After listening to speeches by Jeff Bezos and Ali Baba, it is normal for people to use them as an image of their projection. Just listen to their success stories and scream ‘I am an entrepreneur, and we own the world’. Listen, if it was that easy to get on the Forbes list, everyone would be there. Rest assured this is a fact, not an attempt at pessimism, or a wet blanket over your burning dreams. You need to understand the difference between reality and expectations.
No businessman walks into a business expecting it to fail, he walks in with hopes and dreams, and he wants it to work out. However, the reality is a very different ball game altogether. While the man expects that sales will be good, the reality is that it may or may not be good.
Where your expectations stand, and where your realities stand are very far apart in some cases, and they are close to each other in some cases. So, while you can expect to have good sales and end up not selling anything at all, you can also expect to have a great sale one day, and have a great sale People love the idea of entrepreneurship, they completely adore the buzz that
comes with it, the beauty that comes with answering ‘I’m an entrepreneur’ to anyone who asks. If entrepreneurship was that easy. While romanticizing the glitz and glamour on the surface, they leave the actual work behind the scenes out of your schedule.
Here are a few expectations that reality squashes.
I will have more time to myself: This is not entirely your fault. Motivational speakers somehow put it in our heads that entrepreneurship meant you now had autonomous control of your time, so you could travel, go out and see new places, have more time to yourself. Well, they lied.
The reality of this is that, when you are starting or running a business, you will be so scared of things falling apart that you will always want to be there. You will work from early in the morning till late at night. So, no. you will not have more time to yourself, you will be too busy.
I will have money to do as I like: No idea who propagated this lie, but that is what it is, it is a lie. All your savings, personal funds, borrowed funds, all of them will end up in your business. You will not be able to spend money on frivolities when there is a need for your business. You will go broke in the first few months after starting your business, as you will not get any profits at all. That is the reality. It is quite presumptuous to think that you will immediately start doling out money in the first few months of your business. You would not, and that is a fact.
The journey will be smooth: It is good to hope for a smooth journey. One where you take the elevator, then run into a prospective investor. And when you have finished pitching to him, he invests without a second thought. We also hope for the kind of journey that will attract customers to you. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that perfect meeting only exists in your mind.
The reality is that you will chase after investors, you will get put on hold for hours because you want to talk to one of them. You will send mails upon mails and they will not be replied to. Customers will indicate interest in your business at some point, and then never show up to continue from where they stopped.
The ride will be anything but smooth.
Execution will be smooth: So you have drawn out an elaborate business plan. Everything is looking good on paper. It seems like a great idea. So naturally, you go in with expectations according to the business plan in your hand. However, writing down a business plan and drawing tables is one thing, executing those plans seamlessly so that it works just as beautifully as it sounded in the head, is another ballgame altogether. There is a lot that goes into execution, a whole lot. And this means having a game plan that works. Because on paper, a 500 fortune company looks great, on the ground, away from the paper, building a fortune 100 company is extremely difficult.
Some people fall out of love with entrepreneurship a few months into the business. They will fall away because they have failed, forgetting that many of the men they aspire to be like failed a lot in their time too. Going into entrepreneurship with this type of mindset that makes you run away when the going gets tough will get you nothing. You will never be able to go far as a business person if you run away, whenever your expectations do not match your current reality.
To be an entrepreneur means to dare fail. It means that 1 year into a business, you have not made any sensible profit. It means that you will question yourself thoroughly at some point, and ask yourself if this was not some whimsical adventure. It means that you will have deals at the tip of your fingers and when you want to grasp onto them, they will slip away. It means that after all these things, you will not pack up and go. It means that you will stay. It means that even though your expectations did not match your reality, that you will stay and fight harder until it matches.