Starting your own business is one of the most rewarding and challenging things you can do. Sometimes it’s fun, and other times it is emotionally draining. If you’re thinking about going into business for yourself, you need to ask the question, “do I get genuine pleasure from building something from scratch and seeing it grow?” If you can answer “yes,” than the highs from starting your own business will be worth the lows.
To make sure you know what you’re getting into, consider the cons and the pros listed below:
You’ll work harder, longer hours
Don’t do your own business to work less. You’ll work far more than any 9–5 job. There is a constant feeling of guilt when you are not working. The business is always on your mind, and there is always something you can do to make it better. This can be emotionally and physically tiring. Many of the best entrepreneurs are awake at 4:30am!
You won’t have anyone to guide you
At work, you have a boss that is ultimately responsible for your performance and output. When you start your own business, there is no playbook. Nobody can tell you if you are doing things right or not. You have to figure it all out for yourself every day. Much of the early days are trial and error, throwing lots of tactics at the wall to see what sticks.
You may not get paid for a while
You need the privilege of having financial runway (i.e. savings) to cover your bills when you are starting a business. Many entrepreneurs may not get a salary for years. That is a lot of missed wages. If the business doesn’t work out, it could all be for nothing. This can have serious consequences, and be a point of contention in your personal relationships and marriage.
You are constantly unsure of yourself
As a business owner, you never quite know if you are doing things right. Every action you take is essentially a best guess. This can become very frustrating as you may spend time and money on an initiative, only to find out it was a total waste. As you spend more time as a business owner, you’re experience will grow and your “best guesses” will become more accurate.
Failure feels unbelievably bad
The personal failure of your business tanking is overwhelming. It can mess with you mentally and physically. It can send you into a state of depression for an extended period of time and can be hard to break out of. Do not underestimate how difficult it can be to get over, especially if you lose your own money or your family’s money.
You have control over your own destiny
As a business owner, you have ultimate control over success or failure. If you work harder, keep pushing and figure it out, you have the potential to have incredible success and feel on top of the world. There is nobody stopping you except yourself. This can be an incredibly liberating feeling. I think about it frequently as I’m building.