If you are successful with a startup, then you have the potential to make untold amounts of cash. You can live the jet-setting life, hopping from tropical island to tropical island, watching huge amounts of money roll into your business.
Sound nice? That’s a shame.
Chances are that if you start a startup, you won’t ever be able to enjoy that. 90% of startups fail to make money. A fraction of that makes enough money to enjoy that lifestyle.
Truth be told, startups are not for everybody.
Your Working Life
Your working life is not going to be easy. If you have a family, then good luck being able to see them for more than a couple of hours a day. Getting any company off the ground is going to be one of the most demanding things you have ever done.
With a startup, you are doing everything from scratch. There are no ideas out there that you can borrow to make your company successful. The idea is that what you are attempting has never been attempted before. If you are just coming up with a unique twist on an established idea, then you may as well give up now. You aren’t going to make it.
Your working hours, and it would not be surprising if you were doing 16-20 hour days per week, are going to be filled with developing your product, working out your marketing strategy, dealing with your staff, and hopefully making a few sales. It is going to be the same thing day in, day out. You won’t have the money to recruit staff to do some of the more specialist jobs which means that you need to put your multitalented brain to work and stick your head into everything. It is hard. If you don’t have the skills to wear many hats, then you are going to fail.
This is going to go on for years unless you are lucky enough to find somebody to invest heavily in your company. Can you really ditch your entire life for years? If the answer to this question is; no, then you should not begin a startup.
If you have come up with an idea, no matter how unique you think it is, chances are that somebody else out there has had the same idea. They are either working on the project right now, or they have worked out that it is not viable. You probably have dozens of companies to compete against here. If you want to be successful as a start-up, then you need to be ruthless. You need to be the first to get your product to market (see where the long hours come in) and your marketing strategy needs to be impeccable. If you can’t deal with this, then starting up a company is not right for you.
It is unlikely that you will make hefty sums of cash with your start-up. If you do not have at least a year of living expenses set aside, then you will fail. You will be crawling back to a job in next-to-no-time at all. Remember what we said? If you are going to be running a start-up, then you need to dedicate 16-hour days. You can’t do this with a real job. So, if you one day work out that you do not have enough money to run a start-up without working, then your idea is going to fail.
There will be a lack of stability too. Unless your company is established, then any sales that you do make will be sporadic. Many people who run start-ups spend money as soon as it comes in thinking that the sales are now starting pick up. Do not make this mistake. You need money set to one side or your company is going to fail.
If you are awful at managing money, then running a startup is not going to be for you.
If you are the type of person who procrastinates or is abysmal at self-motivation, then starting up a start-up is not for you. You need the drive to succeed. Remember; you can’t afford to have a few days off to recuperate. You would feel awful if you missed launching your product to market by a couple of days because a competitor got there first.
If you have always had motivational issues, they won’t improve now.
Who is a startup for?
Anybody that is not afraid to fail. Anybody that can afford to fail. Those who are willing to take risks for huge rewards which may never come. If you can get through years of being beaten down through financial instability, then starting up a startup may be the right thing for you. Just make sure you have a good idea, to begin with.
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