Being self-employed or running a small company is wonderful. In theory. You are free to schedule your own time and nobody tells you what to. And sure it is true, there is usually no better and quicker way (except you are an heir or your family is wealthy) to prosperity and independence.
However there are always two sides to every coin. Especially at the beginning, the path to self-employment is associated with high risks, uncertainties and hard work.
The Dark Sides of Self- Employment and Entrepreneurship
Most people only look at the sweet fruits - and overlook the tree, which has to be tended and cared for a long time before it even bears the first fruits.
These are the seven truths about life as a self-employed person or entrepreneur that hardly anyone tells you before ...
1. The Business Model you start with is not the One you succeed with
At the beginning there is always a basic idea of what you want to do and achieve. Most entrepreneurs soon find that either the market for their idea or simply the business model does not pay off. The first website will also change a few more times and further refine the business. You will find that the secret of success as a self-employed person and entrepreneur is the same as it is in evolution: ADAPTABILITY. Not the fittest survive, but the ones who can adapt fastest and best.
Those who are frantically staring at fulfilling their initial plans and ideas will most likely overlook great opportunities which will arise along their paths.
2. Family and Friends will not share your Euphoria, especially if they were never Self-Employed.
Most people are concerned about security and shy away from risk and the uncertainty. Even if you are passionate about your idea - many others will not. Maybe because they do not understand your idea and your product or do not see what you see.
Don't blame anyone - that's the way it is. The main thing is that your partner moves with you on this, because nobody can fight permanently on two fronts.
Take it as a test: If no one believes in your idea, see how strong your own belief is. You will find it is precisely this unwavering passion and enthusiasm that you will need later on to inspire your customers.
3. You will have Doubts and want to give up prematurely.
Normal careers are not always linear even more so entrepreneurship. One month things go really well, the next months everything goes the other way. Bills still have to be paid.
Usually now the first (self-) doubts start to kick in and your courage fades. That is part of the story and also your first litmus test as an entrepreneur. If you want or not you have to motivate yourself (no one else can) in such phases. Continue to work in a disciplined manner and pursue your goals (maybe adjust them).
4. Acquiring new Clients is the hardest Piece of Work. To get the Sales part right is damn hard.
You can have the greatest business idea, a proper slick website but if you can not get the sales part right your business is most likely on a losing path.
Offering quality products or services is amazing but if nobody knows about it you can not expect the customers running in your doors. You need to push the sales.
It is not for nothing that one speaks of cranking up business. There is an important note in the term: Cranking is not a passive thing, you have to lend a hand and become active yourself, pick up the handset or keyboard and come up with something.
5. There is no Instant Success.
Do not always believe what the media says. There are certainly people who went from washing dishes to become millionaires but to be frank they are exceptions. Even so there way probably was long and arduous. The media only sees the success but ignores the hard work behind it. The fact is entrepreneurial success usually takes a while. Be patient, put in the hours and you will soon find things will go your way.
6. As your own Boss you still do the Dirty Work.
Be your own boss and let others work for you ... Nice idea, unfortunately very naive.
In the beginning there is usually a lack of budget and therefore also a lack of employees. As a solopreneur don't think yourself too good for doing any work you usually wouldn't. It is a great learning curve for you to see how every wheel in your own company works.
Do not get me wrong, of course it makes sense to later pass on work where other people are simply more qualified for and therefore do it quicker and more efficient than you would. For example the accounting or marketing part.
But there is also a good thing: You are a great role model to your future employees if you still know how to get your hands dirty.
7. After a couple of Years you never want to do anything else again - or give up.
Just as success does not come overnight, finding a routine and a reasonably regulated work life will take some time to establish too.
If you ask any entrepreneur, they will say: After an average of at least three years you know whether you can really make a living or not.
Until then, it takes time to build networks and a brand, to establish sales markets and a customer base. Those who are then firmly in the saddle usually never want to go back to being employees - or give up.
But even that is not exactly a failure: at least you have tried!