1. If you enjoy not knowing where your next paycheck will come from, entrepreneurship is for you! The time will (slowly) come when you are getting nice checks, and it makes you feel good. Then you start to pay the employees, rent, inventory, etc. What’s left over, in the early phase, can be somewhat depressing. Quickly you check the numbers to see where it all went and, for the first time, you realize that your secretary makes more money than you do. I realize that this little nugget of information is probably a buzz kill for most of you, but a startup business takes time to grow and become something of value.
2. You may be the CEO but you’re the secretary, IT guy and the janitor too. What a luxury it must be to drop off work assignments so that you have time to golf with your buddies in the afternoons. Oh wait, you ARE the staff! If you’ve never been much of an accountant, network engineer or HR person, get ready, you will be when you become an entrepreneur.
3. Your office will be open more hours than a 7-11. If you’re serious about becoming successful, be prepared to be the first one to the office in the morning and the last one to turn the lights out at night. Have you ever heard that song, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere?” It probably is, just not for you.
4. You are unique, which makes you weird to everyone else. There are few of us out there who are independent, driven, and inspired to live the American Dream. Congratulations, and welcome to the club. While this makes you incredibly unique to us, it means that you are completely out of touch with others. You should remember that there are actual people out there who are satisfied punching a clock, collecting vacation hours and calling in sick so that they can golf in the afternoon with their buddies. Over time we start to see each other as alien life forms.
5. You will be thought an idiot until you start making money. Business ownership is exactly like the story of the Little Red Hen. No one wants to plant the wheat or harvest the wheat or grind the wheat. But when the bread comes out of the oven, people will appear out of thin air. The lesson? Find those people who are hard working like you, who roll up their sleeves and just “do” the dirty work. And because you have read this far, I’m going to offer you a final piece of advice. These hard working, highly driven people do exist but are rarely found amongst family and friends. Your dream, your passion is not theirs. Accept it, appreciate it, move on and remember The Little Red Hen.
For those of you that this little post didn’t scare at all – welcome to the fantastic world of Entrepreneurship. Come visit us at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. You’ll be among friends.