Life of an entrepreneur is not an easy one. From the outside, you are your own boss. You do what you love and going by the track record of the big startups making news every day, you are in it for the big money. The truth, however, is often far from it.
Apart from a lot of major hustling contrary to a defined job description, there are those issues, that keep wreathing in an entrepreneur’s head on a constant basis. Being an entrepreneur, I am sharing my top 5. Though, the crux remains, keep hustling!
One always hears how you must be patient and that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s true! Patience is highly underrated virtue. Especially in the case of startups. However, having too much of it and waiting for things to happen, tends to usually cause unnecessary delays.
In my case, the delays started from actually taking the plunge to startup and continues with setting up an official entity. On the flip side, impatience makes me do a zillion things all at once. Whereas, I need to focus and slow down concentrating on what I do best. The key lies in being overly patient and overly impatient, both at once!
This is a big one. When starting up, you are on your own, whether you have a partner or not. You will need to take initiative and be on a ‘get things done mode.’ As you expand your horizons, doing everything by yourself will prove to be more wasteful rather than being fruitful. So, it’s best to build a team and start delegating. Once you have delegated, do you sit around, hoping the work is already taken care of, just because you have delegated it? What if there is a delay, or what happens when there is a deadline? What happens when there is no deadline and the work is taken casually? You take charge. Get your hands dirty and dive right in.
There is no fixed rule of delegation. It can range between 1-10 on a scale of 0-10 and the right answer is always circumstantial. There is no black and white. Only a range of greys basically!
Every day, there is news about startups raising funding and also those of working successfully, being bootstrapped. Some get funded for an idea over a coffee. Some face multiple rejections before finally landing a sizeable round of funding. Entrepreneurs are sometimes told to save up from their current jobs to be able to sustain initially and then look for funding. At this rate, entrepreneurs stuck in low paying jobs, barely making ends meet and topped with responsibilities, debts, etc. stand no chance in the startup world. But then there are success stories of coming out from such dire situations and creating million-dollar companies.
You start working on a startup and you will be told we have no fixed hours. We sometimes come in late. But sometimes also stay till late. We party hard. But there are times we also work on weekends while the world parties the night away.
For an entrepreneur, this phenomenon doubles up. You will come across that phase when you have no helping hand. Working late and also getting up early, trying to get all the work done like some kind of machine. To be charged up, you need to get your sleep, but your commitments keep you sleep-deprived, to say the least. Here again, there is no golden rule. No right balance and everything is all very circumstantial. Find your silver lining. Enjoy that limited time. Be it for 5 minutes or 5 hours. Use it optimally!
How much information to keep to yourself and how much to give away is one of the primary challenges any entrepreneur faces. While we want to tell the world our plans, we often have to, or should hold back. Naysayers, trolls and a lot of your social circle will continue to keep judging and criticizing you for not showing anything and making people wonder if we are doing anything at all. Then there is the situation of full disclosure to a partner or a team, all of this at the risk of giving too much away, be it information or ideas. With competition stiffening every day, your current team today might be your biggest competitor tomorrow. But what about trust? Should everything need to be put down on paper?
If you have faced any other similar issues being an entrepreneur, share it with us. Maybe we will have a second part to this piece. What say?