by: Markus Lampinen
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Living the startup life is surely different from anything else, but it’s far from the ‘good life’ it’s often projected to be. It’s different in many ways. You are in charge but, also fully responsible. You have the flexibility at hand and can freely choose which 20 hours per day you will work. But most often, for first time entrepreneurs there are several illusions that get shattered during the first venture. And the sooner they go down in flames, the better. So here’s an attempt at bringing down some of the curtains right now.


 1) “Once things settle down”

I’m allergic to the phrase ‘once things settle down’. This comes from my own personal learning, that things never settle down. And if they do, then you’re not going down the ‘right path’. You may think that when you get more revenue or get past your Series B, it will get easier. And that’s just not true, it will only get tougher, more demanding and more complex.

If you have made the leap from a ‘job’ to this entrepreneurial career, I would encourage you to stop thinking of it as a ‘job’. That will ultimately only get in the way of grasping the true nature and being able to grapple it properly. Labels may get in the way all together, so why not just forget labels and look at your life as a whole. This includes all the priorities you have in all different categories including like different parts of work, family and other stuff that means something to you. Priorities change, but if it’s not at the top of your priority list then it doesn’t deserve your full attention.

The variable that does change however, is how you are able to handle the environment, uncertainty and risk and so on. All the things that go into a high paced entrepreneurial life. And you will get better, or you will get out.

2) “I’m my own boss”

Who's the Boss?

When you have your own company, you won’t have to answer to anyone right? Well, quite the opposite in fact. You’ll have to answer to everyone, including yourself, but also people outside of your working environment, like your significant other and family. You’ll be bound to dealing with your customers at ungodly hours and for whatever menial needs. The truth is, when you have your own startup, you may not have a boss, but you will have to babysit everyone and everything.
While taking control of your own aspirations should be seen as admirable, and it is by all means. What it is not however, is a stroll in the park. Control comes with responsibility and in the case of entrepreneurs, responsibility does not correlate positively with increased work satisfaction. Forget management theories, increasing responsibility thousandfold will not make you happy.

3) ‘From 8 AM to Exit”

The exit is a highly discussed topic, but it should never be the underpinning of starting a new company. Being in it for the money, will only lead to a perverse company that will crumble like a house of cards. When you face the first bumps in the road (and you will) and lack the commitment, how are you going to motivate and drag your startup through the mud?

Further, companies are not sold, they are bought. When you’re making great progress and have your share of successes is when you also catch the eye of those that might be interested in pursuing an acquisition. If you’re auctioning off your company at any given chance, you’ll repel any interest and watch discussions go up in smoke. If you’re so desperately trying to sell your company, why did you start it in the first place?

Don’t get caught in these and countless other delusions that entrepreneurs face. They will ultimately only hold you back. Having an open mind and seeing the world for what it really is, can be a great source of power.

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About the author

Markus Lampinen Passionate, driven entrepreneur. CEO at Crowd Valley, the crowd funding infrastructure, Senior Partner at the Grow VC Group. Markus has also worked with actors in both the private and public sector, to improve the infrastructure for entrepreneurship and serves as a frequent public speaker on related themes. Follow Markus on Twitter, LinkedIn & Google


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 12:07 am and is filed under Entrepreneur Inspiration, Entrepreneur Motivation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.