Business Perspectives

The (un)glamorous life of entrepreneurship

Facebook, Google, Amazon, Salesforce, and Dropbox – just to name a few – are the businesses that every entrepreneur dreams of building. They dream of the flexible work schedule, the endless income potential, the notoriety, and the ecstasy that comes from building a business.

In many ways, the current beliefs and thinking around entrepreneurship are much different compared to previous generations. It's no longer uncommon for someone to walk away from a job, no matter how great, in order to start their own business.

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Launching a business is endearing, and the passion bleeds through every entrepreneur when they talk about why they do what they do. Even the media celebrates it through headlines highlighting the successes of business deals, new partnerships and expansions.

Entrepreneurship seems to be all the rage today, glamorized even. But what is rarely talked about is the 80-plus hour work weeks, trademark fiascos, frustrations with business partners, raising capital, working with investors, endless unanswered emails, sales calls to be made, and constantly wondering how you’re going to survive.

Although an entrepreneur may be confident in their decision to forge their own path to build a successful business, prosperity is not guaranteed. The risks, roadblocks, and psychological challenges involved are enough to discourage even the most confident entrepreneur with an earth-shattering idea.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur isn’t an easy feat. It takes time, dedication and, above all, persistence. The majority of people reading this understand the work that goes into forming a viable and sustainable business, but that logic will only take you as far as the work staring you in the face. Entrepreneurs have to make sacrifices. They are going to go through ups and downs.

Running a business is hard – there’s no doubt about it. So why do entrepreneurs take the leap to start? It is that initial flash of inspiration to the first real customer feedback, because the feeling an entrepreneur receives from taking something from concept to reality is exhilarating and gratifying beyond belief.

None of this is intended to discourage anyone from scratching that entrepreneurial itch. It is a life-changing experience, and everyone should go through it at least once. In fact, most entrepreneurs will go through it many times. Just look at the successes stories right here in Wichita. It is just important to remember that none of it is possible without everything that comes in between.

Jacob Wayman is director of the e2e Accelerator.

Interested in writing for “Business Perspectives”? Contact Marcia Werts at mwerts@wichitaeagle.com or 316-269-6762.

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