No one ever said it was easy being an entrepreneur. Whether you're in the early stages of your statrup, just secured funding for your startup or you are ready for product launch, there will always be those three components when you ask yourself if this whole entrepreneur thing is worth it. Instead of giving up and throwing-in the proverbial white towel, this forum will help in giving you all the motivation you need to achieve your result.
The process of becoming an entrepreneur could be very stressful and depressing especially for a new comer entrepreneur. But even with that there’s no denying that entrepreneurs are the new rock stars. Many people have given up this journey to be successful in entrepreneurship and some who still stick to it will tell you that it sucks. Part of that reason is because most people get into the van as ignorant who want to learn, learning in this type of competitive reality can be mind bugging. We are bombarded with exciting tales of overcoming adversity on the road to success and the message is often that you too could quit your day job, launch a successful venture and reap the multi-million-dollar rewards. Here’s a reality check on things you need to know before you jump on the van.
The fact is that three out of four venture-backed startups fail. Why? Because founding a company is harder than most of us imagine. Behind the glamorous image of entrepreneurship lies a rollercoaster of epic highs and crushing lows that can produce great rewards, but also negatively impact your relationships, quality of life and even your health.
To give first-time founders an insight into what they can really expect, here are five realities I wish I knew when I began building my own business.
You’re only as good as the people around you
It’s a common belief that the founder of an organisation is its wise chief navigator who single-handedly steers the way to success. I found this to be a gross misconception. If a startup business is to flourish, the founder must set their sights on gathering the right people around them, as you can’t always be the smartest person in the room.
This might sound like an obvious statement to make, but it can be surprisingly difficult for a founder to hand over control. Assembling a strong team requires humility: the founder must accept that their skills have limits and recognise where they need to add the abilities of others. When I launched my company at the age of 25, it quickly became clear that while I had bucket loads of ambition, I needed a great management team and guidance from experts. Not only did I hire a management team of people who are all my professional seniors, I also quickly onboarded advisers with 20+ years worth of advertising technology, telecoms and business experience. The move paid off; my company grew quickly and many of my mentors later became my investors (and some even board members).
Pragmatism over idealism (almost always)
Founders are often idealists by nature. We start our own ventures because we want to solve problems we see in the world and, fuelled by the entrepreneurial fairy-tales that are so prevalent in today’s society, it often seems like creating the ideal company that runs just as planned should be achievable.
But perfection isn’t a realistic goal. Indeed, it’s highly likely that many of our best-laid-out plans will go awry somewhere along the line. A project you’ve always wanted to implement and spent 100 hours per week developing may turn out to be untenable. A friend who stepped in to fill a role might be the wrong fit for your firm. At such times, there’s no room for idealism — particularly when the situation hinders business prosperity.
To build a successful company, founders must be pragmatic: prepared to put emotions aside and change course, halt unfeasible projects after much blood, sweat and tears went into them, and make tough decisions. Although this sometimes means letting go of the original dream, a logical focus will likely propel company growth further than blind stubbornness.
The devil isn't always in the detail
Quality is crucial to win customers and stand out against your competitors, yet it doesn’t follow that founders should try to preserve standards by acting as the main quality control checkpoint. While at first, you might be able to assess all operational elements — from customer emails to service delivery — an overly detailed-focused approach will become impossible to sustain as the company expands.
I was heavily involved in creative output at the beginning of my startup journey. As a former designer in the ad industry frustrated by restrictive banner formats on mobile, I wanted to design an experience of mobile ads that utilise lock-screens within a non-disruptive experience to the consumer. As our client base increased, so did business areas demanding my attention; be that strategy, shareholder management, or revenue flow. I just didn’t have the capacity to oversee each detail anymore and, consequently, had to hire and trust in a skilled team of experts to keep the quality bar high. If you build the right workforce, it’s important to have faith in them and let them shoulder their areas of responsibility, even if it doesn’t always end up exactly as you imagined.
Everything else comes second
It’s common knowledge that establishing a new business will disrupt your personal life, but I believe the full extent of this disturbance is less widely acknowledged. Firstly, it’s not unlikely that you will work many 16-hour days on zero salary, at least for the initial months, or even years. Secondly, you’ll definitely spend less time with your significant other, family and friends. Thirdly, you might need to eventually move country and leave your home network behind, which can be lonely at times, but helped once more by assembling a great team. Finally, it will rapidly become apparent that no one else is quite as dedicated to accomplishing your vision as you are. So, if you aren’t ready to give up a portion of your private life for the business, you may not be able to really make your entrepreneur dream happen.
It's not for everyone (and that's OK!)
