What 6 entrepreneurs wished they knew before they started?

November 27, 2020
Alexandra Kinias

We read success stories of start-ups, see entrepreneurs receive awards in glamorous ceremonies, smile to cameras in confidence and pride, and the dream of quitting our jobs and joining their ranks flashes in front of our eyes. We fantasize about these moments when our stories and photos are published in financial and entrepreneurial magazines. Of course the sky is the limit, but dreams alone don’t bring success. The good news is success is achievable; pursuing it is tedious, though.

Taking the first step to start your own business is not easy because you don’t know where the road leads. Because everyone’s journey is unique and different, no matter how you are prepared, there are always surprises along the way. The moments of success we see are preceded by long hours of hard work and sleepless nights, stress, anxiety and many failures. Many many failures.

We asked six entrepreneurs to tell us what’s the one thing they wished they knew about entrepreneurship before they got started? 

Here are their answers:

I think I wish I knew that the journey will be very stressful, and to succeed I should make my business the top priority in my life, even before myself.
I wish someone had told me how to deal with that stress. After 3 years now I learned how to deal with it, but when I started I never thought it would be that stressful.” – Shaymaa Ali, Co-Founder & Head of PR, MENA | Hawaya

“I wish someone told me how much agility is needed, being solid is not always what make things work, but being flexible is “ – Rania Ayman, Founder & CEO || Entreprenelle

“Always depend on yourself and always control your own resources. Never depend on factors you cannot control or people other than yourself. You are your own hero, make things happen!” – Nadia Gamal ElDin, Founder & CEO, Rahet Bally

Actually, I do have one thing I wish I knew early enough. There is a quote that says, “work on your business not in your business”. And after 6 years, I can say that this was the key. I used to do many tasks by myself, which I should have easily delegated to other team members and focus more on building relationships, grow more, dig for ideas and create more business opportunities.

I advice all entrepreneurs to spend more time working on their own business and less time working in it. – Hend Gomaa, Co-Founder, Managing Director | Digify

I wish I knew it is not easy to understand the market and your audience. You can keep working on the product development and come out with the best product ever, yet it doesn’t boom or you can’t display it in the market. What is most important is to study the market well, as well and your audience and build your own “sense” of the market. This will help you place your product in the right place, market and reach your target audience. In order to build the sense of the market you need to test it yourself and communicate directly with your clients and get their feedback. – Passant Saied, Founder & CEO, PAF dolls Co.

I wish I knew it was like having another baby. The work day does not end at 5pm or when you go home. Like parenthood, it is a 24/7 job. Like parenthood, your heart is beating outside of your body. Like parenthood, your mind and senses are always open to ideas and suggestions that might work for your baby. ~ Nelly El Zayat, Co-Founder, Director at Newton Education Services

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