An inside look at what to expect as a startup entrepreneur in the first few years. It will be tough but fun and exciting. Being a serial entrepreneur is like other things. In some respect it’s simpler, in others it’s even tougher.
I still get eye rolls from first-time founders when I launch a new business and successfully get it financed. What they’re expressing is “of course you did—you have done it before.” Although that’s real, I did it before, and the second and third time it’s a little smoother, there are things that are also becoming harder every time.
As a startup entrepreneur in the first three years, the following are things to expect and predict.
You have to work a lot and worry more
A successful startup run will also take from seven to 10 years. Expect to do about two years’ worth of work in the first year of a startup. About why? Yeah, there’s usually a lot of anxiety around product development and rewards in the first year.
Anxiety in product creation is handled by doing exactly that. Code writing during the day, through the night, on the weekend, etc. And that’s nice at the end of the day, if you’re tired, you can feel like you’ve driven the ball down the field.
Anxiety over benefits is trickier. If you are young and this is your first business, the fact that you have a fairly “unencumbered lifestyle.” also minimizes this. This can be difficult if you are older and have a more “complicated lifestyle”.
As a startup entrepreneur usually pay yourself between zero and 25 percent of what you might be doing almost everywhere else, regardless of how many times you start a company. It’s hard to find the resolve to work just as hard for 25 percent of the pay. You are a lead cheerleader as the CEO; you’re just not treated special. Nothing about your job is thrilling.
You are paid less
The organization plans to do around one and a half years of work in the second year. A startup entrepreneur really is not being paid any better than they are in the first year of office, but when you see it taking shape, the fear of commodity realization is minimizing.
A new fear, though, is taking its place: anxiety about consumer acceptance. Even if there is no proof yet, you are trying to hold your ground on the theory, persuade your workers what they are building is meeting a gap in the market. From doer to decider, you are transitioning. The institution is no longer the democracy it was at first. More vulnerable, you sound. Can the commodity be bought by people?
Start looking for harmony
We plan to do around a year’s worth of work in the company’s third year.
Let’s assume, by now, that you have found the product-market fit. The commodity is purchased by individuals, because it has challenges, but they are normally manageable. You will collect more money and pay yourself 75 percent of your street value with some results.
Acceptance of product-market anxiety is lowered. You have a couple of experts who are willing to unload you a little. Employees get nervous, and in an elevator, everybody will describe the commodity.
A startup entrepreneur would notice that by year 3, dreaming is just as valuable as working hands-on. As a way to support the innovative thought process, I am going to start taking vacations again. You can only think and address questions or problems more quickly by being in various physical locations. You generally need to strategize your way to success at this point.
At this point, however, a new fear enters the picture—making-the-numbers.
Years Out—Life Is Good Before…
It’s in what I call the years—years 4 and beyond—where the business sets a more mature direction.
You have strong employees who recognize with great consistency their positions in the business. You know what happens in general and what doesn’t. There appears to be a bit of decompression in the years outside, and your life will be more natural. Finally, you pay a regular market wage yourself plus, if the business succeeds, good incentives that aid on the home front.
Once again, life is fine before someone comes along and makes a bid to buy the firm. You move on, finally, and it all begins anew. You have to take a deep breath, and you have to find the strength to return to that home.
In terms of work versus life, startups are front-loaded. It almost goes without mentioning that working with someone else is very different – almost. Startup development in a serial manner after startup poses a condition of feast or famine in regard to payments. It is important for a startup entrepreneur to be ready for it. It can be one of the most fulfilling professions you can have, on the flip side.