Life for an entrepreneur is not a bed of roses. It is not as luxurious and inspiring in the beginning as many lead you to think. It is rather a cold and lonely road where there are a lot of moments that compel you to give up; and if you are someone who has quit their job to pursue entrepreneurship or are planning to do so, this piece will definitely relate to you.
Month 1 – Adrenaline Rush
You had submitted your resignation and are just about to end your notice period. Your final salary and clearance is deposited in your account and you bid farewell to your colleagues who promise to stay in touch and be there when you need them. You strategize with this limited fund that you have plus the savings that you might have kept for this journey in the past and skilfully plan the next couple of months. Despite what people might have said in the past about this decision of yours, you still bite the bullet and move forward towards your dream. You are overwhelmed with this decision that you have taken and the adrenaline rush takes over. A boost of confidence and great degree of fear engulf you at the same time.
Congratulations. You have taken the first step towards this long journey.
Month 2 – It doesn’t run in the Family
For many of us, salary has been the primary source of income and we all depend on it to make ends meet. Be it expenses on your own self or family or gifts to people that matter, we develop this habit of depending on our salary; which is why when you first decide that you are going to walk down this path, the first argument that comes up is “It doesn’t run in the family”. Your parents or their parents might never have been involved in an entrepreneurial journey. Maybe they were afraid to take risks or were compelled by the voices surrounding them to choose otherwise. The second month of your journey, this is what you are going to keep on hearing from those around you and they will have a very strong and logical case at their end to support it.
Month 3 Onwards – The Downward Spiral
You had a plan with you which you were so sure that it would work out, but once you complete your ground work in the past two months and try to move to the next step, something is bound to fall down or falter or go unexpected – and this is where your downward spiral begins. Things start falling out of places and the house of cards which you so skilfully tried to build in the past 60 days starts falling down. Your business is not as stable as you might thought it would be in two months and you start using up your savings instead of relying on business income. This period of your entrepreneurial journey is where you are going to start questioning yourself and the decisions that you have taken. As a generation which has always expected immediate rewards, waiting is just not your thing.
Crossroad between Persistence or Weakness
After when things start heading south, you will be given a choice – a choice where you will have to decide between persisting towards your ultimate goal or show weakness and give up. You will start comparing yourself to others, friends or family members in a similar age group who are doing greater things in life and you feel like you are not getting anywhere. You feel like your world is falling apart and that you have no idea about what you are doing with your life. Your savings have exhausted and you are working very hard for your next paycheck from the client to make ends meet. At this point, you can either give up to go back to the “happy” slave job which you once had or realize that you have the power over your destiny and persist towards your goal.
What you do in this deciding moment is going to decide your entrepreneurial journey for the rest of your life so choose wisely.
What happens next in your journey cannot be documented in an article because it is itself quite evident. Sooner or later you are going to succeed but only if you persist. Every entrepreneur’s journey is different and cannot be compared to others. But do know that you are going to succeed if you put your heart and soul in it. What you succeed in might not be the initial plan that you had in your mind – it could be something completely different from what you expected so keep an open mind and keep moving forward.
A Word of Advice for People Linked to Entrepreneurs
It is a lonely journey so if you know an entrepreneur still in his struggling phase, try to help them out in whatever way you can. If you are in their family, know that they are doing it for a better future, so don’t think of them as rebels going against your norms. If you are their friends, know that they don’t like saying no to you but they have to at times either because of too much work or because they feel ashamed of coming out in the open being this vulnerable – and finally if you are a significant other of an entrepreneur, you are in for a rollercoaster of a ride. A ride filled with emotional breakdowns and self-loathing, to the point that you might start hating them for their actions. Know that IT IS JUST A PHASE AND IT WILL SUBSIDE. But if you do not support them in this journey, things might start heading south.