7 Challenges Every Bootstrap Entrepreneur Faces

chess-316658_1280The entrepreneurial experience is one of duality, a paradox, that’s both exciting, full of hope, and, anxious, stymied by fear. Two very different states of mind and emotion, however, in the majority of instances, one set is preceded by the other. It comes with that spark of the proverbial, “ah ha!” moment–excitement and genuine, heartfelt belief that whatever it is, it will work. Often, this elation is short lived and it’s little wonder why.

We grow-up with expectations and more than enough are not fulfilled. So, we learn skepticism, caution, and to examine our actions before blindly leaping. This is precisely why extreme success stories remain so unfathomable–often accompanied by the phraseology, “against all odds.” These sets of circumstances cause us to look at those odds and be honest about the entrepreneurial journey, which more often than not, requires a lot of work, much dedication, and, the ability to see and believe what others don’t.

7 Challenges Every Bootstrap Entrepreneur Faces

When you start your own business, it might be a side gig, something that only takes a few hours out of your week and is intended to grow incrementally. It could also be the resort of finding yourself suddenly unemployed and the opportunity to take control of your own future provides all the drive necessary to start and never look back. Others partner together and use old fashioned sweat equity to get their businesses off the ground. Whatever the case might be, there will be obstacles.

Regardless of size, most businesses face many of the same challenges every day. Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. —Entrepreneur.com

It might come as a surprise, but new companies fail for two primary reasons: too little business, and, too much business. In the former instance, there’s obviously a lack of revenue; but, the latter seems counterintuitive, perplexing, though perfectly explainable–overwhelming demand. These dynamics are usually out of the company’s control but there are others, and, just one of these can be enough to cause failure:

  • Stability. While you might have a marketable and sellable idea, possess the talent to sell it, and have enough resources to get it out there, you don’t control the economy. Being employed provides a sense of security, though arguably, it’s a false one. There is no guarantee your vision will come to fruition in the way you now imagine it, or, at all.
  • Income. It’s a fact that many entrepreneurs don’t take any salary for the first several months, even for a year or more, because the money’s better spent rolled back into the business. Having to forego a steady income, even temporarily, can be too much to bear for some, it’s looking to the future and taking stock of gains that provides the remedy.
  • Sustainability. The marketplace changes and some businesses become near or completely obsolete. In the wake, new opportunities emerge, but that doesn’t undo the damage suffered by those caught on the wrong side. Pivoting when times begin to change is a necessity to embrace.
  • Comfort. One thing that seems strange is what’s obvious by its absence–being the boss. Sure, it will be you who’ll be in charge, which means you will be making the tough decisions, you will be the one responsible for company mistakes, and you who must put your foot down.
  • Schedule. Your work and personal lives will intersect many times during your startup period and here again, it’s because you’re the boss. While you’ll have set boundaries, you’ll have to do so smartly and be flexible.
  • Sleep. Lying awake, brainstorming, putting in a lot of extra hours to get something done, having to meet this deadline or be present for a meeting, all of these are common. Try to find a schedule that largely works and take advantage of downtime.

Seventh on the list is confidence, and, it’s among the most powerful of influencers. Your confidence will be challenged many times, but this just comes with the territory. You will have doubts, falter, and make miscalculations, but these are only as hurtful as you allow.

Finally, if you have a viable business model with a demand for a product or service, then much of your success falls on you ability to persevere. Many businesses fail or fall “three feet from gold” because the entrepreneur quit. In the toughest of times, I encourage my clients, as I did for myself, to take Action every day on something that will help to grow your business. Sitting, worrying or praying does no benefit without Action. And, Action helps to resolve anxieties and fear.

So, go out and pursue our dream today, and take Action every day to building your business!

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