There’s something very enticing about the thought of leaving the typical 9 to 5 routine and setting up as your own boss. Yet the actuality of entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. For those who understand and embrace the pressure, sacrifice and strain that come with starting a business, it is usually a rocky road to victory. For a large proportion of people, however, the harsh reality of going it alone can outweigh the benefits. And that’s ok, because what matters most is choosing a career you are comfortable with. If your health and happiness are in jeopardy, it might be time to re-evaluate which path you want to follow.
None of this, however, is to say that entrepreneurship is a bad route to take. There are many benefits to building a company from scratch; not least of which are the freedom to innovate and the ability to structure your time and focus. It’s just that the advantages usually get the most attention, while the less romantic side of entrepreneurship is left out of the spotlight. So, before they are drawn in by the glow, it’s imperative for prospective first-time founders to consider the less glamorous aspects of being an entrepreneur and ask themselves: is this really the right decision for me?
Twenty percent of small businesses fail within their first year. Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. In fact, the amount of new businesses that fail exceed the number that succeed. That’s why it’s more important than ever to create a unique product or service that helps you stand out from the rest.
However, don’t be discouraged. If you believe in your business, passion will prevail. On average, 75 percent of small-business owners are confident in their company. And why shouldn’t they be? They’ve turned their passion into profit. Yet, keep in mind it’s important not to be overly confident. Instead, take things one step at a time. Typically, 20 percent of small businesses fail in their first year, 50 percent in their fifth year and 70 percent after a decade of being in business.
A number of factors play into a business’s closing, such as location, the current market, cash flow and more. The number of reason most small businesses fail is due to cash flow, and California cities such …
Being a young entrepreneur is difficult, no matter where
you are from. But in Africa, the challenges are often far more emphasised.
Resources, financing, mentorship and supporting services are even scarcer. Yet
despite this, the continent’s youth unemployment is higher than elsewhere,
and for many young Africans, entrepreneurship is less of a choice, and more of
a requisite for survival.
year the Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for entrepreneurs between the
ages of 15-22, identified a handful of young entrepreneurs who are
making it in Africa. Here are some of their tips for success. 1. The most important step is the first one
Nteff Alain is the winner of the 2014 Anzisha Prize and is the entrepreneur
behind GiftedMom, an e-content platform for pregnant women.
says having an idea is easy, but turning it into reality is a whole different
story. The wall of challenges an entrepreneur faces can quickly de-motivate
someone from following through on their vision. …
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer
programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Facebook, and is currently its chairman and chief
executive officer. Zuckerberg
launched Facebook from his Harvard
University dormitory room on February 4, 2004 with college
roommates and fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. The group then introduced Facebook to other college
campuses. Facebook expanded rapidly, reaching one billion users by 2012. During
this time, Zuckerberg became involved in various legal disputes brought by his
friends and cofounders, who claimed they were due a share of the company based
upon their involvement during its development phase. Early
Life Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984, and
grew up in the suburbs of New York, Dobbs Ferry. He was the second of four
children and the only son in the educated family. Mark’s father, Edward
Zuckerberg, is a dentist and mother, Karen Zuckerberg, is …
Étienne Arnault was born on the 5th of March 1949. He is a
French business magnate, an investor, and an art collector. Arnault is
the chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LVMH, the world's largest
luxury-goods company. He is the richest person in France and the fourth richest
person in the world according to Forbes magazine,
with a net worth of $75.5 billion, as of March 2018. EARLY LIFE After graduation, Arnault joined his father's company,
in 1971. In 1976, he convinced his father to liquidate the construction
division of the company for 40 million French francs and to change the focus of the company to real estate.
Using the name Férinel, the new company developed a specialty in holiday
accommodation. Named the Director of Company Development in 1974, he
became the CEO in 1977. In 1979, he succeeded his father as president of the
company. CAREER In 1984, with the help of Antoine Bernheim, a senior
partner of Lazard Frères, Arnault acquired the Financière A…
Gates is an American business magnate, who co-founded Microsoft, the world’s
largest personal computer software company. He consistently rank in the top
list of the world wealthiest people, he is one of the world best known
entrepreneur of the personal computer revolution. He is also the world most
generous philanthropist, who has donated over $28 billion to charity. Here are
his top 10 rules for success. 1.Have
you are going to start a company you need so much energy that you use to
overcome your feeling of risk. At the beginning it’s going to look so scary
especially given that you don’t have any experience as in the case for most
startups, you are going to make a lot of mistakes but if you have so much
energy rushing through you, you will be able to overcome your mistakes and that
of your team, you will also be able to guide your team into achieving the
desired result because energy is contagious. 2. Have
a Bad Experience: Bill
Gates is a college dropout who d…