After working as a CPA for three years, I have spent the past five years as an entrepreneur. Here are five myths about being an entrepreneur.
1. Entrepreneurs have a very flexible work schedule. It is easy to think that when you have your own company, you get to make your own schedule. One can work out or run errands in the middle of the day and just make up for it in the evening. However, this is not usually the case. Customers, developers, investors, partners all work normal business hours, and in order to meet their demands you usually acquiesce to their schedule. You are a startup looking for others to help you, and that often comes on their time.
2. Working from home means you’ll have more time for your relationship. This is just dead wrong. If anything, it can put a strain on your relationship. It is very hard for an outsider (especially a significant other) to understand how hard the startup life is and how to separate work from personal life. See one of our co-founder’s comments on this very topic in the Wall Street Journal. Honestly, it just makes sense to find office space to have the clear separation. In the end it will be better for both aspects of your life.
3. You will escape from the stress of corporate life. Many entrepreneurs miss the stress of corporate life because usually they can let it go when they leave the office. Once the company is yours, that is not the case. You constantly worry and stress about everything from cash flow to strategy to customer feedback. It does not turn off and sometimes can be hard to be present in social situations, which just makes (2) above even more difficult.
4. You won’t have a boss anymore. It’s actually the exact opposite: Everyone is your boss. First and foremost, investors are the ones you are most responsible to. It turns out that everyone becomes your boss, which is why you do not have flexibility nor escape from corporate stress. In addition to your investors, you also have customers and business partners that can be at least as demanding as any “real” boss out there, probably even more.
5. You will get rich. While this certainly is possible and is incumbent with many high risk / high reward endeavors, this should not be the only reason you get into entrepreneurship. For one, the odds of success are extremely low and it is much more likely you will not get rich. More importantly, it’s the wrong driver. Creating a company is very hard, and if you want to maintain focus through the inevitable low points entrepreneurs all regularly counter, you need to have a better reason than money. This can come in many forms, from the desire to be a pioneer, to create something of value for people, to a passion for disrupting a certain industry.
Now don’t get me wrong, becoming an entrepreneur has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s an extremely rewarding path and I get to do what I love every day. The point here was just to shed light on some of the common misconceptions. There are of course a lot of awesome things about being an entrepreneur, but that will have to wait for another post.
written by Aron Susman, founder of the Square Foot and author at Texas Enterprise. see more.