What No One Ever Tells You about Entrepreneurship

Before the mid-1980s, being an entrepreneur was often seen as an excuse for not wanting or being able to find a job in the corporate world. Entrepreneurship definitely didn’t hold the meaning or gain the respect it has today. With the birth of companies like Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple, the face of private enterprise shifted—the nation, as a whole, become more accepting of entrepreneurs. People today view entrepreneurs as brave individuals carving out a future for themselves and the industries they represent.

The following is not intended as a deterrent to free enterprise, but to look at the aspects of being an entrepreneur in a real way—outside of how mainstream media portrays it—and paint an honest picture of what it’s actually all about.

Take a look at some of the most difficult aspects in entrepreneurship that no one ever talks about.

Great Isolation

As a society, most people are accustomed to being part of a group. In school, you have classmates you study with. As an employee, you have colleagues, and if you’re active in your local community, you have members in various organizations to look to for support.

When you make the decision to start your own business, unless you have a co-founder or partner, you are on your absolute own. Moreover, even if you do have a partner, then it’s just the two of you. There is no solid support system to turn to in times of uncertainty, no group to back you up.

New entrepreneurs often find a deep sense of loneliness and isolation when they are no longer associated within a group. They are venturing into unknown waters and it is all up to them to decide how to build a company.

Not too many entrepreneurs talk about the aloneness associated with starting a business, even successful ones. Some might suggest the reason is because of the perceived mindset of entrepreneurs: the drive, the passion, the strength. It could be seen as a sign of weakness, so better left unmentioned.

Harvard Business Review reported that 50 percent of CEOs admitted to a sense of pure loneliness, with first-time entrepreneurs being the most affected, and 70 percent thought it affected their performance in the workplace.

Isolation is a reality and something that you should be prepared for before jumping into the blazing fire of entrepreneurship.

Private Enterprise Contributes to Lifestyle and Work—Not Wealth

Due to the more recent societal glorification of entrepreneurs, it is a common misconception that all free enterprise leads to great wealth. Most people view entrepreneurs among the rich and wealthy and nothing could be farther from the truth. The majority of small business owners earn only a little more than the managers working under them.

Building and maintaining a business takes hard work. Often the payback might be a thriving endeavor, but it generates little for personal monetary gain.

Entrepreneurs can be seen in many lights—wealthy being on the low end of the totem pole—but the truth is, most work just as hard, if not harder, than the people they employ.

Always Having to Be the “Bad Guy”

At every turn, there are decisions to be made, especially in the finance area, to keep your company afloat with the competition in your industry. The pressure to be proactive is enormous, and the fact is … you cannot please everyone all of the time. Unpopular decisions will have to be made for the benefit of the company and that is the reality of being a CEO.

A macro-level of managing operations becomes a necessity and you will be expected to have all the answers to rising problems. Your ladder to success is all on your shoulders.

The key to keeping people happy inside your company is by creating incentives and rewarding good performance. Let your team know that you have, not only your company’s best interest at heart, but theirs also.

It Takes Years

Another common misconception people have for entrepreneurs is that it can be an overnight success. While that may be a possibility if you actually have the “next best thing to sliced bread” business idea; however, reality dictates quite the opposite. You can become a successful entrepreneur, but it takes time.

If you enter into a venture with higher expectations, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment.  You should anticipate years of growth until you find true accomplishment. In most cases, nothing happens overnight and that is okay because it is good for everyone associated to allow the company to grow authentically, at its own careful pace.

The American Dream …

Is alive and well, and it can be achieved in the near future. Dreams DO come true, and if you have the ambition, drive, and determination to make things happen, you will definitely climb the ladder to success.

Entrepreneurship is a fine line to walk on and sometimes, it’s hard to predict what the outcome might be. But with a strong sense of goal and business savvy skills, there is nothing in your way to stop you from achieving your ultimate goals.

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