Life as an Entrepreneur
The first time I was being coined the term “Entrepreneur” was when I was in the third year of my Engineering and was presenting one of my ideas in a competition to a visitor, who was observing me very closely. At the end of the session, he came and said one sentence. “You are Entrepreneur” and left.
I looked at him astonishingly as he was leaving, as I had no clue what was the term about. Later down the road, I kept on meeting such people which gradually made me understood “Who are Entrepreneurs”.. And here I am today having 5 years of experience in the same field…
Life being an Entrepreneur overall has been GREAT, it has challenged me in every aspect whether it’s learning, dealing with customers, meeting the social challenges and so on. But behind this whole journey till now, there has been days and nights where I as an Entrepreneur have been challenged at every scale of life.
Here are few of the harsh realities that come with the territory of being an entrepreneur:
Your friends and family won’t understand what you do:
“You’re an entrepreneur”, “What is it?, Sorry”, “oh that means you’re un-employed?”, “How could you be a C.T.O at the first day after your college?” or “Oh that’s nice.” are some of the many reactions you will get from close friends, family members, and others over the course of starting your own company.
Believe me, this is one of the most challenging parts, as you see your friends grow more and more, while you sit down and thinking of solving new problems. This will continue till your company starts to show sign of progress and growth.
You will make less than normal wages for a while:
If you are trying to be an entrepreneur for the sake of making money, then you are in the wrong business. Your company won’t reap you from the very first day. I remember when I started it, I literally had no income for at least 4 to 5 months of the initial days of my idea. This will curse you quite a bit, but you have to be brave enough and face the harsh reality.
You first iteration of idea will always be wrong:
The first implementation of your idea will always be wrong. Not because you don’t know what you are building, but because at that very point you don’t know what your customer needs. This happens normally because we are prideful, not listening to what customers are telling us, and keep doing things the way we like. In the end, it will leave us with no customers and re-implementation of the idea. This isn’t the point of worrying, its point of learning and gradually you will understand that you have to build things for the customers and it has to be built with the customers.
Not everything will be under your control:
Last, but not the least, you have to understand that you cannot control everything on your own. There could be times when your stakeholders are creating issues, or your team members aren’t performing up to the mark. You don’t take them as an excuse for quitting rather they are just a roadblock on the way back to your home. You may have to sit in traffic or take an alternate route, but as long as you are determined to get there, you will end up at reaching your goal.
The reason for sharing all these realities is not to deterrent to becoming an entrepreneur, but just a reality check to make sure you’re well prepared.