A report from The Entrepreneurs Network and Octopus Group finds 14–25-year-olds are entrepreneurially ambitious. Part of me wishes I could speak to them and give them a few warnings about the path of entrepreneurship.
There is so much we assume right from the outside, whilst actually what truly happens behind the scenes is incredibly different - and it can also be a hell of a difficult journey.
Still, hear me out, I have been working with loads of empowered entrepreneurs from all areas of health and wellness. Most of them are young entrepreneurs with big dreams and great business ideas. In a way, this article is for them. Exposure to entrepreneurship is a key driver of the entrepreneurial path for younger people.
68% of interviewees who have a family member or friend who is a business owner say this has made them more likely to consider starting a business.
The same survey of 1,549 young people found that 51% have thought about starting (or have already started) a business. A further 35% are open to the idea and just 15% rule it out altogether.
If you are among that 51% percent and are thinking about starting a business, this is a reminder that the journey of a business owner is not an easy one, and these are some of the things you should be looking out for.
You won’t be able to lie to yourself anymore
…yes, you know you do that sometimes
I always loved to call self-awareness the kryptonite and superpower of entrepreneurs (now try and juggle your superpower being your kryptonite).
There is this saying, scattered around Instagram posts and Pinterest quotes, that business is 80% mindset and 20% execution. I would probably not follow that exact split, but it’s pretty damn close.
Self-awareness is great as it is a key element of developing a positive mindset. However, self-awareness will bring up a sea of unwanted unfinished business in your life.
From a very nasty argument with your mum to that teacher who believed you’d be a high school dropout, you’ll have to face the stories, memories, and believes that are holding you back.
Oh, and did I mention?
It’s not a one-time job either.
Every week you’ll unveil new layers of beliefs that are preventing you from becoming a better version of yourself.
Takeaway — you won’t be able to bullshit yourself about silly behaviours or patterns that are dragging you down. You’ll clearly see why you are feeling of acting a certain way and will be pushed daily to improve yourself .
You’ll need to own your financial growth
…even if it feels like nothing you have done before
This is very much interlinked with step one as well. As a woman, I have seen women in my family mismanaging money massively.
Not handling responsibility in that area is a pattern that still can be seen in many households.
I know countless entrepreneurs (myself included) who have waited far too long to clear on their finances. I am not just talking about profit margins and costs.
I am thinking about things like payroll, investments, pensions and projections. It can feel empowering and scary at the same time to monitor your money on a weekly basis. I make a habit of opening my bank account every working day first thing in the morning, give a little thank you to the money sitting there, and regrouping about my day in general. Financial abundance does not come down to changes, believe it or not.
Takeaway — being your boss will make you value your money way more than you’d expect. It is empowering and uplifting, as well as incredibly humbling.
You will learn what true rejection means
…and it will royally suck at first
Rejection happens in a variety of ways, in various areas of our lives. Boyfriends, dates, dodgeball teams…but some of the worst rejections I experienced were the ones I experienced from my team. Or potential (and current) clients.
It took me about six years to stop taking business personally. I mean, it’s your baby, I do not blame you for feeling protective about it. However, you have to accept that some team members will not be the right fit, some clients will have to be fired (yup, I wrote that) and some people will not buy into your idea.
Took me a whole load of publishers to get my second book off the ground and eventually on the shelves.
Takeaway — remember point one, you’ll have to stop bullshitting yourself? This is exactly what we are talking about here. Being self-aware is your superpower when it comes to picking yourself up and moving forward.
You will become incredibly humble
..but not after acting cocky for a bit
When I first started working in social media I thought I knew it all. I feel mildly embarrassed about sharing this, but it’s goddamn true. One moment I felt I cracked the social code, and the following one I quickly realised I did not. Same when I started coaching people in marketing and business. I had about two years of work experience I brought to the table, and I quickly had to admit that it was nearly not enough.
Takeaway — strive to be a learner each and every day. Be curious and honest enough to say no to work you know is not in your zone of genius. Not being an expert at everything (and admitting that) shows true emotional growth.
You’ll learn to trust your gut
…and you’ll learn the hard way
I still remember a client I agreed to work with, knowing from our first phone call she was NOT the right fit for me. Nevertheless, I still said yes to the opportunity. I desperately needed the money, and a triggering/lack mentality kicked in.
Fast-forwarding to six months later, we fired her and with her departure, we closed our social media agency for good. This misadventure (made of lengthy calls, endless back and forth and nightmare-ish requests) reminds me every day to say NO to what does not feel right.
Takeaway - every time you do not follow your gut you’ll learn more about what you do not want. A blessing in disguise, you may say.
The life of an entrepreneur
This is why I want to clarify that being an entrepreneur is not a glamorous calling. It is a Bootcamp for your personal development, your mindset, your boundaries and creativity — it’s a neverending journey, and one that you need to enjoy without thinking about the destination.
Still, that’s what the best journeys are for, after all.