My friend, Troy, at Messy Entrepreneur was talking about the feeling when you start a business and everything’s great. You make your own rules. You do everything on your own time. You take what clients you want. You work and travel whenever you want. It seems perfect.
But entrepreneurship, or ProtoPreneurship as I like to call it, isn’t really that way.
When you start from zero, there are a lot of things that are going to come up for you in your journey to ProtoPreneurship.
And number 1 is money.
If you’re lucky enough to start out with a large savings account or a huge number of connections, you might not face these challenges.
Maybe you’re coming out of a full-time job and have had a comfortable income, like I said, this might not apply to you. But if you start from nothing and build a new business in a new area or new category, you will come face to face with a number of challenges.
Especially if you’re moving from one industry to another and building a brand new business, you’re going to have to get out there and make those connections yourself. You’re going to have to make the cold calls, attend the conferences, and get new customers. You won’t have the resources to reach out to past customers because you don’t have any yet!
Bringing money in the door can be really difficult and straining, so calculate that into your Protopreneurship.
Try to have some money set aside before you go into business. Have a backup plan for quick cash when things get tight. Even business owners who’ve been in the industry for 2-3 years might need something else to rely on for income when things aren’t moving because if things don’t move in your business, no money’s coming in.
Number 2 is freedom.
Ah freedom. It’s the billboard of entrepreneurship. You know what I’m talking about. The Facebook posts with someone sitting on the beach with a laptop working for one hour and making millions of dollars. How many of those have you seen?!
Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of entrepreneurs like that out there. But you have no idea how long they worked and the systems they set up to do that. You could be looking at 10 years of work and not even know it.
This isn’t what freedom will look like in your business at the beginning.
You won’t have a 4-hour work week. You’re going to have to put the time in to get the work done. You might not have the financial resources to build a team that can help you, so you’re the one who has to get the job done. You won’t have the processes in place yet or the automation to bring money in where you only have to work for it once.
Be careful with your dreams. That 1-hour a day job is going to take time.
Number 3 is family and friends.
ProtoPreneurs are their own personality. They are self-driven and strong. They know that there is more out there than a 9-5. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the 9-5. Sometimes I even dream of having a 9-5, having set hours, coming home and being done for the day. I wouldn’t have to think about growing my business or helping my clients.
I never really have the 5. Business is always on my mind and I often enjoy that. But this can be difficult for friends and family.
When your website breaks and you have to leave the family BBQ, they won’t get it. When you can’t get drunk Friday night for a Saturday morning work sesh, they won’t get it.
They won’t understand why you’re taking this risk and because of that you might run into issues with the people who are important to you.
Now pile that all on top of each other – money, being busy, friends and family who don’t understand. There will be stress.
There will be the stress of paying your bills, overbooking yourself, putting yourself out there and getting known.
Then you have to wonder, is it right what I’m doing? Do people really need my help?
Sooner or later, there will be a moment where you question yourself. When it comes, take a breathe, reframe your thinking, and work on a mantra.
ProtoPreneursip is a process.
One of the biggest things that can help you is to build a tribe. These people will help you get through this. Often enough, your challenges are just in your head. Your tribe will pull you out of your brain and back into reality.
What are your tools for ProtoPreneurship? Tell me in the comments below!