Being an entrepreneur at any age is intimidating, even if you’re 100% certain you have an amazing idea. Despite the fact launching your own business requires little more than a WIFI connection these days, there are still a lot of misconceptions about owning a startup that take new founders by surprise. While there is a lot of competition, there is still an incredible amount of potential to transform the world, too.
At the end of the day, that’s what startups are all about. They introduce new ways of doing things that shape the way people work, connect and live as a whole. In this post, we’ll examine a few things startup culture doesn’t talk about and why they’re important to know if you’re planning to launch your own business in the near future.
Capital Doesn’t Always Come Easy
So many success stories seem to explode overnight, or a company begins with a humble $2 million in capital. Getting shareholders to fund your startup dreams may happen, but it doesn’t occur as often as you think. Out of the thousands of people who try to launch a startup each year, only a fraction of them gets any substantial funding from third parties. In reality, you’ll likely need to rely on friends, family, crowdfunding and yourself to get your idea off the ground. This may seem like a lofty ambition, but that’s where the entrepreneurial tenacity comes into play.
Think of ways you could make bootstrapping your startup easier. It might mean moving back home for a while to live rent-free, or downsizing your life to save more money. If you’re trying to fund a startup in college, you’ll have to get more detailed with your student loans, as the default federal ones won’t give you the financial flexibility you need. Private student loans are a better option for young founders as they have higher principal amounts but lower interest rates. This means you get the surplus of cash after tuition is paid to use however you want.
Work is Not Always Rewarding
The idea of a passionate team burning the midnight oil every night may be true, but they aren’t always happy about it. In fact, many startups struggle with low retention rates because they are not able to provide the benefits and stability of their established competitors. You will also have to dedicate yourself to unpaid, unnoticed, thankless work that may nor may not result in your future success. It’s not a career path for the faint of heart, and it certainly doesn’t come with any participation trophies. Keeping your head high may be tough at times, but if you recognize and acknowledge the struggles in the first place, you can tackle them without feeling like you’re doing something wrong.
Your Idea Can Be Great and Still Flop
Amazing ideas don’t always yield amazing results. That’s the sad, harsh reality of business. When you launch a company, you expect the market research you did to pay off tenfold. Unfortunately, the timing may be wrong, your market might be too small, or your idea may simply not strike a fire in the hearts of your target audience. A half-baked idea failing is no surprise but watching your brainchild fall flat on its face can be downright defeating. Learn how to deal with criticism and negative comments early on so that you can build up your resilience. Understand that even if this was a great idea, it won’t be your last. Pick yourself up, find a new way to move forward and try again.