Business Management

5 Darker Aspects of Entrepreneurship You Need to Accept Before Taking the Plunge

Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, Business Management, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing
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dark-side

There is a darker side of entrepreneurship that few talk about. Failure to recognize this can cause a lot of stress and life detours. Here are some of the things I’ve learned on my journey as a business owner and entrepreneur so far.

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5 Darker Aspects of Entrepreneurship You Need to Accept Before Taking the Plunge

If you earnestly throw yourself into active real estate investment or are launching your own business, you’ll soon encounter and realize the following.

1. It’s not glamorous.

It’s not all fame and glory, especially at the beginning. You’re often doing things you don’t want to do prior to being able to get someone else in there to take on those tasks. You’ll frequently find you are doing the same small, day-to-day tasks most of the time. Patience is the magic word.

2. You have to make sacrifices.

To find the time, funds, and traction you seek, you have to make sacrifices. You may have to give up a hobby to find the extra time. You may have to humble yourself to do tasks you normally wouldn’t dream of. You may have to cut back on what you spend until you turn a profit. With one of the first businesses I started, I actually had negative funds in my bank account. The bank provided a unofficial loan, which I paid back later, once I started bringing in profit.



Related: 10 Entrepreneurs Share Their Most Memorable Mentor-Taught Lessons

3. Everything is up to you.

If you want to drive your business, no one is going to hold your hand. It is simply up to you to make it happen. You have to figure it out. You have to stay self-reliant and get yourself up and maintain productivity, even on the darkest days. No one is going to do it for you. Try reading the poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson regarding self-reliance. It was an eye opener for me. For those who have never lived the entrepreneur life, this point can be very stressful, and this is often what leads people back to the corporate world. 

4. You must constantly get better.

Even once you think you’ve made it, if you decide to settle, then your fortunes may be reversed. You must constantly innovate and grow. With the way technology is constantly changing and with A.I. coming into the picture, staying ahead of the curve is very important.

5. You’ll likely take a pay cut.

If you are starting a new business it’s likely you’re going to take a pay cut. You may break even or lose money your first year in business.

focus

Related: 6 Powerful Benefits of Quitting Your Job and Becoming an Entrepreneur

The Flip Side

Of course, some do make it. They make it really big after enduring certain phases of entrepreneurship.

The decision to embrace and work through the above challenges really comes down to what you’re looking to achieve. If you want to build something big, then you’re going to have to put in the work. If you want to build something that is a hobby or a side gig, then that’s different. Your goals will guide you—if you remember to revisit them every day.

It’s simply a matter of whether you are cut out for the entrepreneur life or not. As a youngster on the school scene, I thrived during the periods between classes. This is when I sold anything I could get my hands on to friends and fellow students. Entrepreneurship was always in my blood, but it still took work. This isn’t for everyone, just like being a professional basketball or tennis player isn’t for everyone. Even those with talent have to make the sacrifice to get to the next level and stay there.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

What aspects of entrepreneurship worry you the most? If you’ve already taken the plunge towards working for yourself, what has surprised you?

Let me know with a comment!

Sterling is an multifamily investor specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units. Sterling was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to wholesaling and scaling a business.
    Dmitriy Fomichenko Solo 401k Expert from Anaheim Hills, CA
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Great post, Sterling! I agree with all of these points. There are a lot of things to be surprised at but the one that actually stood out for me was the amount of learning I have had. It could be something as simple attending customer calls every day, but every single call adds a new experience. You get to optimize the process and continue doing so. Your words on working continuously on repetitive things actually define what entrepreneurship is all about: Long consistent hours of hard work. Thanks for sharing!
    Dmitriy Fomichenko Solo 401k Expert from Anaheim Hills, CA
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Great post, Sterling! I agree with all of these points. There are a lot of things to be surprised at but the one that actually stood out for me was the amount of learning I have had. It could be something as simple attending customer calls every day, but every single call adds a new experience. You get to optimize the process and continue doing so. Your words on working continuously on repetitive things actually define what entrepreneurship is all about: Long consistent hours of hard work. Thanks for sharing!
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Glad you enjoyed the read! Thank you for the comment..Make 2017 your best year, Dmitriy!
    Garrett Spear Property Manager from Lexington, KY
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks for the great article Sterling! I especially agree with #4- You will always get better. Maintaining a positive-belief and growth-oriented mindset is challenging, but essential for entrepreneurship.
    The Savvy Couple
    Replied over 3 years ago
    On my second week of full-time self-employment and it’s been amazing. The freedom involved in entrepreneurship is a great feeling. It’s been tough not to get overwhelmed with so much to do. Making a list the night before of 3 must do things the next day helps a ton. Great article and I read it at a perfect time. Now it’s time to keep grinding until we make it BIG.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    And you can’t expect anything that even resembles consistency. Success is a windy road indeed.
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I’m a successful entrepreneur, from an early age I valued my independence. Freedom was my driver and never even considered failure as an option. Money was never an issue, I could always make money because I work hard at all endeavors. If money is your prime driver being an entrepreneur is not for you. You have to have passion, an independent spirit and fun loving freedom seeker. Multimillions will flow because it’s not work, it’s my passion and enjoyment. Employees have a difficult time with this concept, their paradigm is exchanging work for money. My paradigm is my work for my freedom, money is the windfall.
    Paul Moore Investor from Lynchburg, VA
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Thanks for writing this, Sterling. Great read. I have been a serial entrepreneur for 24 years and I agree with John. I used to joke that “It’s great to be an entrepreneur… you have the freedom to work any 80 hours per week you choose!” But in my mid-50s, that is no longer fun. I am looking for freedom. An an opportunity to make an impact and give back.
    Bob Langworthy Accountant from Brunswick, ME
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    This is truth. I started an accounting practice 9 years ago with zero clients and having never prepared a single tax return. 9 years later I have two team members and we’ll serve close to 500 clients this year. In addition, I bought an office building to move my practice into. I have three tenants and am able to lease out some of the 20 parking spots. But my story starts in the depths of this article and a little deeper. Depression, discouragement, and self-doubt are a part of many entrepreneur’s journey. Blessings to you, Sterling, for another great post.