Starting your own company will cost you much more than money. You might think the entrepreneurship title is glamorous and that it is impressive to tell people you've set up your own business, but if you're not ready for the reality of it all, you will be in for a short, sharp, shock, likely resulting in the downfall of your business.
Money is just one face of entrepreneurship. You will need a large enough capital input in order to get your business off the ground, and you will then need to consider how you will live (rent, bills, expenses, food etc.) without earning an income. You can’t pay yourself anything until the business makes money, and this could end up being much longer than you originally envisaged, so make sure you plan financially for this.
CEO of Docstoc and entrepreneurship speaker, Jason Nazar, famously quoted what having a start-up company will cost you. He said “You can have your start-up and your health. You can have your start-up and your family. Or you can have your start-up and your significant other, but you can’t have multiples. If you try to have multiples, you will be poor at all of them.”
Most start-up owners will know that this statement is unfortunately true. Of course we would like to think that we can have it all, especially as a business owner; you are your own boss so why shouldn’t you enjoy all the benefits? But the reality is that the inhumane hours, hard work, stress, worry and obsessive ambition required to make your start-up succeed, will ultimately affect your personal life.
Many entrepreneurs have had to watch their relationships fall apart because their partner is not understanding of their ambition to make the start-up succeed. It is a classic case of work-life balance beating you. It might be hard to switch off from work on the weekends, but if you do not dedicate some time each week to your loved ones, you cannot expect them to hang around waiting for you.
If your start-up fails, it is not the end of the world. If the 3, 4 and 5 fail, you need to consider a new career path. Your reputation will be tarnished so gaining outside investment from investors or banks will be near impossible. Also, your confidence will most probably be knocked, meaning your judgment and motivation are not 100% there anymore.
You need to be wary of the number of years you take out of employment to pursue the entrepreneurship path. If you have been out of the game for 5 years or so, landing yourself a job will be quite the challenge.