So you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, right? Take a seat. Now, I supposed you’ve already heard all the good parts: freedom, being your own boss, fancy cars, maybe some nice suits, wordwide recognition and the subtle envy you can feel everytime someone asks you what you do for a living and you proudly say: I am an entrepreneur, I have my own company! You’ve heard them. But let me tell you some of the things you didn’t hear about entrepreneurship.
It’s the end of the month, you are sitting at the office with your great hand-picked team who are everything a manager could dream of. You take a glance at your expensive watch and you decide it’s time to call it a day, but feel the need to refresh your gmail one last time before you go home for the weekend, and see that you have one unread email. It’s from your accountant. You know that accountants don’t deliver good news. Ever. So it would be better if you didn’t open it, nothing is going to blow up until Monday morning.
A true entrepreneur
But you do open it. Not because you are a masochist, but because you are a true entrepreneur. A do-er, not a coward. You make things happen for a living, you push them forward. Or pull them, or whatever it takes to get them done! And it usually takes a lot.
So you open the email an there it is: the taxes that need to be paid on Tuesday morning the latest. You look at the sum and then you quickly check the online banking account to see how your cashflow looks like. You know what you’re going to see, but somehow, you are still waiting for a miracle. And sometimes miracles happen. you know? Just not today.
Today, the taxes are equal to the money in the bank, and that might be good news for Tuesday, but it’s also really bad news for Wednesday, when the salaries to your beloved hand-picked-everything-a-manager-could-dream-of team need to be paid.
No pointing fingers today. Or tomorrow.
Here goes your weekend. You have two full days to find a solution for this and another two days to make the solution work. It’s not the first time this happens, but it could be the first time you fail to find a solution. So you split your time between solving this and writing a speech in your head just in case on Tuesday morning you’ll have to tell your team that the money will be a little late this month. And, if you come to think of this, what you would be basically saying would be that their rent and money for food will be a little late.
Oh, yeah, and by the way, it’s your fault! There is no doubt about this. You are not an employee at a big company, so you can’t find yourself excuses by looking at your collegues, stupid company procedures or your boss. Remember, YOU are your own boss, just like you always wanted. :)
Sales not working? Maybe you should have fired the sales team by now. You hand-picked them, not the HR department, remember? Market going down? Someone (not telling who) should have seen this in advanced and should’ve taken measures.
If, God forbid, everything crumbles to pieces, some people will get fired, other people will leave because you can’t pay them enough, but there will be this guy who would have to stay and clean things up. It’s the entrepreneur, the do-er, the make-things-happen-guy. You still remember him, right? Oh, and by the way, it’s still the weekend.
This is how an entrepreneur’s end of the month tipically looks like. Of course there are exceptions. Both positive and negative. And there are also other many challenges, this is just one of them. I know what some of you are thinking: this won’t happen to me. My company will work perfectly from day one. Well, it’s technically impossible, but I really hope you’ll be the exception entrepreneurs around the world have been waiting for. A glimpse of hope.
Freedom is not won, it’s traded
Being an entrepreneur myself and looking back, I feel like we have somehow failed the next generation of entrepreneurs. We were so blown back by the freedom we’ve had that we yelled it all day. And when you yell, people gather around you. We were honest but we didn’t show the whole picture. I think people need to know that entrepreneurship si not only about freedom, it’s also about hard work, compromises, giving up on things and taking risks.