10 Pros and Cons of Starting a Business

By Greg Skloot

Starting your own business is one of the most rewarding and challenging things you can do. Sometimes it’s fun, and other times it is emotionally draining. If you’re thinking about going into business for yourself, you need to ask the question, “do I get genuine pleasure from building something from scratch and seeing it grow?” If you can answer “yes,” than the highs from starting your own business will be worth the lows.
To make sure you know what you’re getting into, consider the cons and the pros listed below:

You’ll work harder, longer hours
Don’t do your own business to work less. You’ll work far more than any 9–5 job. There is a constant feeling of guilt when you are not working. The business is always on your mind, and there is always something you can do to make it better. This can be emotionally and physically tiring. Many of the best entrepreneurs are awake at 4:30am!

You won’t have anyone to guide you
At work, you have a boss that is ultimately responsible for your performance and output. When you start your own business, there is no playbook. Nobody can tell you if you are doing things right or not. You have to figure it all out for yourself every day. Much of the early days are trial and error, throwing lots of tactics at the wall to see what sticks.

You may not get paid for a while
You need the privilege of having financial runway (i.e. savings) to cover your bills when you are starting a business. Many entrepreneurs may not get a salary for years. That is a lot of missed wages. If the business doesn’t work out, it could all be for nothing. This can have serious consequences, and be a point of contention in your personal relationships and marriage.

You are constantly unsure of yourself
As a business owner, you never quite know if you are doing things right. Every action you take is essentially a best guess. This can become very frustrating as you may spend time and money on an initiative, only to find out it was a total waste. As you spend more time as a business owner, you’re experience will grow and your “best guesses” will become more accurate.

Failure feels unbelievably bad
The personal failure of your business tanking is overwhelming. It can mess with you mentally and physically. It can send you into a state of depression for an extended period of time and can be hard to break out of. Do not underestimate how difficult it can be to get over, especially if you lose your own money or your family’s money.

You have control over your own destiny
As a business owner, you have ultimate control over success or failure. If you work harder, keep pushing and figure it out, you have the potential to have incredible success and feel on top of the world. There is nobody stopping you except yourself. This can be an incredibly liberating feeling. I think about it frequently as I’m building Weekly Update.

You feel the bliss of someone using your product
It is such a cool feeling when someone uses or pays for a product you created. It’s this incredible validation that says “wow, I genuinely like this thing you created and I’m even willing to part with my hard-earned money to use it.” That feels great as an entrepreneur.

You create your own wealth
While it may take a while, much of the greatest wealth in the world was created by people who started a business from nothing. They didn’t get the money immediately, but if they hung on, kept pushing and perhaps had some luck, they became wealthier than their wildest dreams. Ironically, many of the best entrepreneurs note that they didn’t do it for the money, they just like the ride.

You get to choose who sits at the table
A frustrating aspect of working at someone else’s company is you are subjected to the whims of your boss deciding who to hire and fire. As the owner, you get full control over who you spend your time with. I’ve found this to be very important… I want to work with people I like and who share my values.

Success feels really good
Finally, wow does business success feel good! The lows are low but the highs are high. Financially, personally, and seeing your employees happiness when success comes is a feeling unlike any other. Great entrepreneurs chase that feeling over and over again.