Becoming an entrepreneur has personally been THE BEST career choice EVER. It suits me and my lifestyle. I have the personality and work ethics for it. It's been a hard and bumpy road, but I have enjoyed the ride, and the results.
For those of you thinking about jumping into the entrepreneurial world... Here's what I think you should know:
1. There are no schedules. You may think "you can create your own schedule" but the truth is: there are NO schedules. If you need to get something done at midnight or on a Sunday morning, you will need to get to work. Everything will suddenly be your full on responsibility, which means getting things done above anything else. Even while traveling. There is truly no clocking out. I work at the gym, on vacay, in the car, while nursing Sofia... You'll need to learn how to apply a healthy balance, but your life will include work 24/7. So you better do something you LOVE.
2. You have to naturally be: persistent, ambitious, motivated, hard worker, disciplined, passionate, positive, organized...
3. It's all about others. You should not focus on starting a business to make money. Because reality is it will take time to make money. You are starting your business to offer a service or product that will help others. So you should first ask yourself how you want to help others. You can't be selfish when being a business owner, it is now all about other's needs. Money will come, eventually, and in second place.
4. You'll need new friends, or to change a few. Your schedule and priorities will shift, and in order to be successful you will also need to understand to say NO to tons (probably a majority) of social activities. A majority of your friends won't get it. And you need to learn to be OKAY with that. Slowly, you'll surround yourself with like minded people who will engage in activities that will actually benefit your business (networking, classes, workshops... even physical activities that will give you a boost of energy, versus a happy hour that will just take away your energy). Right now, pretty much all of my friends are other entrepreneurs, and when we get together we have a blast talking about our business ideas and brainstorming new ones. I may be taking a social break, but I am still adding value to my business.
5. You'll need to engage and get out there. You'll need to put yourself or your brand in front of your potential clients, start a conversation with them, get know their feedback, respond to any questions and concerns... this is the only way for customers to truly feel like the service is worth hiring or product is worth hiring. So understand that a chunk of your time will include networking on and off the web. Because....
6. It's not all about "launching" a business. Yes, you may have a corporate name, a website, social media accounts... but now what? The REAL work starts after you hit "publish". You'll be on a constant hunt for clients, keep putting your work out there consistently. You will now live promoting yourself or your business, forever.
7. Theory is not practice. You may plan to do things a certain way, you'll have a ton of creative ideas, you may know a lot from what you've learned in classes... but 80% of it won't work, you'll need to wing it and learn by trial and error. You may know it all, but the only way to REALLY learn what will work for your business is to try, fail, and try again.
8. Making money takes time. Because at the beginning, all your profit will be reinvested. Weather you are a product or service business. In order to really grow you'll need to invest it all back.
And it's all more than worth it.