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The Painful Truth About Starting a Business

You’ll want to find mentors to help you.

The Entrepreneur Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “What’s something you wish you knew before starting your business?” is written by Suneera Madhani, founder and CEO of Fattmerchant.

Everyone knows that starting a business is hard work, but I wish I had known just how much hard work it would be. In the beginning, it can be challenging to feel comfortable with that initial leapof independence—leaving whatever you were doing to start your own business. But the process after making the leap is what really proved to be testing.

Like many young startups, Fattmerchant was initially comprised of just me, myself, and I. However, after many late nights and lots of hard work, I eventually realized that it was time to recruit some help and start building a team. And while it’s definitely something I would consider to be a “champagne problem,” I never thought I’d need to do it.

At first, it was daunting to think of sharing what I had built with someone else. But talking with mentors helped me tounderstand that in order for Fattmerchant to grow, I could no longer handle everything on my own. A little over a year later, Fattmerchant is now a team of 17, and although I never realized how difficult building and managing a team would be, the company is stronger and kicking more butt than ever.

Everyone knows that running a business isn’t cheap. I wasaware of the typical overhead, such as rent for office space, salaries, etc., but the little things, like office wine, keeping the pantry stocked, and supplying Universal passes for our entire team (to allow for team-building days), really add up. Balancing budget with my vision for the company has been a much more difficult task than I ever imagined.

There are so many moving parts that go into starting a business, and I quickly realized just how hard it is to make sure everything is properly taken care of. Perhaps the most difficult part of starting my own business was the sheer amount of paperwork that had to be done and submitted to the city. Although I had a few close calls, I was lucky to have mentors who walked me through the process and ensured that I had everything filed correctly.

Had I known just how hard starting Fattmerchant would be, I definitely would’ve tried to be more prepared.

Read all responses to the Entrepreneur Insider question: What’s something you wish you knew before starting your business?

The Easy Way to Stop Wasting so Much Time by Greg Sewitz, cofounder of Exo.

The Real Reason so Many Businesses Fail by Catherine Bell, cofounder of BluEra.

Here’s How to Know Your Business Is Headed for Disaster by Andrew Ackerman, managing director of Dreamit New York.

Here’s Why You’re so Discouraged With Your Career by Simon Berg, CEO of Ceros.

Doing This for an Hour Each Day Can Make You More Successful by Dennis O’Donnell, cofounder ofPAW5andClear-Coat.

Why This Entrepreneur Doesn’t Regret Leaving His Successful Business by Chris Boehner, founder and CEO of Western Natural Foods.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do Before Starting a Business by Josh Reeves, cofounder and CEO of Gusto.

The Important Business Lesson Too Many Leaders Ignore by Aidan Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Reincubate.

What Google and Richard Branson Can Teach Us About Success by Alexander Goldstein, founder and CEO of Eligo Energy.

Here’s Why You Should Start Working Less by Erik Severinghaus, founder and CEO of SimpleRelevance.

The Dangerous Mistake Too Many Leaders Make by Fayez Mohamood, cofounder and CEO of Bluecore.

The Biggest Challenge Every Entrepreneur Faces by Jeff Ruby, founder and CEO of Newtopia.

Here’s What Happens When Your Company Only Focuses on Data by Allison Berliner, founder and CEO of Cataluv.

What Every Entrepreneur Should Be More Prepared for by Feris Rifai, cofounder and CEO of Bay Dynamics.

Why Virtual Offices Don’t Work by William Vanderbloemen, founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group.

The One Quality That Defines a Great Entrepreneur by Anthony Katz, founder of Hyperice.

What Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Apple by Michael Maven, founder of Carter & Kingsley.

Top Image: Suneera Madhani, founder and CEO of Fattmerchant


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