Starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur is exciting — it is also terrifying.
For instance, the shackles of corporate America can appear comforting in retrospect, especially if you recall the team of experts you once had at your disposal. Undoubtedly someone was there to pay your taxes, provide you with office supplies, fix the office printer; not to mention you may have had peer support from coworkers and the relative stability of ongoing (and paying) work.
After you leave the safety of a full-time job, you will face several common challenges that all entrepreneurs face–chief among them instability, stress, and solitude. In my experience, I have found that embracing these struggles is the first step to overcoming them.
Here are three of the most common challenges that lie ahead for all entrepreneurs:
Established small business owners will assert that having your own gig with dozens of paying clients is always more secure than working for a single employer. In a hyper-competitive economy with high unemployment rates, this is true. However, many fail to mention that building your business to a place of monetary stability leaves you unstable in the interim.
For an entrepreneur that craves predictability, this is terrifying.
After all, your one employer did so much of the heavy lifting for you: bringing in clients, assigning them to your team, handling payments and rendering a paycheck even if the receivables did not arrive on time. Now, that responsibility is on your shoulders.
I’m not sharing this to be a Debbie Downer. In reality, most entrepreneurs scale their business while working a full-time job or still in school. However, if you are already out there on your own, then solid marketing and sales systems will become your best friend.
Tip: Build up your business. You may be excellent at what you do, but stability comes from having clients and leads in the pipeline.
Not many people in the general population understand the demands and stress associated with being an entrepreneur because they assume that we all have an enviable lifestyle of relaxing on the beach while making the occasional conference call.
However, consider this: the U.S. Small Business Administration reports that over 50 percent of small businesses will close within its first 5 years. Therefore, most entrepreneurs are not sitting around, soaking up the sun and relaxing.
Realizing this, it is natural then to experience periods of high stress while you are trying to figure out how to get enough clients, what rates to charge, how to market your product and do all of the things your previous employer once handled for you.
Even more so, anyone who has had to navigate the choppy waters of business insurance or employment law can tell you entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart.
Instead of dreading new roles of accountability, learn how to prevent, reduce and overcome stress. Experiencing stress in business is a part of the learning process; so don’t fail to get the support you need. For example, there are thousands of business coaches and entrepreneurship mentors who work exclusively with entrepreneurs to help you clearly navigate the path you have chosen.
Constantly remind yourself why you chose entrepreneurship in the first place; the long-term benefits often outweigh the temporary stresses of being your own boss.
Tip: Expect challenges as your small business grows. Instead of fighting it, embrace the stress and develop coping and stress management techniques so stress does not overwhelm you.