What do top entrepreneurs “get” that the typical entrepreneur does not?
Typical entrepreneurs unfortunately believe too much of the hype and myths of building a business. They get caught up in the “image” more than the reality.
Top entrepreneurs get that becoming successful is a tough journey.
If you are going to take the entrepreneurial leap you have to be able to handle stress. This is not the 9–5 world. It’s 24/7/365. You live it and unfortunately there are times you going to be awake at night thinking about it all. So here’s an example of some things I’ve thought about back in the startup days:
Will I be able to make payroll for my staff (I can’t even pay myself yet) ?
Will we have enough money in the bank to make it another month?
My customers are 90 days late in paying. Will we ever get our money?
Am I forgetting something I should be working on to move the forward?
What can I do to drive more sales?
Will we even make it?
What will I do if I can’t make my house payment?
How much do we have to buy food with?
Why aren’t clients knocking down our doors? We have the best product out there.
Why are my friends and family doubting me?
How can we market better to get more recognition?
Why is staff so hard to manage? What can I do better?
Will the bank renew our credit line?
Okay, you get the point.
As an entrepreneur you pretty much can worry about everything and you know why? There is no safety net. Especially if you are the one with your own personal money on the line.
You are on your own.
Now I’m talking about the true bootstrap entrepreneur, not the VC funded startups where the founders have no skin in the game.
When it’s your own home and personal assets pledged against a credit line, office space and more, you have everything to lose. That’s when you’re going to be up late at night worrying.
But you know what? I might worry a bit but I make sure I outworked my worry by getting up and doing things to drive the company ahead. There’s always something I could be doing to gain just one bit of an advantage on the competitors.
While they sleep, I work.
And here’s 5 more things to think about..
1. Prepare to roll up your sleeves and jump into action. Building a business is unlike working for a large corporation where one delegates various tasks and simply “manages.” Prepare to work and do the job alongside your teammates.
2. Nobody will want to work for you. When you’re a “no name” startup that’s bootstrapping your way to the top, you’ll find it difficult to pay for elite talent. Most potential candidates are hesitant to take a risk on what they may perceive as a shaky venture. That’s okay, you’ll fill the gap until you can staff up.
3. Get ready to wear multiple hats. That’s right, without the ability to fill every position you will have to become a generalist in many areas. It may be accounting, marketing, sales, product management, and any other sector in your company that needs attention. Actually, this will provide you with a great working knowledge of various positions. At a large corporation one can have specialized positions but as a beginning entrepreneur this is not feasible.
4. As a entrepreneur you must “become your brand.” Those working at any large well known company can hitch their title to the corporate name which imbues some prestige to most individuals. A startup company usually garners no respect. Can you handle that? That’s why it is mandatory that others see you personally as representing “your brand.”
5. Risks must be taken by you. Medical insurance costs will be higher when purchasing your own plan rather than being in a group plan. No more 401K plans with employer matching benefits or your anticipated two week vacations. All the bonuses and perks are gone. It is now up to you to forge ahead toward success. Most people won’t leave their comfort zone to reach for their dreams, but for those who do, the rewards and accomplishments can be well worth the effort.