While being an entrepreneur can be extremely rewarding, the truth is that it’s not as glamorous as you might think. There are some stark realities to being an entrepreneur.

In fact, here’s a look at start-up failure rates according to Entrepreneur Weekly as of July 27th, 2013.

*% of failures of those companies that survived the previous year

*% of failures of those companies that survived the previous year

Here are the most common causes of business failure:

  1. Incompetence (i.e. no knowledge of pricing, lack of planning, no knowledge of financing, etc.)
  2. Unbalanced Experience or Lack of Managerial Experience (i.e. growing too quickly, improper delegation of work)
  3. Lack of Experiences in Line of Goods or Services
  4. Neglect, Fraud or Disaster

This is a lot of doom and gloom…BUT it’s not all bad. Building a business can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Let’s look at some of the things you need to consider before embarking on that adventure.

1. Relationships

It requires an incredibly patient partner and a tremendous amount of fiscal resources to run a business in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. So, make sure you are communicating clearly with your partner. Without his or her support, the journey of entrepreneurship will be much more difficult.

2. Finances

Many times entrepreneurs, especially with a product company, go without a salary for one to three years. There are creative ways to drive income to pay the bills outside of your start-up. So you will need to be ready, willing, and able to hustle hard for a few years (unless you can grow money on trees, of course).

3. Health

Many entrepreneurs are guilty of neglecting their physical and psychological needs as they place the priorities of the business over their own. Sacrifice is certainly a part of growing a new business. However, make sure to carefully manage how much you sacrifice. Nothing is more important than your health, well-being, and happiness. Without these intact, you cannot be an effective leader.

4. 24/7 Job

As an entrepreneur, you are on call 24/7. You have to be able to drop everything and go – certainly in the beginning. It is a lot like having a baby. You have to constantly nurture the business or it will die. Additionally, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because a start-up is a roller coaster ride…some moments are WAY up and some moments are WAY down. So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. Let’s now look at a list of ingredients needed to make a successful entrepreneur…

  • Hard Work
  • Unwavering belief in yourself and your brand
  • Dedication
  • Can-do Attitude
  • Ability to take a ‘no’ and turn it into a ‘maybe’
  • A passion beyond making $$
  • Good communication skills
  • Humility
  • Genuineness/Authenticity
  • Flexibility
  • Planning/Organizational Skills (everything will take much longer than you think it will – SERIOUSLY. Multiply the time you think it will take by two.

I also believe that YOU can positively impact the world through the power of business. In fact, I hold the belief that as business leaders, we have a responsibility of improving the lives of others, to not cause harm to the planet, and to responsibly and sustainably grow business profits. So, I’d like to encourage you to commit to making a BIG difference in the world by going forward and creating innovation in your business that you believe in, live the life you love, and love the life you live.

“Entrepreneurs can positively impact the world through the power of responsible business.” (Tweet This)

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Be well,