Those 20 Things No One Will Tell You About Being An Entrepreneur

Small businesses in Kenya

There is no doubt that leaving behind a normal office job and becoming your own boss is exciting, and many of those who take that path indeed find personal and professional fulfillment there.

But in any endeavor, it is better to be prepared with reality in mind than fantasy. And as far as entrepreneurship is concerned, the reality is really complicated.

Here are 20 realities that no MBA degree program will prepare you for.

1.Just because someone else is doing it successfully, doesn’t mean it will work for you as well.

2.The “sky is the limit” is a cliché, but if you consistently set higher goals, you can make it a reality.

3.You will never be your own boss for your real boss is your customer. He calls the shots, and you must figure out how to respond to their revolving needs…all the time.

4.You will need a bit of luck to get past some hurdles.

5.Networking is everything and the old adage “It’s not what you know, it is who you know” still holds true.

6.There will always someone who will seem more successful than you and it is PERFECTLY okey to be jealous – especially if this drives you to work even harder.

7.Ideas themselves are not worth much. It is the execution that separates the men from the boys.

8.Don’t get too excited about that billion dollar idea you’ve just conjured from the thin air. Chances are that several people have already tried it and failed.

9. It takes time to build a reliable customer base. Until then, you better be prepared to survive on inconsistent income.

10.You will miss having a regular salary. Surviving on unpredictable income is not easy.

11.90% of opportunities that seem like they would be a good investment aren’t. Always test the waters first before jumping all in.

12.Your family and friends will not get what you are doing. Your mum will probably ask things like “Why can’t you get a normal job?”

13. Stress gets to a whole new level when you become an entrepreneur. If you don’t learn how to deal with stress, you will probably succumb to it during the first 5 years of operating the business.

14.No matter how well you hide, the tax man will one day catch up with you and you’ll not like it. And ooh! It hurts to pay in.

15. Deals will not come looking for you. You have to go fish them out from the streets. So you better work on your street smarts.

16.There are many rewards for being an entrepreneur – but if what you are looking for is wealth, then starting a business is not the best route to take.

17.You’ll need to learn to pat your own back. The encouragement you need to succeed will hardly come from other people and you need to brew it from within – so keep telling yourself you’re great.

18.If you are female, lots of people will think your success is due to a man. The fact that you’ve singlehandedly found your way to success will be unfathomable for most people.

19.During the first few months, you might be broke than you’ve ever been and you may worry you’ll never be successful. This is called “Self-Doubt”, a very common thing in entrepreneurship.

20.The broke you become, the more creative and innovative you will be.

Of course, there are many more things no one will tell you about entrepreneurial life. As an entrepreneur what are some things that you wish someone told you before you started?

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