Today, the word entrepreneurship has just about been reduced to something everyone believes they know all about, but only a few understand exactly what it entails. And the title entrepreneur has also been sometimes reduced to describe just about anyone who has been able to set up an Instagram account to sell homemade shirts.
While that last part is partially true, many people who describe themselves as entrepreneurs fail before they get started, and that is in part to the lofty dreams and expectations they filled their head with as they assume they are just a few steps away from a life of unbridled riches.
But along the way, one thing always happens. The scales fall away from their eyes, and usually, they end up understanding that being a real entrepreneur is not a glamorous job by any account. It is not easy and nothing like what is portrayed by the multiple movies and TV series airing these days. It is more about ingenuity, inspiration, planning and a lot of doggedness as you strive to move from simply being an entrepreneur by title.
Some people walk around with several misconceptions about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Some believe education is needed while others believe it involves working whenever you feel like it.
Here are six hard truths about entrepreneurship you probably did not know:
You Will Not Become Rich Overnight
Nothing in life is given freely. So why should you be rich just because you are an entrepreneur? As an entrepreneur, you may be the next Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, but it is not certain. A large number of entrepreneurs who fail do so because they get disillusioned by the lack of money in their accounts.
If you sought out entrepreneurship in a bid to get rich, chances are you have already failed. Seasoned and successful entrepreneurs are those who build their business on a flaw they spotted in the market. The money isn’t the goal, but the solution to the problem is.
Riches are a product of years of solid, smart entrepreneurship but are not the only result. You will not get rich by dreaming about your bank account if you are yet to successfully take your product to market.
Your Time Does Not Belong to You Anymore
Another group of entrepreneurs who fail do so because they started their journey assuming they could work when they wanted to. And although as an entrepreneur, you decide when you get to work and when you leave the office, building a lasting successful business requires countless hours slaving away long after all your employees have left the building.
You can not just turn in 3 hours of work and proceed to take the day off. To everyone who believes that entrepreneurs set their own hours to cool off at the beach after taking a few calls in the morning does not understand what entrepreneurship is about. Successful entrepreneurs put in a whole lot more work than a lot of people who consider it a get rich quick enterprise.
As an entrepreneur, if you still think you are not accountable to the clock, you are completely wrong. Successful entrepreneurs maintain rigorous schedules and do not joke with even a second of their day.
You Do Not Need a Degree
Popularly described as a leveler of men, entrepreneurship is not an exclusive opportunity available to only individuals who possess degrees from Ivy League schools.
Steve Jobs was a college dropout who went on to found Apple, a company continually changing how we communicate with each other. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and its CEO did not complete his education at Harvard.
And although having a degree has never hurt anyone, it is not a prerequisite to becoming a successful entrepreneur. In plain terms, degrees help with connections and pedigree, but very few schools show you how to do the groundwork to work hard and outmaneuver the competition.
Innovation and ingenuity cannot be taught in a classroom and eventually that is what separates real entrepreneurs from their peers. With real entrepreneurship, there is no clearly defined path needed to be studied before you can become a success. This is even emphasized even more by the stories of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world today.
Instead of worrying about getting a degree, work on your attitude and desire to take your plans from your mind and make it a reality.
You are Your Greatest Investment
When faced with tough times, you will quickly realize that the only person you can truly count on is yourself and the skills you have picked up along the way. Mastery of skills requires complete focus and dedication, and that is done through continuous devotion to improving upon your craft as devotion is the best way at continuous self-improvement.
When you are committed to getting better, you wake up each day feeling confident regardless of whatever set back you may have encountered the previous day.
You Need to be Mindful to Survive
Many years ago, the word mindfulness was used to connote eastern mysticism connected to the spiritual journey of an individual. But today the word is defined as – bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis by Marlatt & Kristeller, in 1999.
Being and staying mindful allows you to stay focused, executing a task per time.
Failure Will Happen, Learn to Deal With it
A famous Japanese proverb says: “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” As you go on your entrepreneurship journey, you will have to try out new things and the more things you try out, the more likely you are to fail which is the point of being an entrepreneur.
This failure and the challenges you will face along the way will cause pain, disappointments, and suffering. Learning how to deal with all these is an essential part of entrepreneurial growth. And although this is not easy, it is very important as it helps with being able to move on and focus on the next task at hand.