Avoiding the Crash-and-Burn Fallout: 5 Tough Truths Entrepreneurs Should Learn Early

With more and more people choosing the entrepreneurial path than ever before, and with way too many of them crashing and burning before they ever catch flight, it’s time for some tough truths about entrepreneurship.

Look no further than companies like Startup Liquidators (@startuplqdtr) or Autopsy (@autopsyhq) (whose businesses are based on sharing lessons learned and liquidating assets of failed startups) for clear evidence that building your own business is a tough gig. Even with millions of dollars in funding, some young companies do not survive more than a few years.

If you are an entrepreneur considering launching your own business, it is absolutely crucial you have a clear understanding of the future that lies ahead. If you want to avoid weeping into the ashes of your failed business, learn these five tough truths before you decide to become an entrepreneur or startup founder.

5 Tough Truths Entrepreneurs Should Learn Early

1) Understand that building your own business is not as glamorous as it might sound.

When the success of your company determines your ability to feed your family and pay your rent/mortgage, the stress can be overwhelming. Entrepreneurship might seem like a path towards freedom and self-fulfillment, but it is not without its drawbacks.

Take off your rose-colored glasses before plunging headfirst into building your own company.

2) Entrepreneurship can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being.

You will feel responsible to members of your team and to investors. You will feel like you should be working harder even when you are giving your business 110% of your energy. You will miss out on events with friends and family.

You must take preventative measures to ensure your long-term emotional well-being before jumping into entrepreneurship full time.

3) Do not overlook the power of relationship-building, networking and camaraderie as you grow your company.

It is far too easy to become super-focused on building your business and forget that it is just as important to build your network.

Spend time working out of a local co-working space or take an evening off occasionally to attend a local meeting of up-and-coming entrepreneurs like yourself. Build relationships with mentors and create a Board of Advisors.

Those connections you make early on in your entrepreneurial career can turn out to be invaluable as your company begins to grow.

4) Your strength as a leader is crucial when building a company. If you are hesitant to give others directions or reprimand staff when things go wrong, you might not have what it takes to flourish as a founder.

Understanding your weaknesses and hiring others based on their strengths and ability to compensate for your shortcomings is imperative if you want to build a strong company. Do not feel like you have to do everything and be in control at all times.

When you delegate to others you trust, you allow yourself the opportunity to work on tasks better suited to your strengths.

5) Adopting a “build it and they will come” attitude is a trap many entrepreneurs fall into when building their companies. They think a good idea and an enticing website is all it takes to build a successful business.

The truth is, unless you have excellent marketing and sales skills, your new company is likely to die a slow and painful death. If you do only one thing to improve your chances of success, learn early how to market your business as if your life depended upon it.

Become a master at attracting targeted leads to your company and do whatever it takes to convert leads into paying clients.

Nobody ever said becoming an entrepreneur was easy. It might sound enticing to build a business out of nothing, but if you are not careful, you could end up with nothing when your company fails. Be realistic in your approach to business building and you have a greater chance of long-term success.

Remember these five truths of entrepreneurship; they just might save you from the crash-and-burn outcome that awaits many of today’s business builders.

What tough truths have you learned during the startup stage of your journey? Tell me about it below.

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