Many people dream of starting their own business. They picture themselves as the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, changing the world with their innovative ideas and making a fortune in the process. But what most people don’t realize is that the road to success is often long and difficult, and filled with more obstacles than they could have ever imagined. Just ask James Sackl.
Sackl is the founder of Theorem, a start-up that provides marketing software to small businesses. He’s also an entrepreneur who has started several businesses, so he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace. In a recent blog post, Sackl highlighted some of the biggest difference between expectations and reality when it comes to starting a business. Here are a few key takeaways:
It takes longer than you think. Sackl says that one of the biggest surprises for him was how long it took to get his businesses off the ground. “In my head, I always thought ‘If I work hard enough, things will take off quickly.’ Not true,” he writes. “It usually takes years—not months—to build something great.”
You have to be prepared to pivot. No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance that your original idea won’t work out exactly as you had hoped. That’s why it’s important to be flexible and be prepared to change course if necessary. “I’ve learned that the ability to pivot is much more important than greatest product idea,” Sackl says.
You need to hustle—and then hustle some more. Starting a business is not a 9-to-5 job—it’s a 24/7 commitment. If you’re not putting in the long hours, someone else will be and they’ll steal your idea and run with it. “There are no shortcuts,” Sackl says. “You just have to go out there and do it.”
So, what’s the takeaway from all this? First and foremost, starting a business is not for the faint of heart—it requires dedication, perseverance, and a whole lot of hard work. But if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, it can definitely be worth it in the end. Are you ready to take the plunge?