Ah….we talk about entrepreneurship misconceptions all day, every day…but we narrowed it down to 9 big ones no one tells you about….
Do you have the entrepreneurial bug? Do you have a great idea you would like to see fruition? Are you tired of working for someone else or in the corporate world?
There are many reasons why people start a business, create a startup, or become an entrepreneur. At Haven Collective, we have cultivated a community of business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers that all share a mission: to contribute and feel a part of a community of like-minded go-getters.
That being said, being an entrepreneur or business owner is no walk in the park. And while we are here to help people move towards their business goals, part of that means being honest about what that really looks like…
For anyone thinking about starting a business or for anyone that is in the early stages of entrepreneurship, don’t let these scary realities keep you from going for it! We just want to prepare for some of the mountains you may have to climb, let you know that it isn’t “just you” climbing them, and that you ABSOLUTELY CAN make the journey!
You might even be asking yourself….Is starting a business worth it? Our answer: It totally can be!
So, let’s take a look at a few things that no one tells you when you start your own business…
1.It Isn’t Always Glamorous and Sexy
Anyone else see pics of entrepreneurs and business owners on IG or Pinterest and everything looks so shiny and exciting?! You know the pic I’m talking about: the happy business owner, drinking the coffee in the stylish office, or on the beach, typing on the sleek laptop, taking the call like a Boss. (Skip forward to the topic of comparison…)
That seems really glamorous and sexy, right?!
But, in reality, sometimes being a business owner looks like plunging a toilet, spending literally all freaking day trying to connect your bank and tax info to some platform that was supposed to simplify things, a low income month, having a difficult conversation with a vendor or staff member, waiting months for a permit to be approved, making tough choices that keep you up at night, etc.
We don’t say this to deter you! We love being business owners! We say this because it’s just reality. So as long as you’re okay with some of the un-sexiness that comes with being a business owner, then we’d say you’re ready!
2. It Can Be Incredibly Lonely
In previous blog posts, we’ve addressed how common and how debilitating loneliness can be for business owners.
“Studies have shown that CEO’s, entrepreneurs, and remote-workers continue to experience higher levels of loneliness, anxiety, stress, and depression than those who work in traditional offices. Many of those feelings come from carrying the weight of making every decision and making them alone. Beyond that, the majority of those individuals admit that the feelings come from the isolation of working from home without coworkers and not having a sense of community around them.” –Source
From the beginning, our mission at Haven Collective was to end isolation for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners, so we get it and are here to help. And we really want to drive home that loneliness might seem like a fluffy topic, but it is a serious issue.
“If you’re suffering from the impacts of isolation, you might as well smoke 15 cigarettes a day instead! Physically, loneliness can present (that’s the word the doctors use) as heart palpitations, panic attacks, low energy, and lack of motivation. Increased social isolation can also be both a cause and a symptom of mental health disorders. So, it’s important to recognize your feelings and experiment with strategies (like coworking) to see what works best for you. And don’t forget: it’s okay to ask for help. You’re not alone. Click here to read more on how coworking can help cure loneliness.” –Source
3. Relationships Might Suffer
As much as it sucks to think about, it’s true. Your current support system may not understand or support your new venture. (Hopefully they will!) And your focus is going to be pulled towards your business, especially when you’re starting things up.
So, some of your friends and family might notice that you have a change of priorities. Your social calendar might get put on the back burner. From their point of view, that can feel hurtful or confusing.
That being said, open communication is always key when navigating those situations. And, on the plus side….
4. Your Social Circle Might Change
You might also notice that your support system shifts as you start to meet other entrepreneurs and business owners.
Embrace it! Learn from them, get inspired by them, support them, and allow yourself to be supported by them! They will understand your challenges and your drive.
And keep in mind, the mindset of “community over competition” will take you a lot further in the long run.
5. Comparison Can Bring You Down- Don’t let it!
In an interview we did with Entrepreneurs of Columbus, we said, “Everyone you look up to has been doing it a long time. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. That comparison can paralyze you from taking the first step. We need you to take that step.” –Source
We 100% stand by that! And, not only can comparison paralyze you from taking the first step, but it will continue to taunt you throughout steps 2, 39, 108, and beyond! But, celebrate all your accomplishments, put the blinders on when it comes to comparing yourself to others, and keep going!
6. Your Ego and Self-Esteem Might Take a Big Hit
You will be your business. You will be your brand. Your business will be a reflection of you. Your creation, your ideas, your passions, your baby will be out there for the world!
And sometimes, not everyone in the world is going to be as jazzed about it. They may not like your product or one of your advertisements or the way you handled a situation, so it’s going to feel personal.
That is where….
7. Mindset is Everything
Starting a business will be the ultimate personal growth journey. You are going to need to know yourself. You will learn what motivates you, what inspires you, what working conditions allow you to do your best work, what crushes you, and how to take care of yourself in times of adversity.
We’ve said before “You’ll never care about a job as much as you care about your own business” –Source. And while pursuing that passion is so rewarding, it can come with a lot of pressure. So, make sure to honor your emotional, mental, and physical needs.
8. Your Personal and Professional Life Will Blur Together
When you run a business, sometimes the work-part of your brain just doesn’t shut off! Emails will keep coming in, ideas will keep racing around in your brain, tasks will always need done, etc. If you have a team or a staff, be prepared for them to contact you on your days off.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to this, so find what works for you. If you would like more info on this topic, check out our posts about work life balance and work life integration for some useful tips and trips.
9. Last, but not least: Know Thy Customer…and Know Them Well
Too often business owners jump to providing a product or service without fully understanding their customer in a way that truly allows their product or service to resonate. So the audience isn’t there. At Haven Collective, we built continuous improvement into our foundation by communicating with our community and making adjustments as needed.
Market research is essential before launching your business idea, but so is continuously reaching out to your community of customers and being willing to adapt and expand based on their feedback.
The better you know your customer, the better you can serve them through your business, the better your business life will be.
So, how would a coworking space help me deal with these realities?
- Community, community, support, and community
- We currently have two coworking buildings FULL of business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers that know exactly what you are going through.
- Having accountability buddies to help meet your goals.
- People to brainstorm with, learn from, and be inspired by.
- Having like-minded entrepreneurs to bond with can decrease feelings of isolation.
- You will gain connection, support, and interaction with other members.2. Grow Your Business
- We offer workshops that keep you in a state of expansion or growth.
- One-on-One business and marketing coaching sessions that you can schedule monthly for personalized support to reach your goals and elevate your business.
- Peer group masterminds meet monthly for each 12-month program. You’ll build connections in a deep, meaningful way with like minded coworkers all looking to take their businesses to the next level.
- The resource library is stocked with content surrounding business finances, productivity, accountability, navigating uncertainty, meditations, marketing, and more. Every personal and professional development event adds to our growing collection too, so you never miss an ounce of information that could help you grow.
3. Helps Your Focus
- Productivity looks different for everyone, so whether you need complete silence or a hustle ‘n’ bustle environment to focus, we have different rooms and floors that provide different atmospheres.
- Quiet and privacy, especially for working parents, is often hard to come by at home. We offer private spaces throughout so you can have some time to yourself, such offices, conference rooms, and phone booths.
4. Take Care of Yourself
- We provide support services, such as online meditations, yoga, and events focusing on mental health.
- One of our locations is next to a park – perfect for walks and mid-day breaks!
- Access to sitting and STANDING workspaces – let’s switch it up!
Written by April Warner