From executive to entrepreneur: 5 reasons why it is difficult for them to start a business

Entrepreneurship is in fashion and labor mobility as a result of the pandemic prompted many to leave the executive suit and try on the entrepreneur suit.

The global entrepreneurial world is experiencing a moment of expansion. Many people see it as a challenge to conquer, perhaps as something pending in their life that they want to experience.

At the same time, labor mobility at the corporate level implies the need to find a new activity that produces an income for millions of people. This is how, with the bonuses or compensation they could receive, hundreds of executives in the corporate world decide to become entrepreneurs.

Why are some people good at this transformation, while the vast majority do not adapt and fail miserably?

It all has to do with the lifestyle you want to maintain, your internal purpose and the project you carry out.

If your lifestyle can be made more flexible in such a way that, from having a fixed income, you start depending exclusively on what you generate the following month, you will have a chance.

If your purpose – what you really are – no longer needs titles on a business card, positions written in English, a career plan and benefits of different types, you could take this step.

And if the project you want to develop produces an uncontrollable internal passion in you – perhaps because it has been contained for years seeking to express itself – perhaps it is time to work on your own.

Being an entrepreneur is difficult: in addition to initial capital, tenacity, persistence and strength to face problems that only you could help solve, it takes a great internal evaluation about whether you are truly prepared.

Being an entrepreneur involves learning aspects that you had resolved in the corporate sphere. You will be the boss, but also the one who cleans the office, the first to arrive and the last to leave; the one who hires and fires collaborators; the one who signs legal agreements and checks, often with the sole endorsement of your first and last name.

Furthermore, you live in permanent uncertainty until, say after five years on average, you will see if your business can work. 90% of startups fail before that time. It's the truth.

Generally speaking, there is a lifestyle that the corporate world provides. The first, the fantasy of security: the end of the month comes and you receive your salary, in addition to other benefits that companies strive to gradually improve. You can “make a career”: unconsciously, for many this represents a certain sense of stability, although reality indicates that there are very few who currently climb positions in a corporation in years: there is a tendency towards permanent rotation, even at high levels of conduction.

Another widespread belief is that if I have been very good at working for others, I can also do it for myself. This entails an error, since the contexts and containment frameworks change.

Based on the hundreds of cases of executives I work with in various countries, I share these five reasons why there are some who fail when they want to start their own business:

  1. You work without a network. The entrepreneur takes care of himself. The entire administrative, financial, legal, technological and organizational containment network of a corporation now depends on you. This means knowing all these aspects, and assuming full responsibility for your actions as an entrepreneur: there is no one higher up who decides for you.
  2. Each result implies extraordinary energy. Especially at the beginning, the amount of time, dedication and focus that you will have to put into your venture will be absolutely different from what you had carrying out tasks in a company as an employee anywhere on an organizational chart. In short, at the end of the month you would always receive your salary. When starting a business, you are the owner, the employee and you fulfill all the roles at the same time.
  3. You work 24/7 for many years in a row. This aspect is crucial to understand if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, since you will dedicate the entire day, every day – even holidays and Sundays – to working on your project. You will no longer have days off; If you get sick, you lose because you don't generate income – at least at the beginning, until the wheel starts turning. If you want to take leave, you must articulate many aspects that, as an executive, you could resolve more easily. For most this is usually extremely exhausting.
  4. You lose all kinds of benefits. Corporate credit card, trips in Business or higher, that you call somewhere and they answer you because you are an executive of that corporation, that they invite you to exclusive events and even send you a gift at the end of the year. All that ends when you stop being an executive and become an entrepreneur. The vast majority of banks will tell you that they will not finance your dreams (because you are not solvent enough at the moment). There will be well-intentioned suppliers, and others who will want to take advantage of you. Possibly those who responded quickly when you were an executive will now refuse to have coffee with you so you can tell them about your project. If you want to recover these benefits, you will have to generate them: no one will do it for you. These are the first years of being an entrepreneur.
  5. You will fail many more times. In the corporate world, rulings are diluted and distributed among several people except in very specific cases. Being an entrepreneur, failure is constantly lurking. If you are one of those who get frustrated or disappointed very quickly, or want to please others all the time, think carefully.

Not all of it is bad news for executives who want to start a business. There are intermediate steps that can help you strengthen your free spirit, and that you may want to experience today, as a basis for your future own business:

  1. Become a intrapreneur. Start entrepreneurship within the organization in which you are an executive. Create a special project that, in some way, relates to what your independent dream is. Learn, correct and carry out the process with great awareness. This way you will learn to self-manage your emotions and draw conclusions about strengths and weaknesses. By the way, when you open your business, look for many intrapreneurs aligned with your business: people with their own initiative and energy similar to yours.
  2. Train yourself as much as you can. If there is one thing about the corporate world, it is that it opens up opportunities to learn in very diverse disciplines. Think that if you had to pay for each course, seminar or coaching you receive, it would be expensive. Instead, capitalize on this training while you're at the company.
  3. Establish solid networks of contacts. If you are skilled at generating links, it will be strategic for you to connect with people in another way: you will go from the transactional mode of the moment when you represent the corporation, to a collaborative mode – which will be the one that will serve as a basis for your undertaking.
  4. Join as a minority in a venture. This resource is an idea that you can implement to start feeling entrepreneurial. You will participate in meetings, you will be able to contribute ideas and live the do-it-yourself spirit in a very different way from what happens in the corporate world.
  5. Invest a part of your salary to later found your business. It is essential that you obtain a financing fund for your venture. Start with you: who else would trust the project? Allocate a percentage of your personal finances to this venture that you will carry out later. Then will come the financing rounds and any other way to move the wheels forward. If you do not come from the financial world, this will help you learn essential aspects that will directly impact the success of your venture.