8 Funny and relatable experiences that all entrepreneurs go through - Brittains Accountants & Advisors

The same things happen to everyone in different ways.

The road to becoming an entrepreneur
is often difficult, treacherous and filled with unexpected roadblocks and
detours. Those who embark on this journey do so because they are driven,
independent-minded and probably a little crazy. In a good way, of course!

The most successful entrepreneurs
have a clever mind, strong business acumen and a deep and abiding sense of
humor that keeps them going when they hit the inevitable rough patches that
come with any business.

If you’ve ever hit a tough spot, know
that you aren’t alone. Here are 8 experiences showing that all entrepreneurs go
through challenges. The trick is to keep your head up and keep moving forward.

1. Taking an
all-important phone call from a weird place.

If you’ve ever taken a conference
call from a truck-stop bathroom, from a friend’s wedding reception or while
vacationing at the beach, there’s a good chance you’re a hard-working
entrepreneur doing whatever it takes to make it happen. There’s no doubt that
mobile conferencing has changed the way we work and connect with one another,
and when you’re an entrepreneur trying to launch your business, you’ll take
full advantage of all the tools at your disposal.

According to data released by
InterCall, 65 percent of respondents said they had done other work while on a
conference call, including 47 percent who said they used the bathroom while on
the line.

We all have busy lives, and many of
us value flexibility and adaptability in our workday and schedule. So embrace
the nonstandard office space, and recognize that wherever you’re at can be your
temporary place of business.

2. Scrambling for

As a new entrepreneur, you’re
starting from scratch and are learning to bet on yourself. One of your first
orders of business will be to put together the necessary seed money to get your
business off the ground. This is often a difficult task, and one that nearly
every entrepreneur can relate to. Do you have personal financial resources you
can tap into? Can you find venture capital funding or an angel investor who
will back you? What about a bank loan?

Alternatively, if you’re like David
Daneshgar, you can use your
talent for poker to fund your startup.
Daneshgar and two friends, Farbod Shoraka and Gregg Weisstein, started the
company BloomNation after Daneshgar won more than $25,000 playing in the 2008
World Series of Poker tournament.

When it came down to the final hand, Weisstein said he was sure they had
lost, until Daneshgar looked him straight in the eye and pronounced, “It’s
flower time!”

3. Your end product
is very different from the idea you started with.

You have what you think is a
brilliant idea for a business and you’re sure your product or service will
sell. Except it doesn’t. The timing is off, or it doesn’t resonate with
customers. But don’t lose hope — most entrepreneurs end up rethinking their
original business model.

Consider the story of how PayPal got
started. It began as a company called Confinity, which produced security
software for handheld devices such as PalmPilots (remember those?). Max
Levchin, one of PayPal’s co-founders, explained that the original business
model wasn’t terribly successful, so he and his colleagues focused on
developing an electronic wallet. They found that people were using a small part
of their service to pay for goods purchased through eBay. It turned out there
was a huge need for people to make online payments, and ultimately that need
shaped their business model.

4. You find
yourself doing something crazy to get noticed.

It’s a struggle to find ways to stand
out in a crowded market. Sometimes you need to resort to unconventional or
eccentric tactics to get noticed and draw attention to your business. The trick
is to do so in a way that gains you the right kind of attention, and sometimes
that’s hard to gauge.

Marc Benioff, a co-founder of
Salesforce.com, is known for his
crazy marketing stunts
in particular for turning other companies’ events into stunts that spotlight
his own company. For example, he once hired fake protesters to disrupt a
rival’s conference and commandeered all the taxis at the event to deliver a
45-minute pitch about his own product.

In another instance, he canceled his
keynote at an Oracle conference and drew crowds to his own speech at a nearby

5. Realizing you
need to fire yourself.

Firing someone is always hard. Not
only does it mean someone is losing their job; it also means a mistake was made
in hiring the person in the first place. The person wasn’t the great fit you
thought they would be. This is an experience most entrepreneurs have to go
through at some point.

But just imagine if the person you
had to fire was yourself! This is what happened to
Tucker Max, author of the bestseller I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, and
founder and one-time CEO of Book in a Box (now Scribe Writing).

As Max explained on the James Altucher Show podcast, he was terrible at his job as CEO. A
self-described “difficult and overpowering” person, it took having a client ask
him why he was yelling at his colleagues to make him realize it was time to go.
Ultimately he realized he was going to ruin what would otherwise be a
successful business.

Max still owns the majority of the
company and has a role as director of product. But the company revenues have
multiplied since he stepped down as CEO.

6. Trying to find
work/life balance.

All entrepreneurs struggle to find
ways to balance their home and personal lives with the ever-demanding needs of
growing a business. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it’s easy to
become consumed with your job. Many entrepreneurs look around at some point and
realize that they have alienated themselves from loved ones.

Even a mega-successful billionaire
entrepreneur such as
Elon Musk
struggles with this. He once infamously said, “I
would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a
girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think
maybe even another five to 10 — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe
10 hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.”

Note to self: finding balance
probably requires more than 10 hours a week.

7. Learning how to

So you’ve successfully launched your
business and you’re growing fast to keep up with a changing market. You’ve got
a great team of people, but maybe you could all gel a little better. A great
team-building exercise may be just the thing to whip you all into shape! Or
not. It turns out not all teambuilding exercises serve their purpose.

Consider the tale of the trust fall fail — where a marketing intern was so busy videoing his
colleagues falling during the trust exercise that he neglected to actually
catch them as he was supposed to.

Or the juice cleanse from hell, where
one corporate office found their employees’ commitment to the cleanse program
left them all scrambling for bathroom time — and ultimately woefully behind on
their deadlines that week.

8. We all need a
sounding board.

Many entrepreneurs begin their
business working alone, but it’s important to remember that we all need a
sounding board once in a while to bounce ideas off of. We also need to be
willing to hear others out and consider ideas that aren’t our own. And this
goes for even the most brilliant entrepreneurs among us.

Consider Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who has been hailed as the richest man in the
world. When he first launched Amazon in 1995, he and his tiny crew of employees
would spend many uncomfortable hours on the floor, packaging products for
shipping. At one point, Bezos turned to an employee who was working alongside
him and declared that the company needed to buy kneepads to make it easier to
kneel on the ground.

His employee responded with his own
brilliant idea: they should buy tables so they could work standing up. And the
next day, that’s exactly what they did.