5 Challenges Entrepreneurs Often Dont Anticipate

5 Challenges Entrepreneurs Often Dont Anticipate

So you want to be an entrepreneur. Leaving your nine to five comfort zone to follow your true passion can be done. You will face challenges along the way, but these challenges can be conquered so long as you have a clear vision, tenacity and exceptional knowledge of your market. Be mindful of the following five challenges that many new entrepreneurs commonly don’t anticipate.


This is often the least anticipated challenge entrepreneur’s face. All will be faced with the stress of connecting with their first customers, fighting to breakeven, and working long long hours. What they don’t anticipate is the challenge associated with managing their head when the stress of working so long and so hard begins to take its toll and the feeling of isolation takes hold.

One approach to mitigate isolation is to put in place support that you otherwise may not have needed as an employee. If you can, learn from other entrepreneurs’ experiences and start the process of building a support network at the outset of deciding to be an entrepreneur.

Operating in an ambiguous environment

Entrepreneurs operate in highly ambiguous environments where the full range of alternatives and outcomes isn’t known, leading to many possible directions. The high levels of ambiguity in new businesses imply that entrepreneurs may not get it right the first time. Experimentation is essential. Begin with hypotheses about what you believe will work and what won’t, then search for ways of validating or invalidating preconceptions, knowing that first-cut strategies will change over time.

Where to invest time

Entrepreneurs may feel they need to do everything themselves or spend too much time on things that don’t help their business grow. You should develop some capabilities and acquire others. Not all skills are best developed from scratch, some can be purchased. As soon as you have the means to outsource or hire, you should, as this will enable you to focus on vital business functions.

Sticking it out

A successful business is a long term effort and at times, can be like a roller coaster, filled with ups and downs. Entrepreneurs may not be mentally prepared for the long-term slog of running their own business. It’s a job that has no set hours with little or no time off for holidays or fun.

Non-financial drivers of success

More often than not, an entrepreneur that starts a business and focusses on it has either fallen in love with an industry, product or service. They have learned that a well-paid job is not necessarily a job that is enjoyed. Entrepreneurship is more about love than money. So if you embark on entrepreneurship, do so for the love of it, rather than money.

What do you think?

Juggling challenges you never saw coming can be more than stressful. What unexpected challenges have you encountered that should be added to this list? How did you address them? Comment below to join the conversation.

This article was written by Jelena Milutinovic on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: AEP Consulting; Entrepreneur; Forbes; Inc. and Harvard Business Review


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