Reflections of a young entrepreneur

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Being a young entrepreneur (photo)

Being a young entrepreneur (photo)Recognizing that you are an entrepreneur at the core can be both relieving and scary at the same time. I know this because it is exactly how I have been feeling for the past one year.

The desire to start doing my own thing has been with me for several years, but until you take off from everything else to focus on doing “your own thing”, then you start to truly understand this new reality. Being an entrepreneur anywhere is very hard, much more so in Albania. But if that is your calling, then doing anything else, can be just as hard and furthermore, it is frustrating as it somehow  causes you to give up on your dreams and thus diminish your potential by sticking to something else “more stable, and secure” like a corporate job!

I’ve realized already that being an entrepreneur is not for everybody, nor is it possible for everyone who dreams of doing their own thing, or working on their own thing (i.e. business, project, etc.). However, you can be an entrepreneur even at your current job, but I will not go into that now.

Working for myself
When I quit my corporate job over a year ago, the prospect of working full-time for myself was and continues to be exhilarating. I love the fact that despite the added amount of work and daily chores, I feel less stressed and manage to get much more done. That does not mean that everything goes smooth and that I do not face hard times, as those will always be there. But the knowledge that all the work and energy that I put into what I’m doing comes back to me in one way or another, just make me feel satisfied and fulfilled. Even when one project fails, just the knowledge that you gain from it, is all worth it.

Working for others
Will I ever go back to working for a corporation or for another business that is not my own, well yes, I know I will, and I already do that partially. But I do it on my own terms and fully aware that the returns will be at least equal to the time and energy that I invest in it, which is not always true in most businesses, unless you have invested a lot of years and time in the same place.

Anyway, one year is not much nor is it a little. You do get to learn a lot of things about yourself, your true potential, your ability to fail and to succeed as well. You learn directly what it means to fail at what you want to do, and you also get to benefit directly from it.

Facing challenges
The lack of a steady income (i.e. salary) can be a big challenge, but there are ways to manage that as well, which causes you to need to put more work into what you’re doing and possibly into other side projects/jobs so as to at least maintain a certain level of income without giving up your entrepreneurial venture.

Support system
The best thing is to ensure that you have a strong circle of friends and supporters who can and will be there for you with counsel, objectivity and even financial support if low times linger a bit longer than expected. In my case, having a trustworthy business partner and friend, is just priceless. He or she can help you to stay focused and within certain boundaries. Especially in my case, I can be rather rushed in decisions, often enthused by the prospect and/or potential of a new project or innovation, but not so careful about costs. So setting some limits and respecting set boundaries can be hard to do by yourself, especially if you are an entrepreneur who is always dreaming big dreams.