The first line of "the" entrepreneur's handbook (assuming such a document exists) probably reads - "nothing ventured, nothing gained".
Translation: you have to take risks in order to be successful.
At any rate, risk is now intertwined with entrepreneurship. The stakes are usually very high: you quit your job, invest all your savings, and venture into the wild-west where nothing is guaranteed.
One almost wonders why rational people embark on a seemingly "irrational" endeavour. It does require guts and gusto.
If you're an aspiring entrepreneur currently entertaining the idea of becoming a business owner, here are some uncertainties you will have to factor in to make a sound decision.
1. Bid farewell to a steady income
Entrepreneurship, like a newborn baby, requires complete nurturing, especially in the infancy stages. You need a lot of time to plan and prepare, and for this reason, you most likely will have to give up your full-time job, and by extension, a regular pay cheque.
Even as you kick off your business, there is no guarantee that you will have a personal income - it might take longer than expected to break-even.
The lack of such a safety net, typically, acts as the fuel that drives you to succeed - you do everything humanly possibly to make it work, and such perseverance is what makes entrepreneurs a special breed of humans.
2. Exhausting your savings
While some entrepreneurs are fortunate enough to secure the external backing of angel investors, not everyone is that lucky. The reality is that you will have to use a huge chunk (if not all) of your personal capital (and even that of family members) to kick start your business.
3. The turbulence of cash flow
Many business owners struggle with obtaining steady cash flows despite having a business line of credit.
Even though you make the necessary plans to have a profitable year, you will still have to contend with the hurdles of daily expenses (which can add up quickly) if your capital doesn't meet or surpass your costs.
4. Overestimation of consumer interest
Irrespective of how many tests and research studies you conduct, be open to the fact that you might not be able to pinpoint - with exact precision - the level of interest in your business idea. So remember to factor in human inconsistency when you're looking at glowing statistics that appear to be in your favour.
5. Get ready to become a hermit
The road to entrepreneurship is one of seclusion: you will be spending a lot of time to make your company successful, which means no "happy hour" at the local pub. Additionally, this might have an impact on your health - and as a result, insomnia might become an unwanted companion.
In conclusion, I hope that you're not dissuaded by these uncertainties - risk should not stand in the way of your dream. Think of these as pointers that will assist with your preparedness for such an undertaking.
Fortune they say favours the brave!
Written by David Fastuca @Locomote