Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Perils of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship seems exciting especially in the beginning. The thought of giving up your job to enter the world of business is exhilarating. Of course, entrepreneurship comes with numerous perks including a lot of freedom but every coin has two sides and it is vital not to forget that.
Entrepreneurship, just like every other endeavor, comes with its own set of challenges and perils, which is why many people fail to stick to it until the end. While entering the world of entrepreneurship, not many people anticipate these perils. Having to face them without being prepared hits many entrepreneurs quite hard, which is why they fail. Therefore, it is important to understand the highs and lows that you can expect so that you start your business with an informed mind. Preparation is the key to success for sure. In entrepreneurship, along with preparation, you need motivation to keep you going through the thin and thinner.

Let us identify a few common perils of entrepreneurship so that you know what to expect once you get started:

Lack of Focus
Entrepreneurship requires complete and utter focus but this is much easier said than done. The problem is that, thanks to advanced technology, we have a plethora of distractions that can keep us from focusing on our business. We have social media, text messages, calls, Internet surfing, and so many other distractions that it is easy to lose focus and waste time.
Also, there are many entrepreneurs who are lost in too many ideas. They are usually not able to set their mind on one goal or on one task because they have too many things going on. An entrepreneur should learn how to set priorities at work and within work as well. Only then will he be successful.
Business failing solely due to lack of focus are not unheard of. In fact, a majority of startups crumple in the first year itself due to this problem.

This is again a startup peril. Most founders turn into workaholics. They work day in and day out, burning the midnight oil each and everyday. There are some who don’t take breaks even on weekends. While this might seem mighty focused of them, you should realize that this degree of overworking would burn you out before you realize it. It is very important to remember that there is much more to life than your work. Focus on all aspects of life and balance them.
One more thing to know here is that business requires trust and delegation. Don’t be under the impression that you can do everything single-handedly. If you are not ready for full-time employees, you could hire freelancers during the initial stages. Delegate and trust your employees so that you reduce your burden and don’t head towards a serious burnout.
Overworking will also make work seem like ‘work’. You will stop enjoying entrepreneurship and it will become taxing. That stress can also lead to the downfall of your business.

With entrepreneurship comes the fear of failure, which is dangerous. This fear can hinder your growth, stop you from taking decisions, and can cripple your business within no time. Entrepreneurship comes with risk. The very definition of entrepreneurship includes the word ‘risk’. That doesn’t mean you get so scared that you become completely indecisive and start doubting yourself.

If you don’t make mistakes you won’t learn anything. If everything seems to blossom at every step, it is highly likely that you are actually going in the wrong direction. Challenges will come, mistakes will be committed, and you will need to take chances regardless of the risk involved. The trick is to take failure optimistically and to learn from it.
Embrace failure; don’t be afraid of it.

Expecting too Much too Soon
This is a problem that many entrepreneurs face because they start a business thinking they will taste success immediately. Well, the truth is that you have to do a lot of work before you can taste success. Success comes only after unremitting effort. Also, it is important to look behind monetary benefits and to look at the value that entrepreneurship. If you only want money and if you want it quickly, you will head towards disaster.
Be an entrepreneur because you want to be an entrepreneur, not because you want to earn a lot of money in a short span of time.

Lack of Motivation
This usually happens when you start facing challenges. A rejection, a mistake, or a complaint from a customer can be very disappointing. A couple of more such failures can really crush your faith of being successful. Some entrepreneurs are actually driven into quitting altogether.
During such times you should try staying optimistic and you should tell yourself that failure is a part and parcel of business. Only when you overcome the challenge will you smell success. When all seems to go down the dumps, you should go back to when you started and remember why you are actually doing this. Why did you start entrepreneurship? What drove you into setting up a business? What is your goal? What do you aim to achieve? The answers to these questions will immediately lighten your mood and help you see the positive side of business.

Every cloud has a silver lining. You just need to be patient and work hard even when the clouds are dark and dense.

These are the most common perils of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs face them because of their own myths and expectations from themselves as well as from their business. Overworking, losing heart, being scared of failure, and not focusing on work are among the biggest dampeners. Avoid them and you will have a fruitful, satisfactory business.

Be passionate about what you do and let it drive you on the road to success! 

Sanjay Prasad
Entrepreneur & Mentor