Starting one’s own business can often be an amazing, life-changing decision that opens up doors into places you never thought you would go. There are hundreds of articles on the internet telling you how you should start your own business, and why you should, and they are generally full of good points. However; there are not enough telling you the truth. Starting your own business is hard. We should be open to the fact that starting a business might not be a good idea for everyone.
1) Starting a business takes an insane amount of work. I’ll keep this short and sweet. Work-life balance is a joke for founders of successful companies; this term does not apply to the startup phase of a business, particularly as the founder of that business.
2) When you fail, it is public and personal. It can be embarrassing to be fired from a job, but failing at starting a business is a much deeper wound, in my experience. A job is a part of you. Your business is a complete manifestation of you. The best way for me to describe the feeling of failing at entrepreneurship is by using an example from my childhood. I used to be a pitcher in baseball. You get on the mound. You throw the ball. The batter takes a big swing and connects big time. He hits it in a nice, high, long loft that lasts 5 to 15 seconds, where everyone can see it leave the stadium. It hurts the whole team, but the crowd is only looking at you. Just in case anyone might not be able to see you, in baseball the mound is elevated above the level of the field so everyone can get a good view of the pitcher. That’s the best way I can describe the feeling of failing at entrepreneurship, except it lasts a lot longer than 5 to 15 seconds.
3) Unfortunately, you may fail. One out of every two U.S. businesses fail in their first five years on the market. The chances of success can be good if you do it the right way, but most people quite simply don’t do it that way. And if you fail, your financial losses can be significant.
4) You can’t make friends at work. As the founder of a company, everyone works for you, so you can’t develop real friendships since you are the employer and “the boss.” There is an unequal relationship. Even when you do develop a friendship, you never quite know if it’s real. Entrepreneurship is a lonely occupation, and this inability to generate friendships at work is one of the most glaring representations of that fact.
If you’ve read this list and still feel like starting a business is for you, then you’ll probably make it. If you are willing to put in the hard work that it takes, go big, because you could be the next Bill Gates.