[Editorial Notes: Guest post by Amitabh Kumar, founder, langjobs.com. He shares his experience of being an entrepreneur and the good and bad around it.]
I am a person blessed with a great social circle wherein I always gathered lots of good and motivating comments that gave me some positive fuels. Being an entrepreneur is neither a bed of roses nor any rocket science, what one needs to have is the heart to follow their dream. Passion is 1 thing that is required more than anything apart from being courageous, creative, energetic, enthusiast and at the most having patience.
During the journey of my entrepreneurship, I have learnt about various pros and cons of being an entrepreneur and that is what I would like to share here and would choose to start with the positive ones first that boosted my morale and paved my way towards a successful entrepreneurship.
1. Loving what you do: The best part of being an entrepreneur is you follow your dreams and you are passionate about it. You don’t hate Mondays and love what you do. This makes you a thinker instead of a doer.
2. Greater Flexibility: While you work for an employer, you have fixed timings or fixed deliverables at the end of the day. However, being an entrepreneur you have greater flexibility of work at your own convenience. You may choose to work whenever you want, wherever you want, and however you want. You may start your work late or early based on your needs and you can even work till late night. You may even spend a day off during weekdays with your child or start late after picking up your child from school.
3. Freedom: Being an entrepreneur gives a freedom to think, freedom to be innovative, freedom to create new and freedom to do things in your own way. The joy of freedom is amazing and ultimate. The freedom of thinking gives you a wide spectrum and creativity yielding to something new which might be a product, service or even a way of doing something.
4. Greater Rewards & Recognition: A company would pay you if you are generating wealth for them directly or indirectly which is for sure more than your compensation. And if you want to get paid in full for what you have worked on and could take the risk to sail your own ship, you have the greater chance to get paid more than what you are earning at your employer. Also, you get the due recognition for your efforts you put into.
5. The Sense of Achievement: With every startup there is a high risk involved and this makes your work more adventurous and exciting. So, being entrepreneur gives you an excitement and getting a sense of achievement feeling for whatever you are doing. If you think that God has given you this life to do something different and creative, you should follow your dreams to get a greater sense of achievement. I always felt excited and finally satisfied for what I achieved of my act with full ownership. This is the kick that you are unlikely get with a Vodka or Tequila shot.
6. Diversity of your work profile: Owning a business makes your profile diversified. You have to manage your finance, marketing, operations and all other departments by your own. This makes few jacks or for few masters of all trades but yes this makes your job interesting.
To everything in life there are advantages and disadvantages and entrepreneurship is no exception to it. You have to be prepared to live up to the hard truths while on the success path of being entrepreneur:
1. Fear of Loss: Winning and Losing is part of the game but fear of losing is something keeps on haunting now and then. An entrepreneur should be able to win this fear of loss while taking the risk. As an entrepreneur, you have to take all your decisions and thus a certain amount of fear of loss is always there however you have come over it to take calculative risk to become successful.
2. Stressful: Entrepreneurship is very stressful affairs. Demand, Meeting expectation of customer to their satisfaction and to create an edge vis-à-vis your competitors makes it full with pressure and stress. Also, often you would find a scenario where you have to meet the deadline of a project and you are dependent on external agents like your employees, external vendors etc and it becomes very stressful if you don’t get the similar response and you are stuck. We need to quickly find a backup and get the work done in many such situations or find an alternative solution but as you are the owner the pressure is on you.
3. Risk Involve: Though it gives you a kick but it’s dangerous also. An entrepreneur needs to be always calculative while taking the risk but yes you have two sides of a coin and you won’t get always the one you would like to.
4. Unfriendly Business Environment: Many times during your entrepreneurial life, you would find that many policies do not make sense, nor would they ever make sense. Also, you would find that many government offices are too bureaucratic and not business friendly. The complexity of laws, tax rules etc. leaves you puzzled. At the end, this actually makes you very annoyed and frustrating. You can’t change it and have to live with it!
5. Irregular Income: When you are in job, at the end of the month you could have a fixed salary which would make you plan almost all your expenses accordingly. However in business there would undoubtedly be fewer benefits, especially when considering that your business would be just starting off. To cope up such thing you might have to plan for regular expenses in very advance or keep a reserve for 1-2 yrs before venturing out.
6. Unpredictability Continues: The work schedule of an entrepreneur is never predictable; an emergency can come up in a matter of a second and late hours will have to be put in. Also, for a startup in an early stage it is most likely that you will have to take care of a role of various functions and it is likely that you won’t get fully satisfied with your work or feel like something is still left out. Nevertheless the unpredictability of the work schedule and continuity of work to make it complete and finally successful is never-ending.
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]