Being an entrepreneur in India is easier today than it ever was before. But, the journey from wanting to be and then, becoming an entrepreneur is harder than you can imagine!
1. Your parents will think it's a 'phase' that you'll get over
They'll think you're having one last fling with your life before you get serious and pick up a corporate job for good. And so, they're not taking anything you say seriously at this point.
2. Your friends don't get it either
You, constantly turning down their invitations to 'hang out', will be met with multiple eyebrow raises. You'll get tired of hearing your friends say things like, "You should chill, sometimes."
3. People will wonder 'what's wrong with you'
'Reckless' and 'careless' will be interchangeable words used to describe you. Take it in your stride and remember that while no one has it figured out, you're still the one taking the risk.
4. You will also be judged on your appearance...
What investors expect: a CEO wearing a shirt and trousers. What they get: a CEO in unwashed cargos, a faded tee and a pair of old Converse shoes.
5. Your job will be hard to explain
Not just to your parents; but to your friends, relatives and investors, alike. By the end of it, you'll be tired enough to not want to talk about what it is that you do, altogether.
6. It's a race out there
The competition will be cut throat and you'll often find yourself pitted against startups doing similar stuff. The task of standing out, without having to sell out, is hard!
7. You will be overworked...
Imagine being a techie, graphic designer, admin, HR, writer, director, CEO, marketing & sales manager and peon - all in one. By the end, the only thing you legit feel like is the peon!
8. ... and underpaid
Yes, even when it's YOUR own company and YOU control the finances, you will be the most underpaid person, ever! In fact, there will be times when there won't be any money coming in at all! You just have to focus on the bigger picture.
9. You will always be broke
Even if you have a well-paying 9 to 5 job that funds your "dream project", that's exactly where all your money will go. Somehow, you will never have enough money to break even at the end of the month.
10. 'Jugaad' is the hope that will keep you going
Welcome to the entrepreneur life where 'itne paise mein itnaich milega' is the golden philosophy of every third party seller who is trying to fleece you off.
11. You no longer have a life
You're just trying to balance getting out of bed while networking on social media and trying to find a decent match on Tinder. And NONE OF IT IS WORKING.
12. You will question your sanity
Amidst all the instability and uncertainty, the one thing that lasts forever is the existential crisis you did NOT sign up for. And this will keep happening every three days till it starts feeling like second nature.
13. You will get tired
Success doesn't come easy when you plan to start out on your own. In fact, it almost seems like a fantastical idea! No returns on your investments, countless barter deals and indefinite timelines will really drive you to the edge. It's okay to get sick of it; just don't give up.
14. You will learn the art of networking
Only as an entrepreneur will you understand the importance of making connections. If you're an introvert, it's going to be a bit of an uphill battle to connect with people you sometimes don't actually get along with.
15. You will become a multi-tasker
One of the best things that come from starting your own business is seeing what it takes to run an organisation. You get to learn every little aspect of work and know your business like the back of your hand.
16. You learn to value your connections
From friendships to colleagues, and from investors to contemporaries, you learn to respect the people you meet while you're starting out, and value the feedback and support they offer.
17. There will be good days
It may not seem like it at the moment; but, in the long run you will see the results of your hard work, and it will be sweet! That's the ultimate pay-off; the long-term benefits of having taken risks and started out on your own!
18. You will learn to believe in yourself
Nothing teaches you self worth like a difficult phase where it's you up against the world; when you believed in something and strive to achieve it, even if no one else stands by you.