Starting a business is hard. Its even harder if you’ve never done it before. Here are a few things to think about if you are considering becoming a full-time entrepreneur:

  1. It takes time – Assume it is going to take some time to get things going. It is fun to read about companies like Instagram that sell in two years, but that is the exception to the norm. When starting out, you may want to go ahead clear your calendar for the next 5-10 years. 
  2. Pick something you know – Try to work within an industry you have some knowledge and understanding of. It can be tempting to start in consumer tech or something that looks fun, but you should take advantage of any special industry knowledge you may have.
  3. Learn fast – Wether you understand anything about the industry or not, you will have to learn and adapt fast to your environment. Things will change quickly and they will change often. Count on it.
  4. Its going to be tough – Be ready to get punched in the face a few times. There will be ups and downs guaranteed. Find ways to stay persistent because you will need it.
  5. Network early and often – Get out of the building and talk to potential customers, industry folks, advisors, etc. Share what you are doing with as many people that will listen. Good things will happen if you put yourself out there.

People like to glorify being an entrepreneur, but the reality is that it is not a pretty process. Stay persistent, work hard and you may have a chance.

What else should first time entrepreneurs know before starting out?