As an entrepreneur myself, I had seen entrepreneurs come and go,
some struggled and some are still struggling. I had seen people leaving the
entrepreneurial scene with a bad taste in their mouth. Many people entered the
scene with lots of enthusiasm and dreams (thanks to the constant glamorization
of successful entrepreneurs and over-emphasis of success stories in the media)
but leave the scene bitterly with a dose of reality.
Here are a few advices which I think can be useful to an aspiring
entrepreneur:1. Make yourself comfortable, even if you are coming out of your
Don’t believe in the myth that entrepreneurs are all struggling to
make ends meet. Don’t believe that entrepreneurs should live miserably before
they see any glimpses of hope. Entrepreneurship is long journey. If you are
making yourself miserable and uncomfortable, how long do you think you can last?
But how to make yourself comfortable? Reduce uncertainties to the
You need to make calculated risks before diving into the uncharted
waters. Take into account your normal monthly expenses, plus your expected
monthly expenses of your company, and make an estimate of how long you can
survive without income. If you cannot survive at least one year, perhaps you
should save up more or get external financial investments.
Apart from financial aspects, there are also the mental aspects. Try
to do something you truly enjoy. It will enable you to persevere through hard
times. And don’t make yourself miserable by working 24 hours, as
entrepreneurship is a long journey and you would not want to burn yourself out.
2. Maintain a good health
A healthy body is the foundation of every entrepreneur. If you are
not able to take care of your own health, how can you take care of a company?
So, do exercise consistently, eat healthily, and you will find yourself having
more energy to take care of other stuffs.3. You don’t have to own 100% of your company
Sometimes, you may need to sacrifice some of your shares to bring in
capital or expertise. But of course, not to the extent that you become a minor
shareholder that can’t make any decisions.
4. Separate your personal and company accounts
Even if you are a sole proprietor, it is advisable to separate your
own personal accounts and your company accounts. Things will get real messy if
you are paying your baby’s diapers and company’s inventory all from the same
account. At the end of the day, you don’t even know whether you are truly
earning lesser or simply because your personal expenses went up.
5. Mix with the right people
The people around you can have positive or negative effects on you
and your company. There will always be people who are eager to offer their
advices. And there will always be people who can’t wait to put you down. Make
your own judgement who you think is credible, and who is just NATO (No Action
Beware of people who are indecisive, over-optimistic,
over-pessimistic, NATO, constant-whiners and forever-disgruntled. Take whatever
they said with a pinch of salt.
6. Don’t enter entrepreneurship because you want to avoid something
Be it stress, work, nasty bosses, unreasonable clients or job responsibilities.
Chances are you will get more of those in entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial
scene is not a place for people who want to seek refuge. If you cannot leave
your previous stage as a victor, don’t expect to come into entrepreneurship and
emerge as a winner. You’d probably run away from the same problem again.