Entrepreneurship Isn’t as Glamorous as It Seems: This Is My Advice to Anyone Who Wants to Start Their Own Business
We’ve all seen movies and media stories about the glamour of entrepreneurship. Founders get to travel, bargain with power players, make money, and win awards, all while building big name businesses; but in reality, things don’t always happen that way.
Yes, entrepreneurship offers amazing rewards. The team we’ve built at Qwick motivates and inspires me daily. I’m excited about our company’s commitment to diversity, integrity, empathy, and curiosity. Most importantly, I know that we truly impact people’s lives. The Professionals on our platform often tell us about buying their first car or achieving their financial goals. These things happen because Qwick empowers them to set their own schedules and earn more money — at least $9 above hourly minimum wage in each city where we operate. Helping Professionals and Business Partners create prosperity is my team’s top priority.
Entrepreneurship also comes with challenges, though. I’ve been growing companies for more than 20 years, and this is my advice to people looking to launch their own.
Be ready to work harder than ever.
This job will be your everything, especially in the beginning. You’ll lose sleep. You’ll skip meals. You’ll miss time with family and friends. You will always be thinking about the company you’re building and how to do things better.
Prepare for tough decisions.
Being an entrepreneur is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve faced challenges and made decisions that few people understand. For example, we made the incredibly difficult decision to lay off about two-thirds of our employees at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to keep Qwick going. That step ultimately moved us toward the success we have today, but it was a very challenging time. As a founder, you make decisions that impact people’s lives and the success of your company. You can’t make those choices lightly.
Shoulder the blame and share the glory.
At Qwick, I accept the blame when something goes wrong. That’s what great leaders do. At the same time, I don’t expect the glory when things go right. It’s my role to motivate team members and recognize their contributions. Good leaders should hand out the praise, not expect it. We’re all human, of course, and that’s not always easy. But when you succeed, you share the accolades with the team that gets you there.
Remember, this is a roller coaster.
People who dream of building a high-growth startup often see what’s up and to the right. But remember, you’ll manage through both ups and downs. That roller coaster path became really clear to me during the pandemic. The hospitality industry shut down almost overnight, so Qwick responded by thinking big. We matched hospitals, grocery stores, and military cafeterias with experienced food service workers. When event caterers pressed pause, we connected professionals to shifts in delivery-only restaurants. The result: Qwick saw 1,800% growth between August 2020 and August 2021, despite pandemic challenges.
The emotional peaks of entrepreneurship are high, but the lows are equally low. In tough times, you’ve got to fight self-doubt, get creative, and keep pushing forward.