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7 things you should know about being an entrepreneur if you’re hoping to become one

Today’s graduates have a different style of thinking than those who passed out a decade ago. The entrepreneur culture has gained momentum. Youngsters feel it is better to create a job than find one.

The great thing about working as an entrepreneur is that you’ll quickly feel like you’re part of a family, and you’ll face the highs and lows of entrepreneur life with like-minded others.

However, working as an entrepreneur comes with a whole lot of challenges.

Expectations are vastly different, both in what you do and how you do it. Getting things done can be quicker, but sometimes much more challenging due to the lack of infrastructure.

As a new partner of a firm, my daily work experience is drastically different from a lot of my batchmates when considering the amount of responsibility I take on and the type of work I do. This can be both highly stressful and highly rewarding.

Here are 7 things you should know about being an entrepreneur if you’re hoping to become one:

1. You need to cope with high-anxiety

Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint hearted, the 9-to-5 years or those who can’t handle stress and anxiety on the job. When you’re a small team sprinting towards a big goal, you’ll feel the pressure of being overworked and understaffed. You’ll always be aware of an overarching goal for the company, whether that’s allocating budgets, beating down new competitors or trying to increase your sales. If you can handle this kind of pressure, entrepreneurship is for you.

2. Stay positive, motivated and confident

Being an entrepreneur, you go through a rollercoaster of emotions. Some days you feel like you are going to rule the world, while some days you feel like the world is collapsing around you and there is nothing you can do about it. There are some days when you feel happy about being your own boss and other days when you are criticized by even your near and dear ones for not drawing a salary like “ Sharma ji ka beta”. A lot of entrepreneurs fall pray to depression and sink during failures. It is important to stay focused and motivated at all times. However tough the situation may be, dress up, show up and smile.

3. Select a mentor carefully

This is one of the most critical elements if you aspire to be an entrepreneur. We all need that guiding light in our lives, that one person who we can run to for advice, a person who has himself walked the journey and emerged victorious. Choose a mentor carefully and make sure he or she understands you and your goals. Build a transparent relationship with your mentor. Once you trust him, let him or her be your voice of reason. Its always better to learn from someone else’s mistakes than make your own.

4. You’ll wear many hats

Knowing your role and day-to-day responsibilities isn’t as simple as you think. Expect to work on projects that push you out of your comfort zone. If you specialist in marketing, you’ll probably be doing a bit of work in finance, too.

The team is often too small to afford proper delegation by skill and occupation, so be ready to learn new skills on the fly if you want to succeed. A degree of fearlessness to dive into new projects and unknown challenges will serve you well in time.

5. You need to be a team player

Almost every profession requires you to be a great team player to succeed. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have more insight into the everyday operations and success of the entire company than elsewhere. With that comes the expectation that you act as a support structure for all your co-workers and never shy away from tasks. You can expect the same from your colleagues when you’re hitting a deadline.

6. You have to keep up with the tools

At an entrepreneur, you always need to be up to date on the latest technology in your field, as startups love to use the newest and shiniest piece of technology over the old mainstay. Sometimes your tools may change on the fly, and this may disrupt your work flow.

7. Make time for friends, family and yourself

This is something many people, including me, find very difficult to do.

In chasing your dreams, you might forget to spend time with the people who actually matter and before you know it, you distance everybody from yourself. One fine day, when you get a holiday and decide to catch up, you scroll through your contacts and realize that you haven’t spoken to anybody except co-workers and clients in a long time. Family dinners and vacations are automatically planned without you. Make time for your loved ones as well as yourself. Find time to do things that you like and take care of your health. Do not sacrifice your health to make money as you will later spend the same money to improve your health.

Are you ready for the ride ?

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