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The 10 things entrepreneurs wish they knew before they started

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It’s 11 o’clock on a Friday night. Whilst your friends are drinking cocktails or getting their feet massaged, you’re still stuck in the office, working away. Let’s face it, this whole start up thing was not the easy path to glory and success you thought it was going to be. That’s why we’ve gazed into a few souls and dug out the 10 things that all entrepreneurs wish they knew before they started.

1. SLEEP IS NOT NECESSARY, That period of physiological renewal, otherwise known as lounging in bed is a distant memory. You now survive off a combination of cat napping and enough caffeine and nicotine to take down an elephant. Weekdays, you take your chances and throw out the roll mat on the office floor. Upon those rare occasions when you return to the tropical oasis of your bed, you’re overcome by a wave of guilt, anxiety and resolve to push on.

2. SOD’S LAW, If it can go wrong then it will. No matter how much work you and your team put in, those 11th hour catastrophe’s are an inevitability. Your preconception of a smooth, effortless path to glory has been shattered.

3. FAMILY! WHO ARE THEY?, You know that woman who lives in the same building as you? Yeah, it’s your girlfriend. She greets you upon those rare occasions you make it back from the office, her patience never wearing as she sees you less and less frequently. For you though, that soft voice in the back of your ear whispering, “it’s all gonna be Ok” is about the only nice thing you’ll hear all week.

4. A HELPING HAND, You may loathe the sight of a business card but oh God you’ve needed them. The people you’ve met and relationships you’ve formed have been pushing your business forward. You can’t go it alone.

5. A HAPPY SHIP IS A GOOD SHIP, It may be a naval cliché’, but the mood of the office steers the business. I know it’s difficult to be civil and patient when the bank are on the phone, demanding cash whilst HMRC are threatening to come around. However, as any successful businessman worth there salt will tell you, your success rests on the people you employ. Calm down, take a deep breath and smile.

6. PASSION IS EVERYTHING, Your heart is in this as much as your wallet. The business, it’s product; it’s a manifestation of who you are. The hours slogged away in dreary meeting rooms and in the office are worth every second. You may have set it up for the cash, but by now it’s become something far more important.

7. EACH DAY IS A TRIAL, There’s no such thing as an easy day. From day 1 you’ve been flat out; thinking building, developing and planning.

8. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD IDEA, Even the most ludicrous of suggestions have nuggets of potential. Regardless of how stupid one member of your team’s suggestion was for handing out company branded sweets during rush hour at the local tube station, it’s now become one of your key marketing tools.

9. SCRIMPER PLC, It’s a basic fact. For the business to grow you need cash. In those early, naïve days of business plans and blue sky thinking, the funds for the marketing and PR growth you now need would be easily available. Fact of the matter is you’re about as eager to part with cash as a scuba diver is with his oxygen tank.

10. ONE EYE OPEN, It may be a cliché, but keeping one step ahead is vital. Constant self-improvement and identifying what your competitors have missed or ignored is the difference between failure and success.

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