As an entrepreneur, you must have responsibility for everything and everyone in your company, often neglecting your personal life and always strive for development and change. It’s not a pretty picture I paint, but an important one, because many people have misunderstood what it takes to become an entrepreneur.
The image that most often appears in the media is the already successful entrepreneur, but to get there requires a long and laborious journey. Each journey has its takeoff and that is what this text is about, the very beginning of your entrepreneurship and the main force that drives you to become an entrepreneur.
In the beginning of your entrepreneurship, the negative reality is palpable, and that in a phase where you are most vulnerable and often seeking confirmation from your surroundings. Let me clarify one thing, when you’ve just started your company, you are not worth a damn thing to anybody. Assume that no one takes you seriously, nobody wants to see you, no one wants to buy anything from you, and above all, no one wants to listen to why you do what you do. Accept that you have the plague, that you are the last person anyone could imagine meeting, this will prepare you for the market, your competitors, your suppliers and your future customers.
For your own and your company’s survival, you must always believe in what you do and be skilled, driven and determined, only then will people listen to you, despite your plague.
Established entrepreneurs surely recognize themselves in my description. Because all entrepreneurs have some time experienced the huge loneliness, the anxiety and the worry it means to be newly established. It is a phase all start-up entrepreneurs are going through, it’s a catharsis that the market uses to make sure only a select few survive. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not a sprint race but an ultramarathon, the most persistent and sustained wins in the end.
You are not alone, hopefully
I have during my years as an entrepreneur come to the realization to not put myself in the situation to start a company where the aim is not based on my own values. I want to work towards a higher purpose, and what I really believe in. Starting a company is a difficult process in itself and to cope with my ultramarathon I have to feel that my work has an important purpose for me. Your purpose is very personal but if you have the good fortune to find people with the same purpose, you can count yourself lucky, because then you are suddenly more people that pursue the same goals.
The most common outcome of ideas
Starting and running companies is what I do in my life and many would say that I have done it successfully. And maybe because of my experiences, countless people have shared their ideas with me, ideas that would probably make them successful entrepreneurs. But to go from idea to action is the fundamental difference between a person who just talks and a real entrepreneur.
Unfortunately, many brilliant ideas will follow their creators to the grave. There are of course many reasons for you not daring to take the step to start your own, but there is a one great reason to actually do it, and that is to believe in your idea and purpose so much that you feel you don’t have any other choice, you feel the call and dare to go outside your comfort zone, into the unknown, where there is no way back. That is the first step you take as an entrepreneur, regardless of the mission, past experiences, current life situation and what everyone else thinks.
It’s supposed to be scary when you have started a business, but necessity is the best tool to build the foundation for a successful business, the right amount of fear is just great but to much fear and you will not take the step. And if it feels too easy, usually it doesn’t end well, and those examples are many.
Do you still feel that you have no other choice than to start your company, despite the dark picture I describe?
Congratulations, then you have successfully passed your first hurdle …