Everyone knows that being an entrepreneur is not easy. But, everyone thinks of becoming one with their “One in a million” idea. Everyone thinks that “this is something no one has ever done”. Everyone has a unique business idea, but there are very, very few people who really give it a try. It doesn’t matter that they achieve success or not, at least they are trying.
As you are reading this post, I am assuming you are serious about being an entrepreneur. So, here are some problems you will face in your entrepreneurial journey and some truth about startup life.
Problems Faced By Entrepreneurs
Getting First 10 Clients
This may seem easy to start, but when you do it, you face many unpredicted things. And one of the main things is getting the first 10 clients for your company. You can’t just rely on advertisements. Advertisements may work, but unless people talk about you, it will never work. And to make people talk, you need a real customer. You need someone who uses your product or service.
To get your first 10 clients, talk about your startup with people you know. They could be anyone, your friends, your neighbors, or your colleagues. Let everyone know what your product or service is. Do not be introverted while talking about your startup. Startups are not a shame, they are pride.
Getting the first 10 clients is not enough. It is not written anywhere that once you got some customers, they will market your product. You have to put in effort to market your product. And believe me, you will have to go through each and every kind of marketing process if you don’t have tons of money lying around. You will have to bargain for pamphlet printing, bargain with vendors, tell people about your product or service on roads, and literally everything.
You will feel uncomfortable, but it will totally worth it. Some people think marketing is only limited to online marketing or creating ads. But marketing is a very vast process than you think. And as an entrepreneur, you will have to map all the roads of marketing.
Lack Of Experience
It is much easier for a salesperson to go and acquire customers, but not for others. You will need each and every type of knowledge and experience to really stand a chance to succeed. Try doing as many jobs as possible. Or you can also go for internships. It can be any job. On-field Marketing job is the best as they will make you uncomfortable. And once you are comfortable with being uncomfortable, you are full of “you”.
If you are going to have a tech startup, it is still advisable to gain some experience first. Gaining experience not only increase your knowledge, but it also increases your network. You cannot really tell that your old school or college friend will buy your product, but your office mate might buy it as they are more mature.
Finding A Business Partner
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
This quote is totally indeed. When you have a partner, and they say “we should do this instead of your plan”, it really sucks. You might think “Man! It was my idea. I’ll do whatever I like”. But believe me, partners are important. However, you cannot go on the streets and ask someone “will you be my business partner.”
That is why it is very tough to get a business partner. You might have a big friend circle, but not all of them are interested in entrepreneurship. You have to find someone who is as passionate as you are about your business idea. Although there are many websites which let you find your business partner but believe me, they are not worth it.
You can’t partner with someone you don’t have any emotional relationship with. You may partner with your best friend, they even may like your idea too much. Just make sure they don’t leave you in the middle of anywhere. Many people think they are passionate about entrepreneurship, but internally, they just want money. You can't be an entrepreneur if you always think about money. So chose your business partner wisely.
Facing The Awkwardness
Yes, it is true. There will be many times when you will feel awkward because of your business. It can be anywhere. Like, at a party, someone asks you about your startup which is in its initial stage and not making any profit from months, people will say “get a life man”. You have to understand that they are saying “9 to 5 sucks but we make better money than you”. It is true, but not for a very long time.
Not everyone understands that great things take time to build. Everyone wants quick results. You may also feel awkward to pitch your product in front of rich and successful people. But you have to understand, once they were also a "nerd with funny dreams”. So, be confident, and don’t stress if you couldn’t make it.
Brutal Truths About Startup Life
This is one of the most brutal truths about startup life. You have to face so much depression. Mostly as it is a very time consuming profession which will lead you to lose time spent with friends and family. It can be very alienating at times as your top priority will be only on your startup idea. So, you will need to find proper ways to have a work life balance to ensure you don't slip into a depression. Read, play or do anything you like and smile more.
Not once, not twice but many, many times you will be backstabbed by your own people. You literally can’t totally count on anyone. There is no guarantee that your partner will never pull his hands back from his responsibilities or even abandon the startup. Or, your friend who told you to provide raw materials on the debt will never file a complaint on you. You really can’t trust anyone.
This is a startup, this is everything about money. Everyone who is with you in this, are there just for money. And if it will take time to show a profit in the balance sheet, everyone will get frustrated. So, they will see you as their enemy. They can do anything to create problems for you. However, there is no solution to it. You have to go through this. So, keep calm - this is just one more hurdle in your startup story.
You Will Fail
Yes, you will fail! The startup is less of a science and more of an art. And an artist doesn’t make masterpieces in each and every attempt. They fail but they learn. You have to understand that if you have a very unique idea, you will succeed.
Only 1 out of 10 startups succeed. But that one has failed 10 times. And that is why that is the “one”. And don’t think that you should not give too many efforts as you are going to fail anyway. Exceptions are there. So, do your best, don’t stress, and smile more.
You Will Face Hate
Try pitching your product to anyone in the crowd or cold calling anyone, they will curse you to hell. And this will be constant in the journey of your startup till you turn it into a “company”. Hate is nothing but an emotion. So always remember, if someone is hating you, they are thinking about you. Which is so beautiful in itself.
They are giving you their time. So, don’t stress about it. Even if it’s your best friend who is hating or making fun of you because of your startup. They don’t know what effort it takes to actually working on your idea.
“All Because Of You!”
When anything will happen to your company, it will always be blamed on you. And the brutal truth is, you have to face it. Because you are the one who started it. Each and every partner will point their fingers to you in low sales, bad marketing, etc. Even when you are not the in-charge of that area.
So, instead of arguing in those matters, try finding a solution. Try to back the situation up. And learn from it. If you will try to argue, everyone will be against you. You are the leader and the only string which unites the company.
There is nothing wrong in having a dream, but make sure they make you sleepless. Every big entrepreneur was once “another startup nerd”. But they made their way from the social norms.
Do you have an unique idea? Make sure you give it a chance. And don’t wait for the “perfect moment”, just put your step forward. You can start just now, at this very moment. Later never comes. Just call the person you think can be your business partner, now. Or call the person you think needs your service. Just do something which pushes you forward to your dream. Best of Luck!