The Realities Of Being An Entrepreneur

Morgan Browne is the President and Co-Founder of Oakwyn Realty, one of Vancouver’s fastest-growing brokerage firms.

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The word “entrepreneur” has been glamourized and romanticized by today’s media. When you hear the word “entrepreneur,” you are often shown an image of successful people with profitable, rapidly growing businesses. This representation of entrepreneurship reflects the smallest percent of entrepreneurs. The reality is 45% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Being an entrepreneur is not all about “being your own boss” and fast rewards — it is years of dedicated and relentless hard work. Being an entrepreneur means going up against the odds because you truly believe in your idea and what it can offer to the world. Being an entrepreneur is a powerful and rewarding experience, but the reality is often not what you expect.

There Will Be Hard Days — Lots of Them

The reality of being an entrepreneur is that there will be some very hard days and a lot of ups and downs. Despite what the media leads us to believe, there are a lot of sacrifices that entrepreneurs make, whether that sacrifice is personal relationships, time or financials. It’s important to establish a plan before making too many unnecessary sacrifices so that you are working in the interest of both yourself and your venture. The first thing I learned as an entrepreneur is that you will need to wear a lot of different hats. These hats include accounting, bookkeeping, CEO, CFO, COO and CMO — just to name a few. Finding the time to balance all of these roles takes a lot of practice and patience. You will slowly become better at managing various roles and duties, but it comes with experience and learning from your mistakes. Achieving overnight success is extremely rare. Building a business is a long-term process.

You’ll Make Mistakes — But You’ll Learn From Them

When I first started, I faced a lot of rejections and made some regrettable mistakes. These experiences have contributed to my success as a businesswoman, but at the time felt like I would not succeed. The key is to keep going, which is often made easier by having a support network. Most entrepreneurs begin their journey solo or as a small team, so having those people in your corner is important. As your company grows, so will your list of responsibilities. Having people to lean on during these times for mental support or mentorship is incredibly helpful.

Patience Is Key

When growing a business, it takes time to see the financial reward. As an entrepreneur, you are consistently on the bottom of your own pay scale and having to be patient for return profit. Some people try to rush this process, but it takes time and money to build something reliably profitable. If you are in it only for the money, there’s a chance that entrepreneurship is not for you. As a new entrepreneur, I advise you to start with a plan. By starting organized and with clear goals in mind, you have already set a stronger, more prepared tone for your business to take off. You can do this by writing down your goals and plans to execute them, as well as tracking your growth along the way. By recording everything, you can see patterns in your progress, as well as repeated mistakes or areas of weakness. Most importantly, always have a financial plan. If your plan does not show revenue, it could end up costing you more in the process.

Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, but for those who pursue it, it can be a rewarding and life-changing experience. I recommend that you speak to other entrepreneurs first, those who have lived similar journeys and can share their experiences. Having a mentor or a teacher is a valuable way to learn, grow and avoid making classic entrepreneurial mistakes. At the end of the day, you must believe in the product or service that you are fighting for. Find what drives you and create a plan to bring it to life.

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Morgan Browne is the President and Co-Founder of Oakwyn Realty, one of Vancouver’s fastest-growing brokerage firms. Read Morgan Browne’s full executive profile here.

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