The flip side of entrepreneurship

“I am an entrepreneur.” This statement might seem highly fancy and swanky, but little do people know about the mental mess that happens inside a businessman’s head. Being able to have an empire of your own is a dream come true, however, building the foundation of this empire is what can send the empire into existential crisis. Reading about the struggle stories of several successful businessmen surely is a motivation to have a start-up of your own, but,
the intensity of these struggles is best known to the person who survived the storms. Owning a successful business company definitely seems attractive, but it is not a walk in the park. Apart from various traits and skills, a person has to be able to handle and manage twice of what s/he may have thought of. It undoubtedly is a nightmare for faint hearted people. Maybe, this is the reason why many of us are still vouching for our 9 to 5 jobs.


Let’s burst a few bubbles and come out of the preconceived notions we have about entrepreneurship.

1. You often are just a nominal head
Just like the President of India, your designation might be that of a co-founder or CEO, but your position will be that of a namesake head. Entrepreneurs are considered lucky to have been able to live the life they had dreamt of, and being the ruler that they are, but hardly do people know that the situation is just the opposite. You may be the boss of the company, but you are answerable to several other people, even those who are remotely a part of your team. These might include the investors, the board team, the customers and last but not the least, yourself. A more challenging task is to meet the deadlines set by you for yourself. If these deadlines aren’t met, you have more to lose than to gain, because a lot of your resources might be at stake.
During the initial stages of your start-up, you will even have to wear multiple hats. You might be the one handling finances, marketing, production and also might have to play the role of a Janitor. And even after you have a troop of 10 people, having a discretionary power might be a distant reality.

2. Difficult to have a team of more than one
You cannot have several irons in the fire. However, a company cannot be scaled with just 2-3 people either. You need to have a small army of people, who might even be smarter than you. You need to unite with people mindfully. However, there are several thorns and setbacks on this way as well. Your dream of the magical journey into the wondrous world of start-ups might not connect with the people you want to team up with. They might not reciprocate the enthusiasm and there could arise issues of conflicted interests too. Several employees might not even believe in your dreams and might not take the leap of faith when they have stomachs to fill and payment of bills. Moreover, reliance on your team
members might be another stumbling block. Being able to trust them is a skill you will have to learn, in order to be satisfied with the outcomes you get.
However, the process of team building takes up way more time than you think and management and handling of the staff is a different issue all together.

3. Limited people will have your back
For you, your business would be like your baby, but people around you just won’t care. You might be at higher risk of mental health issues because of stress and seeing or catching up with loved ones might become a distant reality. Most of your acquaintances might not even get a hang of what you are going through, let alone appreciating your big or small milestones.
All your close ones would want themselves to be your first priority, however, your first priority would always be your work. This might not only result in a lot of them disconnecting with you, but you would also get to know who your true friends are. If the people who matter to you do not have a 100% buy-in, either your business or your personal life will suffer. Finding a balance between personal and professional life becomes exhausting because, often, work becomes your life.

4. No tab on your working hours
Since more often than not, you would be working from home, getting rid of work-related thoughts would be impossible. The employees under you might be working for a duration of 6-8 hours, but for you, it is a 24×7 job. You might even have to spend several sleepless nights behind taking important decisions and introspecting the decisions you’ve already taken. There will always be someone who will not like what you’re doing and it will hurt a lot. However, to be able accept criticism and advice, but at the same time, being able to trust your instincts, is imperative. Since you are never off duty, vacations and leaves are not what you will get to experience often. You will have to face both, failures and disappointments. Since not everything would go as planned, the deadlines might get stretched, pushing you further into working late. You might even get engrossed in thoughts like “I could have done this in a better manner” or “I’m
capable of much more than this”, thus forcing you to work farther.

5. Bank balance sores much later
Business is often made synonymous with a job that makes plenty of money. But, the reality is something highly contrary to this notion. At the start of it, you might even find it tough to make the ends meet, and to keep your head above water. You might be in desperate need of financial support and might rely on external partners for funding. Borrowing money, taking loans, having stuff mortgaged and having a minimum balance in your account would be something that you would get accustomed to. Lack of funds is generally one of the biggest stress factors. Even when you would earn enough money, most of it would be spent on hiring talent and very less on paying yourself. You would have to wait patiently for a couple of years to see how your company is doing. Only once it kick-starts well, and begins to sore, would you be
able to delve in some luxuries and vacations.

The success of start-ups is the compilation of luck infused with many little wins along the way. You might achieve success after several failures, however, once you are on the right track, entrepreneurship would be the best thing that could have ever happened to you. Apart from riches, the pride, motivation, confidence, and respect that you will gain, is unsurpassable and beyond comparison. If you are thick skinned and passionate enough, this risk is worth taking.