Entrepreneurship is frequently portrayed as exciting, amusing, or even lavish (especially after a company has become successful), but the truth is, there’s a dark side to entrepreneurship that isn’t as frequently publicized.
Most entrepreneurs in the public eye are ones who have become very successful, while the majority of business owners endure a silent struggle — whether they’re making a consistent profit or not.
It’s rewarding to start and manage your own business even if you fail, but before you take the plunge, you need to be ready for these psychological burdens that entrepreneurs have to bear:
1. Accountability. Everything that goes wrong is going to be your fault — or at least, that’s how it’s going to seem. As the leader of your organization, you’re the one making the final call on most decisions, and you’re the one who will be most affected (whether positive or negative) by those decisions’ outcomes. Making too many decisions can increase your levels of stress, and increased stress can lead to poor decision making, according to the CDC, so you may get caught in a relentless cycle of stress and decisions.
2. Financial Stress and Uncertainty. There’s no such thing as a “typical” startup; some are able to get off the ground with almost no investment, while others expend millions of dollars before they even go live. Still, the SBA estimates the average startup to require at least $30,000 to get going, and for that, you may have to dip into your savings or accumulate debt you’re personally liable for. On top of that, you’ll probably quit your day job to commit full-time to your new business, and it’s unlikely that you’ll generate revenue right away. You’ll need to survive at least a few months without any income, based on a model that you’re only marginally confident will eventually yield enough value to produce a steady stream of revenue. If you have a family, or are investing significant personal savings, the financial stress can be nightmarish.
3. Trust. No entrepreneur builds a business alone, but even if you surround yourself with the best employees you can find, it can be hard to trust them to take care of your baby. Still, you’re going to have to if you want the business to grow. You’ll need to delegate tasks, entrust entire…