I was in the mid-20s when I started my first venture. The fear of starting something new without a plan was a major challenge.
The comfortable job. The stable future. The decent salary. I was to leave everything for pursuing a journey which was unpredictable.
I was to leave everything for pursuing a journey which was unpredictable.
Was I scared?
Yes. I was.
Especially, when we had a bad start to our journey.
Had it not been for some backing from my father in initial years of my business, I would have quit sooner than expected.
All I had with me was a passion for doing something of my own.
Not an ideal “fuel” for a machine (startup) which needs money more than passion
We worked tirelessly to stay afloat. We called it the “fight for survival”.
Fast forward today.
I am in my early 30s. I meet a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs who plan to start their venture soon.
There are times when “soon” does not happen very soon or does not happen at all.
So what holds people from becoming an entrepreneur:
- The fear of failure:
Businesses are unpredictable. The failure rate in business is as high as 50%.
Startups are worse with failure. The failure rate in startups is higher than conventional businesses.
Isn’t starting something new with high unpredictability a risk?
Isn’t it a gamble?
Would you want to take such a risk?
The fear of failure in businesses is a major factor in dissuading aspiring entrepreneurs from turning into an Entrepreneur.
What if you are not the business owner you thought you would be?
What if you lose everything you have built over the years?
What if you cannot handle your teams?
What if your degrees or experience is not up to mark?
The fear of failure is the top most reason for entrepreneurs to stay away from businesses.
- Family Pressure:
I consider myself lucky.
My family has been more than supportive in supporting me in my entrepreneurial journey.
There have been times, I have even penniless.
There have been times, I have had been under tremendous pressure.
They have stood rock solid behind me through thick and thin of times.
How many of us can claim to have such support from their families?
One of my friends has been wanting to start a venture for last 5 years.
The last time he had the funds to start one, his family decided to buy an expensive flat.
The friend desperately wanted to start the venture with the money but the family wanted the flat.
Today, they own the expensive flat with the EMIs on their head.
The friend has kissed goodbye to the entrepreneurial dream.
Being an entrepreneur could mean cutting the luxuries for few months or years.
The same luxuries you could enjoy without thinking when you were in the job.
Your friends will have their planned holidays backed by their consistent salary incomes.
What about your family?
Believe me, startups have the power to derail your normal “family” life.
Wouldn’t it be too harsh for your family to live your dream?
That’s what most of us think. The family pressure keeps us away from our startup journey.
- The financial investment:
Startups or any kind of business need investment.
Last week, I was approached by a young student in college who sells perfumes and deodorants through his e-commerce website.
They are not able to scale up top next level because of lack of funds.
Last year our business lost all its steam because we could not raise the next level of funding from our banks.
Only when we changed our banks (read : how banks can help your startup), we were able to raise the next level of finding.
Imagine a situation where banks refuse to fund you and you do not have an investor on board.
How will your business survive?
Add to the above scenario, the situation where you are “investing” money in your business.
Businesses are unpredictable.
So are your investments.
There are case studies on entrepreneurs who have lost their complete investments.
Even if you have the money, will you consider business as a good financial investment?
Losing money in businesses is not something new but the after effect of losing this money is not spoken in clear terms.
Why would you want to invest or raise funds for a venture which might leave you with financial liability for a lifetime?
The financial risk with starting a business keeps many of us away from starting a venture.
- The Entrepreneur’s life:
Life after entrepreneurship is not easy.
I have already mentioned earlier, what your family might go through when you decide to be an entrepreneur.
Think of the long hours your will spend in hours with no weekends to speak of.
Are you willing to let go of the luxuries of your life for just being an “Entrepreneur”?
The other day, a friend openly admitted, he wants to start a venture but finds the life of an entrepreneur scary.
He said he would rather be an employee than be a boss living with so much pressure.
You just might have to let go off the expensive flat. Swanky car. The luxurious holiday to save money for your dream.
The dark side of being an Entrepreneur is not rosy.
It keeps most of the aspiring entrepreneurs from being an entrepreneur.
I recommend everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur to assess the current financial and personal standing.
Test their business idea before taking the plunge.
There are so many reasons which are stopping you from being an entrepreneur.
Why not sit down and think about “why you want to be an entrepreneur” than take an uncalculated risk because everyone is so gung-ho over being an Entrepreneur.
And you want to be one, just for the sake of sounding cool.