To many, entrepreneurship is a glamorous dream. Unfortunately, very few aspiring entrepreneurs actually know what it truly entails. As a result, they often find themselves falling short and eventually bailing out. This could be prevented by merely understanding what entrepreneurship involves and whether one is cut out for the calling.
The first thing to realise is that entrepreneurship is more than working for oneself, having flexible time and making money. Costs are always part of the package and include uncertainty, stress, chaos and loneliness. Uncertainty is always present because, as an entrepreneur, one has to stand on one’s own two feet.
Entrepreneurs make their own decisions, but it comes with uncertainty as they also have to take the risks by themselves. Quite simply, there is just no certain future. Outside factors could have an immense impact on any business at any time. It is at such times that entrepreneurs either make it through or not.
Combating stress and chaos
Stress is another cost that comes with entrepreneurship. Business owners constantly think about factors that either cause or could cause uncertainty in their business. They have to find new alternatives to problems, take risks and carry the burden of making the business a success. All the thinking, planning, problem-solving and risk-taking could be quite stressful, especially considering that they these issues are faced on a daily basis.
Entrepreneurs also constantly deal with chaos. Deadlines have to be met, meetings have to be attended, deals have to be closed and clients have to be satisfied continuously. Behind the scenes, figures have to match up, problems have to be solved and family dinner time is also on the priority list. Entrepreneurs are often swamped with responsibility and overworked as they try to maintain a balance between their personal and professional lives. Often, things don’t work out as planned and finding solutions to problems is a daily item on the menu. To entrepreneurs, rest seldom comes.
Beating the loneliness trap
The final example, loneliness, is probably the most demanding cost of entrepreneurship. As a result of demanding hours, increased responsibility, preoccupation and a seemingly decreasing balance in general life; entrepreneurs often deal with unsupportive loved ones. It could be especially burdensome when one tries to make both ends work without a stable support system. This could be very taxing emotionally and often leads to entrepreneurs giving up on their ventures.
In addition to paying a price, entrepreneurs should also have more than a dream to make it on their own. Certain qualities are indispensible. These include; having business creativity, being confident, being a self-starter, having a never-give-up attitude, being passionate, having good people skills, having work ethic, having vitality, being a deal-closer and being non-compliant. While all of these are not always present, a successful entrepreneur will posses at least most of these.
What you need to know to get started
Here are a few things that every entrepreneur should know. First, a business should never be started merely to employ others. Employment should rather follow as a result of passion and drive to provide a product or service that successfully fulfils a need – whether fulfilling a completely new need or fulfilling an old need in a new way. A very important question that any entrepreneur should ask is; “What about my service makes life more convenient for my clients and potential clients?”
It is also extremely important that entrepreneurs know their competitors. They should know where potential business is going, and if so, why and how could it be redirected to their own business.
Finally, business is about clients, not the entrepreneur. This could be tough for entrepreneurs, as it could mean that they would have to change an idea to suit their clients even when it means changing the original intention of a certain product or service.
Considering all of the above – if an entrepreneur has counted the cost and knows that s/he has what it takes to be a successful business owner, then the rewards of entrepreneurship are immensely satisfying. Entrepreneurship could be an amazing journey to those who are willing to accept the challenge.
The SAYEN platform
SAYEN is a platform for youth entrepreneurs that gives them the opportunity to network, share ideas, comment and possibly find synergies and ways of working together. Entrepreneurs interested in SAYEN can visit their Facebook page or post comments on Twitter at @sayouthnetwork.