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 comfort zone.

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 minimum.

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 Talk Only).

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.