5 Things That Surprise Entrepreneurs!!!
The decision to become an entrepreneur is often taken with a fair amount of uncertainty and optimism. Most people will focus on what they intend to do and begin to plan all the next steps in converting an idea into a viable business venture. When you are moving from a corporate environment, the people you normally would confide in and discuss your future plans with, don’t actually know about what life as an entrepreneur is like. Here are a five surprising things that an entrepreneur will experience:
- Lonely place at times –At the start-up phase, most of the employees including the entrepreneur are directly involved in delivery. At times the entrepreneur will be required to reflect on progress and market conditions requiring decisive actions. At these times, without a big management team, you experience the loneliness of an entrepreneur and the valuable support of family and friends. It is in this time that you will learn and grow as entrepreneur.
- Jack of all trades – As an entrepreneur with limited resources, there will be times when you are required to be the IT helpdesk, the procurement department, or even the courier service. In a corporate environment, these are taken for granted and are normally performed by someone else. Although initially frustrating, it does enable some skills development and some gratification from being able to help yourself.
- Living without a brand – At the start, the entrepreneur will begin on the basis of having the skill and experience related to the venture based on past success. However as you target your prospects, you will realise that an existing relationship or better pricing may not be enough to convert prospects into sales. Establishing new relationships are harder as you need to establish a level of credibility before anyone is prepared to even consider what you may be offering. In contrast when you are a card carrying corporate employee, you often discount the value of the brand and a job title.
- Network not helpful –As an entrepreneur a network is important to identify sales prospects and open doors. However not all people in your network will be helpful no matter how senior they may be. The truth is that some people are capable of supporting you with opportunities and referrals while others are great “once-a-year coffee catch-up contacts”. The quicker you identify who in your network is open to helping you, the quicker you can build a more valuable supportive network.
- Becoming a credit risk –A skilled professional working for large corporate banks and other credit providers will consider you low risk and credit is provided easily. However as an entrepreneur, the ball game changes significantly and financial institutions will consider you as a high risk individual. Adjusting to a world where your previous financial conduct, banking relationships and professional qualification in most cases are ignored while the requirement for security becomes critical.
Even though these five aspects may surprise you, fortunately you do have the ability to overcome these by accepting your new reality and responding to the challenges with a focus on your ultimate goals. These challenges provide an opportunity to grow and develop as an entrepreneur.
By Kirthesh Sundersingh, CEO Sun Advisory