If you’re considering starting a business, you may be focused on how you’ll be your own boss, you won’t have to answer to your current crazy boss, and you’ll set your own hours. While all of this is true, a lot of would-be entrepreneurs tend to only see what they want to see when it comes to starting a new business.
Don’t get me wrong: I love being an entrepreneur, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But I think a lot of people have misconstrued ideas about what it will be like, so let me give you a clearer picture.
You’ll Be Your Own Boss, But You’ll Answer to Many
Sure, you don’t have to ask your boss for a raise anymore (in fact, you probably won’t even be able to give yourself a raise for a while), and you won’t have him breathing over your shoulder while you work. But if you think you won’t have to answer to anyone, you’re wrong. Your employees, for one, will rely on you to guide them as a role model. If you come in late every day, how can you expect them not to? And they’ll come to you for everything from crying over a goofup to complaining about a coworker.
And your customers are now your ultimate bosses. It’s up to you to keep them happy. Rather than risking a demerit for a job poorly done, you’ll simply lose customers and revenue, and put your brand’s reputation in jeopardy. That’s much worse than having an evil boss, in my opinion.
You’ll Have a Flexible Schedule: Which 3 Hours a Day Do You Want Off?
Sure, some entrepreneurs have flexible schedules, can pick up their kids every day (I’m one of the lucky ones), and take leisurely lunches. But not typically those who have just launched a business. Be prepared to spend a lot of time growing your business. Be ready to have your family time cut back significantly, and to spend every moment (waking and otherwise) thinking about your business.
It will ease up. I promise. But if you want to become a business owner so that you can goof off, you’re be sorely disappointed.
You’ll Make a Ton of Money…Maybe One Day
Many people buy into the idea that running their own business means they’ll get rich. Quick. You don’t read articles in Entrepreneur Magazine about those of us who barely eke by in our profits, or who have to take a job just to pay the bills while we grow the business. No, the media focuses on what happens down the road (for a select few) when profits grow and business owners can afford personal jets and daily massages. If that’s your goal, go to law school or become a doctor. But don’t become an entrepreneur because you expect to get rich.
It’s not my intent to dissuade you from becoming an entrepreneur. Rather I want to give you clear expectations so that you’re not disappointed if it doesn’t turn out to be what you hoped. Running your own business is amazing, actually. It’s worth all the hard work and stress. So if you can get past these disillusions you might have, you’ll learn the joy of being a business owner!
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