Behind the glamorized view of the entrepreneurial lifestyle hides an often overlooked reality: being an entrepreneur requires long, stressful hours of work, the ability to make difficult decisions, to deal with risks and to face the uncertainty of the economic climate.
Presented in detail below are the main disadvantages of being an entrepreneur that either hinder others from starting up their own business or make life more difficult for those who have already taken the leap:
1. Coping with stress and pressure.
The most harrowing disadvantage of being an entrepreneur is having to deal with constant stress on a day-to-day basis. Supervising employees, negotiating with suppliers, ensuring that production deadlines are being met, etc. means that your success as a business owner largely depends on your ability to handle stress and work well under pressure.
2. Adapting to the ever-changing business environment.
In order to make your business thrive or at least survive, adapting to the constantly changing market conditions is crucial. Being an entrepreneur means you need to be keenly aware of new trends, in tune with fluctuating consumer needs, aware of potential threats to business performance and ready to deal with the uncertainty of tomorrow's economic climate.
3. Making high responsibility decisions.
The entrepreneur has to bear on his shoulders the responsibility of making important decisions, whether these are financial, strategic etc. Being aware that your decisions can pave the way to prosperity or bankruptcy is daunting and nerve-wracking. Sometimes you might even find yourself in the position of having to make quick decisions based on limited information; this is where past experience and intuition can make a difference.
4. Having to act as a jack of all trades.
Being an entrepreneur means you need to be involved in every aspect of the business, if only to at least assess the performance of your employees. Therefore, you inevitably need to have some knowledge about many areas such as marketing, strategic planning, accounting, research & development etc.
5. Sacrificing leisure and family time.
Owning a business takes a toll on an entrepreneur's personal life. Especially when still in the early stages of starting up a business, but also later through constantly managing and overlooking the business activity, you will most likely need to sacrifice leisure time and dedicate yourself as much as possible to making things work smoothly and efficiently. This is why counting on the support and understanding of your family is an essential part of becoming successful.
It takes ambition, energy and a certain attitude to succeed as a business owner in a competitive world. Though the disadvantages of being an entrepreneur are not for the faint-hearted, the many advantages of owning a business make the whole ordeal worth it. If you have the right personality type, it can even become the most exciting and rewarding challenge of your lifetime.