Are you burned out as an entrepreneur? Here’s why;
Firstly, I’d say this piece is as golden as the motivations you prefer reading as a wantpreneur and it is more like an exposition and a safety net for you to keep you from being burned out knowing the reality of entrepreneurship.
I’m an African and Nigerian to be precise, and in my two years journey into entrepreneurship, I have had some few discoveries that if I had them earlier, I might have been saved from a lot of mess, debts, depression and frustration. There’s this subtle feeling that once we have an idea, succeeding is not far and that if we keep at it, winning is sure.
Statements like “Be consistent, you’d surely win”>
I’m here to tell you that there’s so much in this statement that is not revealed. All we see are successful entrepreneurs whom we admire pose in front of their cars and houses type such statements. Consistency might ruin you if you’re being consistent on the wrong trail. Entrepreneurship has its dark side and I’m here to get you aware of them and what you can possibly do to stay safe.
- Optimism and Realism are two different words: This point is golden. When starting out, it is good to be optimistic and if you’re starting out as a team, having an optimist will save you so much stress, will keep the energy burning, will keep hope alive and will keep the company on wheels. However, there’s a need to always rely on realism.
Optimism will say it’s possible to build a house on the sun, let’s try it. Realism will say, the temperature of the sun can melt the earth if it moves some kilometers closer. Now, that’s not pessimism, it’s being real. Another good thing about optimism is that it helps see bright ideas but it can be harmful because you’d be in a rush to get it done.
This happens a lot during the planning stage as ideas begin to pop out of your mind, you’re in a haste to get them executed. Out of optimism, you begin to write down accomplishing huge feats within seconds. Realism will tell you to take it one at a time. After my experience so far, when I discuss with entrepreneurs to give them pieces of advice, I tell them to always mark one month as ten months.
- Expectations are different from reality: Now, to further explain why they should mark one month as ten months, I have realised that things won’t always go as planned and I’m not trying to sound evil but that’s just as it is. There’s one stone that’s always left unturned which will cause a delay and give so many lessons. Whenever you have an idea in your head, put it down on paper, set out time frame but also have it at the back of your mind that one month on paper is ten months in reality.
This simply means that you should not be hyper-excited about ideas even when you have them on paper. Even Elon Musk sometimes delays in finishing his goals on time. This means that you shouldn’t announce your launch date unless you have really completed 90% of the work that needs to be done and not when it’s still on paper. I have learned my lesson the hard way.
- Huge investment may not come on time: Well, well, this is another golden point. If you are thinking of delving into entrepreneurship, then you should practise the habit of saving ahead before you go into it; don’t go on an empty pocket. It’s either you have a side job, hustle that puts food on your table, keeps cost running, or you have some huge money you have saved overtime.
Like I said, optimism might want to make you go all in hoping that in a few months, you’d hit it big. In few months, you might as well be totally depressed over huge amount of debts you need to repay. Have a safety net while bootstrapping because it’s obvious that bootstrapping is the best option at the early stages. Safety net means have something you can always fall back on, your parents, your side hustle, your side job or your partners.
The funny thing is that despite your side hustles, you might still always see your account in negative because you’re running, spending and all. It is rather advisable to know you have a source of income anyways. I learned this the hard way and I have seen many wantpreneurs also make similar mistakes. In order to save yourself from battling with debts while running, take this advice.
- You’d be alone: I believe you must have read this a lot on quotes and it may just sound like a normal quote to you. There’s a huge reality behind these words. In Africa, starting a business as a young fellow or even delving into entrepreneurship is not often celebrated seeing several risks around it. The advice you’d often receive is to get a job. Nobody will believe in you at first, even down to your family, so you must have your mind ready to face the worst else you’d always slip into depression, pressure, frustration.
The average African believes in getting jobs and your friends who rush to get jobs may begin to make it faster than you because they have a steady source of income. They now save their money and invest while you don’t. If you don’t know that this reality exists, you may want to begin to question your existence.
Now that you’re aware that entrepreneurship has its dark sides, I hope you build your mind to staying strong on the journey.