When people think of entrepreneurship they usually have this dreamy view of those that set their own schedule, make tons of money and get investment on shows like Shark Tank. However, this unfortunately is not the typical case. Businesses fail. In fact, around 90% don't last more than three years.
It's risky business. Here are just a few of the things we've encountered while starting Atheris
Startups seldom have any cash.
Startups don't have money. Normally for a founder that means that you'll not only have no ability to pay yourself, but also that you'll have to put money into the company, even if you personally don't have it to put in. For a young founder without savings this is even more difficult. Living without an income is difficult, especially when you have business expenses to account for.
Hopefully you have people to talk to about your financial struggles, because they will be unnerving. Here is an example of Andrew's credit before and after Atheris.
Pretty huge drop. That is a struggle of being an entrepreneur. Not as glamorous as some might suppose. However, most entrepreneurs will do ANYTHING in order to see their company succeed, even if it means personal "sacrifice."
Relationships get strained
The largest tolls of being an entrepreneur are on those around you. The people that care the most about you: significant others, family, and friends. Some people will not believe in what you're doing. Some will encourage you to pursue other options, rather than risk everything on an unknown. Others will believe in you and encourage you to follow your dream, but they are in the minority. The majority of people will think you're crazy.
From the outside observer the entrepreneur is insane. They are willing to work longer hours, for less money, with more risk; and for what? - Some large sum of money down the road? Let's hope not. Entrepreneurs who seek fame and glory, or mountains of cash oftentimes ultimately quit. Having passion for why you're doing what you're doing is crucial.
Work-Life Balance doesn't really work in a Start-up
Entrepreneurs are always on. You'll lose sleep. You'll spend hours on end thinking about your business. You'll never truly turn off. Even when you're not at work it will be on the forefront of your mind.
Most people will absolutely not understand this as in most jobs as soon as the employee gets home they are done for the day. They forget about work until the next time they go in. That is because they can forget about it, because their bosses are the ones that have to worry about how to make payroll, how to generate sales, how to stay alive for another month.
Smart entrepreneurs will take some time off in order to spend time with family and focus on their other passions. However, when starting a company you'll typically find the first few years at the very least will be a 7-day a week job most weeks.
Account for this before starting. This is a huge one. If you're not willing or able to put in the work starting a company is not for you.
Businesses encounter struggles that seem insurmountable on pretty much a daily basis. This is true for all companies, even successful ones. The problems might be different for companies based upon their industry and the individual companies, but they are there.
Guess what? As an entrepreneur you're in charge of everything. If there is a problem, there is no ignoring it. These tasks fall on you. It's your job.
Good luck! Have fun.
Starting a company is hard. You'll start with having no money. Your relationships are likely to take a toll because of your new found company. Your work-life balance is going to be nonexistent. You're also going to run into problems on a near daily basis.
However, there are times when it is all made worth it. For Atheris it was when we got the first physical copies of Cul-De-Sac Conquest.