10 Harsh Lessons From 10 Years Of Entrepreneurship

A while ago, I came across a Twitter post with a list of tough writing tips. I don’t remember what the advice was, but I thought, “I could do one on entrepreneurship”.

Starting a business is hard work.

Fundera data indicates that 70% of small businesses fail their 10th year.

When I started my first business in 2010, I was lucky enough to work with my dad and one of his business mentors. I didn’t have to figure out a lot on my own, which improved my learning curve considerably.

So whenever I come across young, inexperienced entrepreneurs who don’t have mentors around them, I’m ready to help them if they want. This post serves that purpose.

These are the hardest lessons about entrepreneurship that most people are unaware of when they start. If you’re appalled by these things, this probably isn’t for you. But if you don’t mind, you’ll probably be fine.

1. It takes at least 5 years to build a solid business

In some cases, it can even take 7-10 years. It’s long and you have to be very patient.

Every day you wake up, go to work, and do this day after day for years. Months can pass without making significant progress. But you just keep building your foundation.

There are so many things involved in building a stable business. Build a customer base, team, brand, website, customer support system, accounting, etc. Even if you have a lot of help, it takes a long time to put everything in order.

2. Side companies aren’t worth it

While I think it’s a good idea to start a business on the side, I don’t think it’s worth keeping a business at this point. When you start a side business and notice that you’re gaining momentum, it makes sense to go full-time.

You don’t want to be a part-time entrepreneur forever. This way you are still overwhelmed and living in the midst of employment and self-employment. It’s not a good way to live.

At some point, decide whether you want to be a full-time entrepreneur or not. Both are fine. What matters is that you choose a route that you feel good.

3. You probably won’t earn much in the first few years

When you’re starting from scratch, it can take a long time to earn what you earned from your last job. When I pursued a full-time writing career, it took me about 3 years to get to this level.

But financial rewards shouldn’t be the only reason you’re in business. Some people never earn a high income with their own business, but they are happy with their business.

Think of individual entrepreneurs or small business owners who have a team. Not all companies have huge profit margins. And it doesn’t matter. But one thing I think is that it has to make sense financially to be in business. You can’t lose money and expect to be able to stay in business.

4. Without discipline, you will fail

I have never met a successful entrepreneur who was lazy. Owning your own business takes hard work and dedication. It’s a huge responsibility.

So you have to be disciplined. And in business, it boils down to this:

If you can do that, you’re good.

5. You need support from your spouse or family

When your family or partner understands what you’re trying to accomplish and is willing to support you, it makes your life easier.

What I mean by accompaniment is above all psychological. It’s a good feeling if your loved ones care about what you do and are understanding. And of course, it goes both ways.

Without the support of my family, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.

6. Business owners are still working

There is no 9-5 for you. Even when you’re away, your business will be on your mind. And that’s just part of being an entrepreneur.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a workaholic. As a business owner, you always acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the business and your career.

This sense of responsibility is something that I really like. It means the stakes are high and it gives me a reason to always be ready. When problems arise at any time, I will be ready. I don’t walk away from what needs to be done.

7. It hurts to pay taxes, but it’s part of the game

Hard lessons in entrepreneurship

Especially when you get your first big tax bill. Well, that means you did well. And that’s really the best way to look at it.

The first time I had to pay tens of thousands of dollars, I called my accountant and said, “Dude, can you do something?

He laughed and said, “Be proud to pay that amount. Some of my clients don’t have a profit so they don’t pay. But you don’t want to be them.

8. If it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense

When you’re the boss, sometimes you feel a bit silly. You want to do fun things with your business like a child who is home alone for the first time.

  • Let’s take massage chairs
  • Why not completely redesign our website and logo?
  • We need to create a new feature for our application
  • Let’s visit all our customers in person and give them a pen or something cool
  • Do we need a company car?

Some of these things make sense at the right time. But too often we just come up with ideas that sound good. But the question is, how does your idea help your business generate more revenue?

No answer? Don’t. Try to avoid running after shiny objects.

9. Your team is everything

Not only your employees, but also your accountant, tax advisor, designer, editor, or any other professional you might be working with.

During your entrepreneurial journey, you meet qualified people you can trust. Cherish these people and always come back to them. You will save a lot of time and money.

10. If you succeed, you won’t want to go back

Owning a business is really difficult. With it comes financial stress, emotional torture, frustration, and a lot of work.

But it’s all worth it because it’s your Business. It’s something you build.

When you get there, you’ll look back and say, “I’m so glad I did this.

You will be an entrepreneur for life from this moment on.

Learn from your failures and successes

Failure and success are an integral part of the business process.

It is important to learn from your mistakes. But learning things that brought you success will also help you stay in the game.

Every entrepreneur has a unique set of skills and circumstances. What might work for another person may not work for you. So when you reflect on things that worked and didn’t work, you can use that information to make better business decisions in the future.