If you could change one thing about being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. The Time it Takes to Raise Money
“If I could change one thing about being an entrepreneur, it would be the amount of time it takes to raise money. Raising money is an all-consuming task entrepreneurs have to undertake. Though important, it takes away from developing your business and leading your organization.”
2. The Uncertainty
“There is only so much you can control as an entrepreneur. Even if you do everything right, your idea might be just a bit too early or a bit too late. That level of uncertainty can take a toll on you over time. The uncertainty can be a drug that some entrepreneurs thrive on, but it can also be be overwhelming. If I could have all the highs of running a startup without the uncertainty, life would feel much more stable (wishful thinking!).”
3. The Stereotypes
“The assumption is that all entrepreneurs are guys in their 20s, running hip tech companies in a cool office. I’m almost 39, soon to be a mom, and running a virtual services company with employees across the U.S. I’m not pulling all-nighters (though I soon will be with a baby) and I’m not out at social events or meet ups every night of the week. I wish I could change the stereotype and show the world that entrepreneurs come in all forms.”
4. The Skewed Perceptions
“Most people think — and popular culture reinforces it — that entrepreneurs are young programmers without much business knowledge. The reality is that the vast majority of entrepreneurs aren’t in the technology sector. While some invent new technologies, others start nonprofits or small businesses, or become franchise business owners. At Yodle, we work with 45,000 dentists, plumbers, contractors, etc., who are all successful entrepreneurs.”
5. The Constant Work
“Even when I’m relaxing or on vacation, I’m never fully doing any of those things. My company is always in the back of my mind. It’s good because I’m inspired by random events and things I would never have thought about. But it can be bad because I’m never not working or out of the office. I think entrepreneurs’ brains are wired to always be thinking and looking at ways to grow and expand, but sometimes I wish I could just turn it off.”
6. The Roller Coaster Ride
“I love being my own boss, but I hate the daily dose of negative news that come with being one. With highs and lows and unexpected twists and turns, you have to have the stomach for the roller coaster ride of being an entrepreneur. But I’d be happy to do without all of the lows. I’m tired of saying “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” If that was true, I’d be ready to fight superman.”
7. The Attitude Towards Failure
“It is never easy to stomach your first failure. That said, if everyone around you was more supportive of failure, I think more people would become entrepreneurs instead of constantly being afraid to do anything. Failure doesn’t have to be an embarrassing thing. At least for me, I consider each experience a new opportunity to learn what works and what clearly doesn’t. We should all have a healthier attitude towards risk-taking.”