It is better for you to pursue the path of entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open to the challenges of founding and managing a startup company, rather than wearing rose-colored glasses, thinking that as soon as your start your company, everything will go smoothly; investors’ money will roll in; customers will love your product; your bank account will be bursting with money; and the media will be celebrating you as the next “rising star” entrepreneur.
It’s nice to dream, but if you get carried away into an unrealistic, hyped-up picture of the entrepreneurial life, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment, frustration and failure.
Be honest with yourself. As you work through this entrepreneurial preparatory course, observe carefully and think deeply about how your mind and emotions react to the lifestyle and hardships of entrepreneurship.
But just because you may feel an emotion of concern or fear, it does not mean you should not be an entrepreneur. Everyone feels concern or even fear at times when you are facing uncertainty. The real question is whether you have the commitment, the drive, the purpose, the willingness to sacrifice and the ability to “pay now, play later” to do it, no matter what.
Pursuing the path of entrepreneurship in pursuit of such ends entails endless sacrifice, dedication, and relentless commitment to a business that will feel like it’s dictating your life.
The following are five major challenges of doing a startup, but the good news is that, after your read this reality-check information, you will see a summary of why this hard work would be worth it:
 History shows that most entrepreneurs face failure early on. (It’s almost like a rite of passage.)
- How do you handle failure? Do you have what it takes to hit a roadblock or obstacle (failure) and keep on going with your business?
 Very few reach the top of entrepreneurship. Very few get a chance at a blockbuster merger or acquisition – let alone an IPO.
- Can you put in the hard work for a startup company that may only be just getting by for a long time and may never reach the pinnacle of the “startup dream” that gets played out daily in the media?
 You will work morning, afternoon and night, on the weekends and possibly holidays.
- The grind of working at a startup is intense. It’s not a 9-5 job. You don’t waltz into the office at 9:05 and cut out at 4:55. You may have to show up at 7 a.m. and work until 11 a.m. You may have to work all day Saturday and half of Sunday. How will this affect your family (or future family)? How will this affect the social life you envision for yourself in the years ahead? Can you make sacrifices for the goal you desire to fulfill? Would your commitment be relentless?
 A fast-paced, constantly-changing, chaotic-like work environment dealing with ambiguous situations
- Not everyone likes working in managed chaos every day. Do you thrive in a disruptive environment, energized by the thrill of change and new ideas? Or do you like structured work plans and predictable projects with set outcomes? One of the things you will have to deal with is the potential for burn-out. You could get yourself so run-down, tired and frustrated if you aren’t careful. This is why *mindset* is important. You will need to motivate yourself every day and focus on the positive things to keep going, reminding yourself of the ultimate purpose.
 Work for very little money or no money, especially in the beginning years.
- Sacrifice includes financial sacrifices – not having the material things that others with corporate jobs may have. Are you ready to make that trade-off? Do you value accomplishing your entrepreneurial goal more than acquiring material things? How would the financial tightness affect you and your family?
However, the potential rewards to be attained in this process are unlike those found in few other paths. The possible financial freedom, independence, and influence one can attain are significant.
You will have the satisfaction of achieving your dream. You won’t have to deal with the nonsense and corporate politics in the corporate world, building something for someone else and virtually nothing for yourself. You will be giving your life to something you care about and build amazing relationships with like-minded people. You will push the boundaries of what is possible and prove the naysayers wrong.
As with anything worthwhile in life, there is a price to be paid before you can reap and enjoy the fruits of your labor. It’s no different in the entrepreneurial life.