Some entrepreneurs kill themselves by jumping off 100ft buildings, but nobody will tell you about that.
Why? Because Entrepreneurship is the modern day version of “becoming a rapper” or “becoming a famous celebrity”.
To those who are naive and misinformed, entrepreneurship looks sexy, hot, beautiful and easy. Like a slut in a night club who’s up for a 1 night stand.
I mean: when you hear of stories like Steve Jobs who dropped out of college to build the worlds biggest company.
Or you hear about how the founder of Air Bnb built a billion dollar business, despite almost being driven towards bankruptcy…
Or you look at Bill Gates who’s built one of the top 5 biggest companies on the planet… Is it any wonder “most” news outlets and fake business people will sell you a dream, and tell you what you WANT to hear?
From the outside looking in, it looks “piss easy” as we brits like to say. In fact it looks so easy, glamorous and effortless, that anybody could do it, right?
It’s only a business after all. It’s not that hard…
If you’ve yet to start a business, you should know about these brutal truths first.
1. Losing is part of the game
It’s not fun to hear “losing” is part of the game. But just like sports, business is about losing. Not just winning.
The mainstream media won’t tell you this, because it doesn’t make them any money.
Nobody wants to hear the brutal truth. It’s more profitable to say: “Young founder is on track to make his first BILLION”.
Which is why the media (and even “business” people) will tell you:
- How wonderful it is to start a business.
- How EASY it is to start a business.
- How you can become a young billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg (there is no formula).
- How you can create passive income, work 4 hours a week and relax on the beach.
And anything that sounds sexy and exciting.
The reality of business looks very different
In 2017 one of the biggest British retailers (BHS) went out of business. Despite being in business for 100+ years. And also clothing company: American Apparel laid off 100’s of employees.
In 2014 one of the biggest phone contract companies (Phones 4U) went out of business. Despite being prominent in the industry.
And during that time, 1000’s of unknown businesses have gone out of business.
If that’s not bad enough, tons of the biggest UK banks have shut down 100’s of their branches over the last few years.
The myth that business is porn-star-sexy is a lie.
Losing is a part of the game, and there’s no such thing as “never”.
2. Few people are qualified to give you advice
There are over 5 million small businesses within the USA. Which means 10–15% of the population is self employed.
In the UK? The amount of self employed/businesses is over 4.5 million.
Do you realize what this means? It means most people are employees, students, or unemployed.
And that also means most people will give you bad advice, should you ever seek it out.
It’s no good taking medical advice from a drug dealer. Or fitness tips from someone who’s obese.
In the same way, it makes no sense taking business advice from people who’ve never started a business.
They can’t tell you anything that’s practical or helpful, because they have zero knowledge or first-hand experience.
This is important to know.
Even though there’s no way to get statistics on it, you can guarantee entrepreneurs go out of business because of the bad advice they were given.
I’ve been one of them.
3. There’s no such thing as a “4 hour work week”
The book by Tim Ferris might be popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. But it does mean it’s a catchy, sexy title that tells you what you want to hear.
It’s nonsense like this that pushes people into starting businesses with the wrong expectations.
In fact, I can argue this is one of the reasons entrepreneurs commit suicide after failing in business.
Or after they realize the pressure is too much, and that they’re not cut out for it.
But of course, no one wants to talk about this. Because it’s an ugly topic that’s better swept under the carpet.
4. Most friends, family and strangers are secretly wishing you’ll fail
Think about it. If you succeed and hit it big, how many of your friends or family will be happy for you?
Some of them will be happy, no denying that. But how many really?
Will they truly be happy that you’re not just successful, but that you’re richer than they are?
Even though I’m an optimist, I’m not stupid. Most people in this world don’t want you doing better than they are.
And sadly this is true even for those who are closest to you.
How will you know if your friends or family are secretly wishing you’ll fail? Easy. They won’t help you or cheer you on.
You’ll be alone (unless you have good people around you, or people who can relate).
5. A business plan is worthless, and will change drastically
Some “entrepreneurs” don’t start businesses because they don’t have a business plan. Which is ridiculous and absolute bullshit.
Here’s the thing about business plans: whatever you plan on doing will change so much it’ll make you scratch your head.
- Your friends and family could become sick or fall ill. This isn’t negative, this is a possibility. And that will change your plans drastically.
- The economy could crash on you. If your business is new and you’re just starting, this could be detrimental.
- A natural disaster could occur. Texas dealt with this in 2017. And you better believe businesses were affected by it.
- You’ll end up changing your mind about something. We’re not always the best at predicting our own behavior. That product you decided to create down the line? Maybe it’s not worth it in hindsight.
- Something will stand in the way. Which is why there’s no such thing as a “perfect” plan.
- You can’t predict every step of the way into the future. No matter how good you are at seeing the future, many things will change over the course of 12 months.
My own plan changed drastically in my first business. Instead of getting a trademark, I pushed the idea to the side as it wasn’t relevant anymore.
That doesn’t mean “planning” is stupid, but it’s stupid to prioritize a big, hefty business plan over “just getting started”.
Getting started, research, among other things are 100X more valuable and crucial than a business plan.
It’s too easy to use it as an excuse to not get started.