Unexpected expenses happen to everyone, but in reality, very few entrepreneurs actually prepare for them. Being prepared financially, emotionally and mentally for these expenses to crop up is essential to maintaining your peace of mind.
The best approach to reducing and dealing better with surprise expenses is to put together a thorough business plan. Fortunately, these days there are many tools available for designing a business plan, even without prior experience. Check out our Business Planning Software Tools Guide for startups.
Before the trial-and-error phase of building your business, you’re in a pure state of discovery and evolution. It’s a natural part of the process of building a foundation for your startup, and then initially coming to market. Like the above mentioned surprise expenses, plans, numbers and people you depended on are going to suddenly and unexpectedly change.
Being aware of this possibility and then mentally preparing for it, as well as preparing your family and friends, is ideal because it can be tough to deal with these types of hiccups in the frenzy of building a business.
As your brand becomes more successful, and unfortunate side effect is that it also comes with the rise of deceptions around your business. Naturally, your competitors position against you, but it may come as a surprise that loyal fans of other companies “troll” you (meaning, harass in a variety of ways online), or write fake negative reviews about your business.
It would be an error to deceive yourself into thinking you and your business are immune to such tactics. There are many lies entrepreneurs tell themselves when building a business – some of them are healthier than others, but one must try to be as aware of them as possible to curb self-deception.
Starting a business is certainly a stressful endeavor, and burnout is a huge associated risk when entrepreneurs go too long without mental and physical breaks. To avoid burnout, true breaks are essential – not simply disconnecting for a few minutes while having a coffee, or watching a movie at the end of the day.
In order to get the most benefits out of these breaks, you must be able to fully disconnect, or let go as much as possible. Doing your best to leave work at work (and, if you work at home, it means staying away from your office or computer), and taking day-long breaks at a minimum are great strides towards avoiding burnout.
The truth is that you and your business will survive if you step away and regroup every now and then. If, however, you don’t keep your drive in check, you’ll run the risk of heading for a mental or emotional breakdown.
Trying to achieve work-life balance is seemingly a universal challenge, to which even serial entrepreneurs are not immune. When you’re building a business, the days and nights can begin to blend together and time passes at blinding speeds. At other times, the weeks crawl by and it can be easy to lose track of your life outside of work, when your whole focus is on your passion.
Don’t sacrifice everything important in your life and your relationships to build a business that may or may not become something permanent. Make sure you have plenty of family, friends, and entrepreneurial support (like the Startup Savant community) to keep you sane and aware of your time along the way.
Did any of these challenges strike a chord with you? Which are you most likely to run into, or are perhaps already dealing with? Here is a recap of the five personal challenges we covered:
- Surprise Expenses: Substantially minimized and better addressed with the help of a thorough business plan.
- Logistical Anomalies: These can come quite unexpectedly, so awareness and preparation are key.
- Self-Deception: Easy in startup mode, but much harder when you’ve taken the leap and incorporated your brand.
- Total Burnout: If you don’t give your mind, soul and body the breaks they need, collapse is inevitable.
- Loneliness: Strive for work-life balance by keeping your network of support close-by, in the form of family, friends, and entrepreneurial support.
Being aware of and preparing for these potential personal challenges is a great way to start the journey of entrepreneurship. Stay in touch with reality, acknowledge when a break is needed and keep in touch with your network of support.