Entrepreneurship is Fun And Scary

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The opportunity to make your one year salary in one week. Getting paid different amounts for the same effort. Having no one you can't ignore. Knowing your career growth is fully in your hands. And the thrill of building a company from scratch. Entrepreneurship is fun.

image: flipkart.com

Then there is the scary part. Cashflow problems. You not only don't how much you will make next month but even when the clients will pay. And companies are most notorious for this. When it is a service they are buying from you, you get paid later than originally promised. And you almost always end up underestimating what it would take to get a job done. That is my biggest problem now.

I am already accustomed to the cash flow problems. Having constant monthly business expenses while my biggest invoices are unpaid. But the part I am still struggling with is managing my workload. A little "help me" from a friend ends up taking half of my whole day. And just two "help me with this" is often enough to take my whole day. So I end up delaying on the projects I am charging for. 

It's usually not so obvious in the beginning. A friend might want a quick help with a chart. I examine the request and I am sure it should not take more than 10 minutes to do. I say yes, send it. What they send is different from what they said. The request now takes 45 minutes. I do it and send back. Then I get a call and have to explain what I did for the next 15 minutes. 1 hour gone. Then as is my usual overzealous self, I promise to send a screenshot laden how-to guide via email. Which I often don't end up finding time to make. In the end, summing the 1 hour to do the job and the several minutes pre and post the job, I have spent 2 hours on a non-paying request. Then it takes me between 2 to 6 hours to get back fully into what I planned to do that day. And there are days I get over two "help me" requests.

So that is one part. The other is I have to mix low paying jobs with high paying jobs. Oftentimes the high paying jobs will give me ten times the amount the low paying one will give me for the same efforts. The issue is that the high paying ones take time to mature. They are often big projects that I am a part of and can't really determine when the pay will come. Or big company jobs that I don't know when they will sign it off. So I am always not knowing the right mix of low paying to high paying jobs to take up. The result has consistently been that I take up too many jobs and end up working from early in the morning to late at night. And it is not about getting more hands. It is about taking up the right projects.

Too many of my projects are "help me with this" that take more resources than intended. Those are the ones I want to get rid off. 

But in all, entrepreneurship has been both fun and scary for me. I have sat with the heads of companies I failed to secure a job interview with in my better job hunting days and now a registered vendor to some of them.


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