Running a business can be seen as a place of stability, success and to achieve financial stability. We see many of these entrepreneurs living their lives with expensive cars and mega homes.
But how far is it from reality?
Do all entrepreneurs get to reach to that point where money is no longer a problem? If they don’t, what happened to those who don’t succeed?
The society often perceives the term ‘business owner’ somewhat as someone who has it all figured out. While there are those who succeed, many more failed as I have mentioned in this post.
I’m not here to tell you that the odds of you failing are high, you obviously know that already – every entrepreneur does. Risks are a part of our everyday lives, let’s put it that way.
I’m here to inform you the pros and cons of running a business based on my own experience so that you are able to conclude the best decision on your own respectively. Here it goes.
The disadvantages of running a business:
- Face being lonely and isolated. In my previous startup, I was working alone on my website and in getting the import license for the products. There was no way I could afford to hire anyone for a couple of months as the business just started rolling. Almost every day at work, I was not connecting or having conversations with anyone and began to develop lonely feelings which led me to isolate myself for some time. It was an awful experience.
- The risk of financial failure. It is not a pleasing experience when you keep seeing your company’s account starts eating up all the money in it. Your investment may take some time to return profits. However, at other times, you’d be unfortunate at not making any sales for the week. The fear of refinancing or worse, bankruptcy always loom.
- Work very long hours (or odd hours). Keep in mind running a business means the majority of responsibilities fall into your hands. Therefore, more work is needed to be done as you can’t simply hand it over to as you can’t either afford to hire employees, or the employees are simply not skilled to work on it.
- Have no one to ask for advice. Being the owner makes you the one who has to make tough decisions. Decisions that could make or break your company. Even discussions with your employees (if any) would still give you some doubts. There comes the time where you wished you had someone who makes all the decisions or to go through all the stress of running the business instead of yourself.
- Needs to be fully committed. Commitment is often mistaken as a secondary priority in running a business. It is more than that. Full commitment takes a tremendous amount of sacrifices in order for your business to succeed. No one should expect success without such quality.
- No one else to be blamed but yourself. This is simple. It’s your company, your call. No one else has to owe a mistake but yourself.
- Your family and social life disrupted. I admit. My social life was near zero when I started out Mirsky Mode. I was often at work from morning till midnight. Being brought up where success is crucial, I was driven by that style of raising. Also, not to forget the amount of money invested and a business loan I had to pay back which drove me to work even harder. I never had the time to spend with family and friends because most of the time they were asleep when I got back home.
- No sick pay. Obviously, you can’t call in sick and expect to be paid full salary by end of the month when you own a business. The business relies on you to be run and managed. If there’s no one to run even for a couple of days, the business won’t make money to be able to afford to pay full salary. You’ll get paid only when your business makes money.
- Continuously work/multitasking to meet customer deadlines. To ensure the success of your startup, you will do whatever it takes to please your customers/clients. While this is good for your business, the same can’t be said for your own good especially in the long run.
- Forfeit your holidays for a period of time. Now, this is dependent on the nature of your business. Most end-consumer markets are terribly busy during the holidays. Your schedule will be packed with discounts and offers during the peak holiday seasons where you don’t get a chance to take a day off. If you do, your company would miss one of the most profitable seasons of the year.
- You tend to get carried away bossing around people in your family/social circle. I do this from time to time even till this day. Some times, you just get carried away after a long day from work to start bossing around with family or friends. While we all know our work should never get mixed with personal lives, it’s a lot easier said than done when you are the boss.
- You think differently. Instead of seeing some thing as a problem. You will see it as an opportunity to fix a problem and get paid for it. There’s a saying that entrepreneurs ‘see the glass half full’ where you are always optimistic and hopeful in life making you an ideal person to resolve issues instead of just complaining.
- Be Your Own Boss. Who doesn’t love to be able to do things on our own terms? You’ll enjoy the idea of not being bossed around and able to make decisions for you, you, your company and your future.
- Your earnings could skyrocket through the roof. It’s a no brainer the potential of financial freedom if your business runs full fledged.
- Credit is yours. All the successes of your business are credited to you since you are the founder, the brain and the mover of the business. Unlike working for someone, your boss often gets the recognition despite you were the one who did all the work.
- Achieve a sense of self-fulfilment. Being able to learn multiple skills and experience will certainly help motivate you to work harder. An entrepreneur learns skills more frequent than working for some one – which constricts you from learning some thing outside your job scope ending up doing the same thing over again.
- Flexible working hours. This could depend on the nature of your business. You are definitely your own boss who could easily come in the office and leave at your will. However, my own experience tells me this is applicable in the early stages of your startup. Once your business grows, more attention is needed or you will risk losing customers if you fail to meet deadlines etc. Be cautious.
- Becomes more confident in life. Running a business builds your character and teaches you skills. The fact you go through the toughness of the entrepreneurial world makes you more confident that you can do anything in life.
- You develop more skills. It is the norm that self-made entrepreneurs often develop few more skills from startup. Not only that, a number of skills you have acquired will set you to be able to learn more skills in the future in lesser time as you’re able to adapt to situations quickly.
- No more office politics or related nonsense. This is a big plus if you’ve had enough of office or corporate politics (I know I am). Think about it, everyone is working for you now. Why would they want to exchange unpleasing comments with you?
- You get to enjoy doing something you are passionate about. Most startups become successful because it was founded by those who are passionate in the field. By doing something you like, the job does not feel like work at all. The feeling makes you able to do the job with twice the quality since you care about your product/service very much.
- People start to like you more. The idea that you are a successful business person (or you run a business the very least) makes you the envy of your peers. The success, wealth and commendation are just too much for people to ignore you. They want to get to know you (or about your business).
Final Two Cent
Let’s not get the idea that running a business is a frightening experience. The whole point of sharing is to inform you the choices, sacrifices, and consequences that you have to live with being a part of the entrepreneurial life.
One thing for certain, sacrifices are made to achieve long term successes. There are no shortcuts. It will be difficult for some, or worse, but what’s important is you keep improving yourself by determining what exactly you want to have in your life within the next 10, 20 years. Start working on that.