Despite there being a proliferation in the number of entrepreneurs of late, the position hasn’t lost the awe and respect that it often invites. People still see entrepreneurs as distinguished individuals with genius minds and a unique ability to have excellent control over their lives and their business. Can we blame ourselves for such suppositions? Not quite. We’re exposed to the prettier side of their lives. We tend not to think about their ‘human struggles’. A closer inspection reveals that all isn’t as rosy as it appears from the outside and that’s the purpose of this blog – to shed light on the entrepreneur struggles that nobody likes to talk about.
So without further ado, let’s see how a nobody begins his/her journey to make a name for him/herself as an entrepreneur.
1. The Humble Beginnings
Just look at the iconic figures from the world of entrepreneurs. People like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg and Amancio Ortega, none of them inherited an empire. They all worked their way up the entrepreneurial ladder through struggles. Mark built the world’s largest social media network Facebook from a dorm room. Amancio had to witness the painful truth of seeing his mother denied food on credit. Never forgetting that insult, he went on to found Inditex Fashion Group and is now one of the richest men in Europe. And the list goes on of these parvenu entrepreneurs who made their own luck. It’s time we removed the misconceptions about entrepreneurs being born rich and not having to see an average man’s struggle.
2. Young Age And The Burden Of Expectation
If you’re starting out early, which appears to be the trend nowadays, you find yourself confronted by challenges right off the bat. Investors see you as starry-eyed and full of hope but financially insecure. They want to get a decent return on their investment and to invest in a person with no proven record of running a successful business is a risky proposition. What often happens in such situation is you’re turned down by a lot of investors and your idea isn’t taken seriously, which is very demoralizing, to say the least.
Given that attitude towards self-made and more so young entrepreneurs it’s no wonder entrepreneurs face an uphill task where they have to make a lot of extra efforts to impress and convince everyone that comes in contact with them.
3. Struggle To Keep A Steady Head
Even if you do succeed in securing a handsome investment for your business, there’s no end to the struggle. Having a vision and being passionate about it is one thing but making it work is altogether different. Once all the preliminaries have ended and it’s finally show-time, you begin to get a sense of the gravity of the task lying ahead of you. Early days of a business are a ‘mess’, the team is small, there’s no such thing as a schedule, you have many sleepless nights and still, there’s no end to the work. What makes it worse is your impatience to delegate authority. You feel like you’re the best person for every task in your business. That approach can leave you exhausted very soon. This is a character-defining phase and you learn a lot of things, mostly the hard way.
4. Turning Up The Gear
Usually, after the early struggles, things start to settle down a little bit. You have a sizeable team and a steady inflow of revenues but that doesn’t mean an entrepreneur can sit back and relax. In fact, relax and entrepreneurs are the antithesis of each other. The immediate concern after the steady state of business is its expansion. A business can only go on for so long at the same pace. It needs to grab hold of new opportunities, capture more market and expand its outreach.
That’s not an easy task because a lot of businesses are already aiming for the same goal. An accurate timing, setting a reasonable price for product/services, assessing the team’s mindset and getting rid of the clutter from the ‘old-order’ are some of the things that entrepreneurs have to take care of before thinking about expansion. An entrepreneur’s quest to claim the ‘holy-grail’ takes him through a long and arduous journey.
5. The Psychological Cost
In the business world terms such as opportunities, challenges, profits, and losses are quite cliched. Numbers drive the actions but nobody talks about the psychological cost of running a business. Studies have revealed that 49% of entrepreneurs deal with one of the mental illness viz. ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, addiction, depression, or anxiety.
That’s barely a surprise given the awful amount of mental stress entrepreneurs are consistently put under. We all see the wealth of entrepreneurs and the filthy rich lifestyle they must enjoy, yet all of that comes at a cost and really, it’s hard to put a price on that cost.
An entrepreneur’s empire is built with countless massive efforts but the outside world only sees the best part – the achievements. So the next time you feel envious of entrepreneurs, remind yourself of their constant struggles behind the scenes. You wouldn’t so easily be driven to put yourself in their shoes. Hope you enjoyed reading the article. If you’re an entrepreneur, please share your opinion in the comments section below.