answerable to the numerous customers and clients that his business serves. Many business owners rarely switch off. When they are not doing work, they still think of their business most of the time. When the going gets tough and the tough gets going, they cannot easily walk away from it all.
7.) A successful business is smooth sailing
The entrepreneurial journey has been compared to a floating swan or riding a bike. Others think that once it starts running, everything will be effortless. But as the business progresses, more and more challenges surface and new problems arise. Sacrifices have to be made along the way, may it be in their business or personal life. Underneath the graceful picture of a swan on a lake is the relentless paddling of its feet to keep it afloat.
8.) Entrepreneurs have all the answers
Business owners also commit several mistakes and have to struggle with various concerns. They often hit a blank wall. That is why most of them cite the need for building a strong team and surrounding themselves with like-minded individuals. They acknowledge the importance of continuous learning, which many of them find in EO. Being part of EO Melbourne enabled them to gain new insights from the experiences of other entrepreneurs through the forum and learning events.
9.) Entrepreneurs are self-oriented
Entrepreneurs start a business because they have experienced or seen a pain point. They have recognised a problem in society that needs a solution. Others would think that business owners are always after profit, which is not always the case. They stay long on the journey because they find purpose in what they do. They often worry about money because they are responsible for their staff and the families that depend on these people.
10.) The entrepreneurial journey is all awesome and fun
Although the journey is fun for many entrepreneurs, it’s more of a roller coaster ride that is full of ups and downs. It can be a dizzying ride, with quick movements and sudden disruptions in the industry. There are smiles, laughter and adrenaline rush, as well as sweat, blood and tears that are poured into the business.
Knowing the stories of other entrepreneurs give us a deeper perspective on what is in store in the entrepreneurial journey. It’s not all bed of roses. Yet, it affords you the opportunity to be creative and chart your own path. If it is something that you believe is right for you, equip yourself with passion, patience, persistence and perseverance to overcome all challenges that may come ahead of you. When doubt sets in, it is better to hear it straight from entrepreneurs who have already taken the journey and learn from their experiences.