Think you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit? Want to put your work experience to the test by launching your own business venture? Good for you. Entrepreneurism is a noble and worthwhile endeavor.
Maybe you want to make your side hustle your main hustle, or perhaps you’ve been quietly researching a genius “why hasn’t anyone thought of this?” idea for which you’ve already identified a target customer.
Whatever your entrepreneurial impulse, keep this in mind: “There’s a good chance you’re going to hate being an entrepreneur.” That’s the cautionary warning from Ellen Rubin, CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, who offers this advice in “The 3 Curve Balls That Strike Out the Most Entrepreneurs” for Entrepreneur.
In the article, Rubin shares the three most common challenges she has seen entrepreneurs face. The challenges that she lists are good ones, so I’m sharing them with you here in my blog. In my experience, the best way to overcome a challenge is to accept it, and to commit to knowing that it exists. So if you’re going to become an entrepreneur, here are three challenges you must commit to.
1. Commit to Being Okay with Being Alone
Holding fast to your ideas, even the ones that seem outlandish to your friends and colleagues, might mean keeping to yourself for a while. As your business changes from just thoughts in your head or on paper to an established outfit, you might be wise to reign in your impulse to share and seek the attaboy from others.
“Are you a person who can’t stand feeling like an outsider, or needs validation from others to make decisions? If so, entrepreneurship might not be the path for you.”
2. Commit to Creating a Business Culture That Actually Works
For this, I’ll defer to Rubin’s own testimonial:
“Once, I was part of an early-stage startup team that struggled with a new hire. The person had ideal technical qualifications for the job, but she wasn’t fitting into our company’s culture. The team was small and close-knit, so this issue was a serious consideration. We weighed our options: let the culture take a back seat, or make a hard staffing decision that preserved the team’s original vision.
We chose the former, but we were wrong. Each of us had worked at companies with varying levels of employee engagement, and thought a less-engaged team member wouldn’t impact our company’s culture. In this case, the employee became increasingly unhappy and further detached without the support of her team, and the situation became more negative for all involved.”
3. Commit to Not Becoming a Billion-Dollar Unicorn
Don’t assume that your endeavor will be a straight-shot to success. Don’t assume that you will become rich and you’ll be one of the high-valuation startups that Rubin calls “billion-dollar unicorns.” There’s a wide