Most entrepreneurs expect their lives to be filled with opportunities, game-changing ideas, challenges, excitement, opportunities, and growth. But most are not prepared for some inevitable surprises that can derail their journeys and make them question their entrepreneurial spirit.
In fact when starting most people haven’t fully considered some of the key elements that help all successful people stay the course and thrive no matter what’s happening on the journey.
Building a business from scratch, getting the necessary funding, finding the right team, and taking the product or service to market is not ever a linear exercise. To keep your entrepreneurial spirit formidable and energized, watch out for these five inevitable surprises.
Five unpleasant surprises that all entrepreneurs face
1. It takes longer than expected
No matter how comprehensive your timeframe is, things usually take longer. It could be because of product bugs or approval delays. This will affect the launch and unfortunately, your cash flow in the beginning.
It could be that you’re not ready to allow the successes that are possible, as I have seen this with too many entrepreneurs. They are excited and have the “initial” energy but don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way or even to find people to help them achieve those successes more easily.
The key is to see it as something natural that affects companies big and small. Your entrepreneurial spirit shouldn’t be discouraged by something that’s common to all enterprises in the economy.
Think big, take risks, ask more questions, get the coaching and mentoring that is going to get you to the level that you see in your vision.
2. The initial revenue targets challenge
Most entrepreneurs believe they’ll be able to hit a particular revenue within a given time. Although you may keep that a conservative estimate, it might still prove to be difficult to meet your projections. The first $10,000, $100,000, and $1 million will seem unattainable for a while.
Once you understand that the first set of paying customers and clients is always the most difficult to get in any sector, you’ll feel at ease.
3. Marketing is confusing and seems too expensive
You may believe that you’ll be able to organically grow your marketing. But the truth is that it’s exceptionally competitive and expensive especially when you’re launching a product or service.
Most people who start-up have an idea that once they make the decision and tell people that they will automatically and miraculously have clients. While in some cases this can occur it is rare. It’s all about exactly how you share your message and how you talk about your services or product. If you don’t know how to talk about what you do then people won’t know what to buy from you.
Just because you build it doesn’t mean they’ll come easily.
Just because you have a beautiful website doesn’t mean that you attain customers.
One way to keep your entrepreneurial spirit unperturbed is to question all marketing assumptions in your category. Marketing is a constant stomach to feeds even if you have plenty of clients. If you don’t share your message and talk about your product or service regularly then you are going to go hungry.
There are many many many ways to market but the most important part is are you able to take the prospect and turn them into a customer? Here’s a little download on 108 ways to get clients and this requires no website, by the way.
4. Hiring is just out of the question
You believe that your idea can change the world and disrupt category codes. But others may not warm up to it with the same enthusiasm. It’ll be challenging to get the first set of key hires across product development, marketing, sales, or finance.
This is where you need your soft skills. Your energy should attract others, assuage them of their fears, and inspire them to join you on this beautiful journey.
The first person you need to hire is an assistant. This is so that you have someone else to be responsible for paying and so that you stay out of the weeds of things you shouldn’t be doing.
5. It’ll get lonely
Entrepreneurs like you are a special breed.
Not everyone would risk their careers – and even personal lives – to chase their passion. Since it doesn’t come naturally to most people, they wouldn’t understand your pressures and challenges. That’ll leave you lonely.
The good news is that you’ll discover new friends and colleagues with the same energy and conviction. Those are the people you’ll identify with and who will help you out.
The lessons of entrepreneurship are usually taught by people from academic backgrounds with little real-life experience. In the real world, things may not go according to plan. But if your entrepreneurial spirit and energy are in the right place, things will eventually turn out to be better than expected.
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