There are so many articles out there telling you to be the master of your own destiny. To stand on your own ship with you hand firmly on the rudder. The media report article after article about successful entrepreneurs, making millions by doing their thing. Living the life. Cars, travel, mansions at the sea, ahhh the life. In this, the first of a series of two articles, I provide a realistic view of what making the break from corporate creature to an entrepreneurial existence is about. Viewing entrepreneurs from the outside, usually leaves many employees drooling at what seems like such an awesome existence. We wonder why we have not made the move. We question our existence, which seems like it is somewhat less of an achievement compared to these daring and brave entrepreneurs who have taken the path less traveled and succeeded. What they don’t focus on are the “failures” or the difficulties on the path. Well, having come from a nice “cozy” (it actually is quite tough) corporate background, and then moving into the entrepreneurial sphere, I wanted to take the opportunity to bring some reality into the equation. Having spent plenty time with other entrepreneurs I can also tell you that my experience is not unique. So firstly lets look at the reality and the things you will miss if you make the move from that nice “cozy” job in a corporate environment to the entrepreneurial business owner world. What you will miss: Support When you are in a large company, it’s great to be able to call on others for support. Doing a function? Bring in the marketing team. Spread the load and the responsibility. The entrepreneur has to go it alone in the beginning. You need big shoulders for the load and the responsibility. Systems You know all those systems that you moan about having to learn. Invoicing, stock control, HR, payroll…yep you have to have them so happy hunting for the best solution. Again, you are all on your own here. Benefits Lets see, pension fund, provident fund, medical aid, paid leave, yup I remember them as a pleasant distant memory. The startup entrepreneur needs to forgo all these pleasures till the business gets going. A pay check I remember the thrill of month end when ones bank account would suddenly be resuscitated back to life and all would be well in the world again. As an entrepreneur the business needs to be nurtud and looked after and ones pay check might need to go to the back of the line while the business grows. Colleagues There is comfort in knowing that there are others who are going through the same experience as you. It may be the joy of closing a big deal or just moaning about the boss, there is comfort in sharing. If you are a single entrepreneur in your business it can be a lonely place. Having a co-founder can be a great help and is highly recommended. Some of the above may seem trivial, but you will be surprised at the small things that one takes for granted. Now, don’t be despondent. There is gold in those mountains, if you are willing to climb them. In my next article, I will cover why you actually do want to be an entrepreneur and all the positives that go with it. There are pro’s and con’s and only you can decide. Create your life.
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