Q & A - Your questions answered
Last week I got some really interesting questions about my situation, finances, work, pressure etc. I decided to share the questions and answers with you. Hopefully, this will be one post in the series of many Q&A posts, so if you have any questions, please, leave them in a comment, write me on the contact page, or email me. Again, thank you so much to everyone, who takes an interest in my entrepreneurial adventure. You guys are amazing!
Q: How long did you wait before deciding to become an entrepreneur?
A: A little over a year from when I had the idea to make the decision to work on it full-time.
It wasn’t really in the cards from the beginning that this would be my job. I honestly thought it would just be a nerdy hobby project. However, the more research I did, the more appealing it seemed to work on. I knew the learning curve would be ridiculously steep from day 1, but on the other hand, I knew I would regret it if I didn’t give this project a proper chance.
Q: How can you bear the pressure of not earning money for X months?
A: The answer is that I, luckily, am fortunate enough to live off unemployment insurance at the moment. During my time working a full-time job, I paid for my unemployment insurance. So, although my financial situation is not anywhere near as stable as I wish it would be, I still have a small income - enough to keep going for two years at least.
I know this will be my only income for a while, and so I’ve cut off any unnecessary expenses. I live relatively cheap, I don’t buy anything fancy. But, I’m happy to make some sacrifices if it means I can work on the onboarding platform.
Q: Did you set a personal start-up budget to invest, financially, or are you temporary getting some sort of income/support elsewhere?
A: No. Except for unemployment insurance, I don’t have any income, and there is no nest egg hidden away somewhere. I basically plunged into the deep end and hoped I, eventually, would swim.
That does require some strategic thinking when it comes to finding the money to fund the final product. But the rule of thumb is that if anyone knew how hard it would be, no one would choose to become entrepreneurs. It's exactly the same for me.
However, that doesn’t mean that the deep-plunge-approach is the right path for everyone. I know loads of people, who ventured into their own business by starting out small by working on their startup as a side project e.g. by becoming consultants. That’s a great way to test out the market, and dip your toe in the water, without going directly to the deep end.
Q: How hard is for you in the first place to define work if there is no money coming in?
A: It’s actually quite easy. My definition is: It’s work because it’s my full-time job and it’s hard. Admittedly, working from an office has made a huge difference. Like everyone else I go to work, I have meetings, I have lunch breaks, I write emails, and I ask my colleagues (everyone else at the office) for feedback on my project.
I do get comments from time to time suggesting that what I’m doing is not a “real job”. When you’ve put hopes and dreams and, not least, a ton of effort, into something, it’s hard to hear at first. Along the way, it’s gotten easier, though. Mostly because 99% of the people I know have been incredibly supportive and give constructive and useful feedback, and because I realized it’s so easy to stand on the sideline and criticize.
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