Entrepreneurship is exciting, challenging and nerve-wracking at the same time and being a women entrepreneur is just all these increased tenfold! It’s a great time to venture out and chase your dreams in a country like ours which is currently growing. But while the idea of being your own boss is probably the best one ever, it comes with its set of pros and cons. The boredom from working in a 9-5 job is taken away but the burden of working 24x7x365 is suddenly on you.
No matter what, honestly, the best thing ever is to satisfy the entrepreneurial spirit in you. Nothing can beat making your passion your profession. Can you believe I worked on almost four different ideas before I finally had the courage to deep dive and do my own thing? They were all different ideas, but somewhere they did overlap with each other- so the similarities helped me gain clarity. And today, even after taking the plunge, it is very different from how I’d imagined it to be. Here are 10 things you realize when you go from working for someone else to working for yourself.
An idea is nothing without a business plan. I wanted to work in the handicraft business to re-develop dying Indian handicrafts only to realize that I’d not thought through the end goal of how I will sell what I create. The lack of plan increased our problems and when people didn’t appreciate what I made, it was really difficult to keep the faith going and just work harder the next day.
While the first step is to overcome fears and start your entrepreneurial journey, but the fear of failure never quite leaves the back of your mind. The best way to cope with it is to work harder. Work like there’s no other outcome but success. Learn from your mistakes and correct them before they become disasters. The true strength of an entrepreneur lies in finding solutions to every problem - so focus only on the good.
Our jobs make us extremely busy, yes. But not having one makes us slack a lot too. Waking up to show up at your study, in most cases, is much harder than you’d imagined it be. Your idea may excite you to imagine a future of your company but to start from nothing but a laptop screen and some coffee requires a lot of mental and emotional stubbornness. It takes practice and a lot of love for yourself to overpower the lazy mind.
Many days I don’t complete a task I assigned myself, but I don’t beat myself up by staying the whole night to complete it. I know which ones to prioritize and which ones to let go. Hence, it’s a great feeling to check off things from your daily work list and give yourself a pat on the back some days and a hard talking down to on others.
I used to absolutely hate the idea of to-do lists, but my co-founder emphasised its importance all the time.A to-do list really helps you summarize your tasks and put them in perspective for you to tick off - one after the other. It makes you answerable to yourself and the future you’re building. Also, if you’re someone like me, who doesn’t have the best short-term memory - it really does wonders.
The biggest challenge in becoming an entrepreneur is the fear of losing your creativity when you’re introduced to never ending excel sheets, financial statements and legal terminology you hadn't heard of previously. Many days pass in questioning whether you can still think ‘out of the box’ like you used to and create something just as fascinating. Well, yes and no. You’ll have to learn to delegate some part of the work to others and give yourself some ‘me-time’ to refresh and rejuvenate.
This is probably just the best bit about working for yourself. You will never, ever have Monday blues. From the day I quit my job - I haven’t ever dreaded a Monday. It’s not only because I didn’t like what I did - I really enjoyed it. But it’s probably because, when it’s your business, there is no Monday, just like there is no Sunday or gazetted holidays.
It’s all about perspective, really. If you think you can work hard, workout, meet friends, attend parties, read books, watch movies and become successful - I’d say cheers! If you think you need to limit yourself to one party a month, work super hard and read as much as you can for a set deadline that you’ve given yourself - that’s cool too. Find what floats your boat and do it that way.
Having a mentor is really important. They guide you to become better at what you’re doing and help you multitask without breaking down. If you really want to be successful, having a support system to is absolutely essential.
When you sleep at night and you know you’re a little closer to your dream or how you’ve visualized your life with this business - the feeling is irreplaceable and you wouldn’t trade it for anything else.