Many of us have dreams of working for ourselves or becoming entrepreneurs. While this can be a great way to create the lifestyle you want, the reality is that entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Successful entrepreneurship takes dedication and work, and there are challenges and sacrifices that many business owners face, especially at the beginning of the journey.
Before you decide that entrepreneurship is your preference, consider the following real challenges often faced by those who would own their own businesses:
1. Lack of Benefits
One of biggest difficulties faced by those just starting their own businesses is the lack of benefits. When you work for “the man,” you have access to a number of benefits and perks, including health insurance. Before you decide to quit your job in search of self-employment, make sure you understand the costs. Health insurance, life insurance, paid vacation days and other perks like gym membership and childcare might be worth more than you know.
Many entrepreneurs do just fine without these benefits from an employer, and they are successful enough to be willing to pay the expenses on their own. Be sure you are able to manage as well.
2. Time Spent Working
Most entrepreneurs have stories of long hours working for success. In fact, many business owners point out that – at least at first – they work more than they ever did while holding down a “traditional” job. While you might be able to eventually back off with the work as you become more productive, as your success grows and as other are delegated to, be prepared to work very hard at first. The ease of choosing your own hours and enjoying the fruits of your labor aren’t likely until you’ve put in the work for some years.
3. You Might Have More Bosses Than You Thought
One of the reasons that many people become entrepreneurs or business owners is that they want to avoid being subject to a boss. However, being self-employed doesn’t always meant that you don’t have a boss. Instead, you might actually have several bosses. If you have clients that you need to cater to, you still have someone to answer to — and you might have more someones to answer to than you thought. Before you start a business, make sure you understand the implications and realize that you might still have to answer to someone in some way.
4. Where’s Your Support System?
Another concern has to do with your support system. When you first start out, you might have trouble convincing your family and friends to get on board with your goals and your business. At first they might be enthusiastic, but as time wears on, it can be difficult to be supportive as your time and life are swallowed up by your pursuit of entrepreneurial success. Be sure that your support system understands the sacrifice before you begin, and perhaps try to include them in your efforts so that they feel a part of the journey — and more willing to help out.
5. Determination and Dedication
Sticking to your efforts can be one of the most challenging aspects of entrepreneurship. Often, as humans, we like to see immediate results for our efforts. We want to see the rewards of our sacrifices early on. However, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes, entrepreneurship requires determination and dedication in the face of failure. You might need to tweak your plan, or even start over from scratch. Your willingness to keep at it, even when it appears that you could lose out, is what is likely to lead to eventual success. But, in between, it can be hard to keep pushing. Being able to do so is what will ultimately lead to the desired outcome.
If you can be realistic about the challenges of entrepreneurship, and be willing to brave them regardless, then you are probably ready to move forward.