7 Reasons Why Being a Startup Founder Is Worth the Challenge

7 Reasons Why Being a Startup Founder Is Worth the Challenge

Whenever you read through all the crazy tech startup stories, the limelight always talks about the giants — Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, and even Theranos, to name a few. Their rise, their billion-dollar valuations, their impact on the global market — all of these shape our perception of the startup world. Yet, in the vast expanse of this universe, not all stars shine equally bright. Not everyone becomes a unicorn. I know, I have been through all of it. A vast majority of ideas and brilliant founders fade away into oblivion, leaving behind tales of dreams unfulfilled. How

Being a startup founder has its coolness to it — the freedom to be your boss, the thrill of chasing the next big idea, the hope of being the next success story, paralleling the likes of Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. But, from my perspective, the lens of a seasoned startup founder, the journey is far from the glamor and glitz that it promises.

40% of businesses fail within the first three years, 49.9% within five years, 65.8% within 10 years, 73.3% within 15 years, and nearly 80% within 20 years. If you’re getting ready to start your open business or you’re in your first year, that’s what you need to be prepared for.

Why Then, Would I Recommend people to be Startup Founders?

Four People Using Laptop Computers and Smartphone

Startups are, undeniably, a high-stakes game.

Trading a stable job for the roller-coaster ride of entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. Seriously, if you are reading this before you start to jump in, really think twice. Yet, for all the pitfalls and setbacks, I wouldn’t have chosen another path.

Despite the hardships, I evolved. I didn’t make a big fortune, nor did I become a renowned name in the startup world. But I enriched my life with invaluable experiences, unparalleled opportunities, and countless lessons. I made money through startups and I lose alot of my own money in countless startups.

It made me realize the true measures of success. It’s not about the money, the valuation, or the fame. It’s about the journey, the learnings, the relationships you forge along the way. My family and now newly wedded, my wife have supported me every day.

The Challenge of Limited Resources

One of the most pressing issues I faced was operating on a shoestring budget. Limited funds mean I can’t always hire the best talent in the market. Instead, I looked for passionate individuals willing to work for the love of the project and the promise of future rewards. But passion doesn’t pay the bills. Balancing the need to compensate my team adequately while ensuring we didn’t bleed out our limited finances was a tightrope walk. Every payroll day was a reminder of the delicate balance I was trying to maintain.

With a team working under constrained conditions, expectations often varied.

Some people saw the startup as just a short job before finding something better. For others, it was super important and close to their hearts. Because of this, people had different feelings and commitment to the work. Trying to get everyone to work together and share the same goal wasn’t easy.

Trying Hard to Get Money and Customers!

One of the big challenges was always needing money to run the business. Some nights I couldn’t sleep, worrying about where to get more money. I had to talk to many people who might give us money, explain our ideas, and show what we had done so far. Even though being turned down was tough, it helped me learn and improve. But always worrying about having enough money was one of the hardest parts.

In every startup, I was in, we were really proud of what we made and thought it could change the market. But just because we liked it didn’t mean everyone would. We had to keep trying to get more people to use our product, listen to what they said, and make changes based on that. With so many other options out there and people always wanting new things, getting a new customer felt amazing. But losing one felt really bad. The one, I exited was about customized gifts that could be viewable upon real time.

The whole experience of starting a business felt intense. The good times were amazing, but the tough times were really hard. I mean REALLY HARD. Sleep? Waking up early? Can’t Sleep. Everything.

There were so many challenges, like having a team with not much money, always looking for more money, and finding customers. It felt like trying to climb a super tall mountain with a backpack full of dreams but not having all the tools and equipment we needed.

The Illusion of Wealth

Let’s be clear — most new businesses don’t make a lot of money. Studies show that 30–40% of businesses that get money from investors end up failing. But that’s not as bad as the 80% of all new businesses that don’t make it, whether they have investor money or not. Imagine this: the people who gave you money to help your business, they lose all that money.

Even if you work really hard and your business starts to do well, it doesn’t mean you’ll become rich. The people who invested money often get paid back first. So, if there’s money to be shared, they get theirs before you get yours. In my own experience, I had a business for many years that I had to sell. Even after all the hard work and money I put in, I ended up losing both time and money.

I can say that my first mini startup was sold to the supplier who provided products for my e-commerce business 6 years ago. As for the one a few months ago, only my co-founder and I lost time and money. The investor didn’t lose any money because I decided to close it; I couldn’t see the vision anymore. Why did I do that? Instead of burning through all the investor’s cash? It is because my brand and reputation is more important than failing it.

Control? Think Again!

You know that feeling when you save up to buy something, but then someone else gets to decide how you use it? That’s how it felt when I got money for my business. I thought I’d be the boss, but the people who gave me money had a lot to say. They could even decide how much pocket money I got or if I was still the right person for the job. It was like having a remote-controlled toy but someone else had the remote!

Starting a business felt like being in school and having to be good at every subject. Some days, I felt like I was drowning in homework from classes I never signed up for. Many nights, I felt like the new kid, lost and unsure.

Changing Up The Game Plan

Not everyone got my big dream. And as someone who’s more of a listener than a talker, always being in the spotlight was super draining. At WOLF3, my dream was to help every person that wanted more in Web3, because we were literally a platform that can enable people to have access to funding that can easily help them along their journey. But, I was so wrong. There are so many ways people do that. And there is also GTM stragegies too.

Imagine planning the ultimate sleepover and then having to change everything because of a rainy day. Everytime, someone looks at it, someone says maybe this will be better. Or this isn’t that good. It is too expensive. Or it is a very good product. That’s how making a product felt. Sometimes I had to change my dream product to make others happy. My original idea was my dream, and the changes?

Missing Out On The Little Things

This is what happens when I started my startup as a side hustle at the same time, I had a full time carrer. The hardest part was like wanting to hang out at the bar with friends but having to babysit and do some meaningless documents. I missed birthdays, movie nights, and just chilling. I believed my business would be worth it, but I missed so many “remember when” moments with my family and friends. When I was doing that, I didn’t date, I was unhappy when I went to bed, but just personal life sucked. Now, so some of the friends that I wished to be closer, we just grew more distanced through the years I was a founder running around, and is it too late to reconnect with them? Maybe?

Struggles — all founders go through this

Starting a business without lots of money felt like wanting the newest sneakers but only having enough for the old model. I couldn’t pick the star players for my team. Instead, I found folks who were as excited as I was and who were cool with not getting the big bucks right away.

When I started my business on the side while having a full-time job, it was tough. It felt like I wanted to hang out with friends, but I was stuck doing boring paperwork. I missed out on birthdays, movies, and just hanging out. I thought my business would make up for it, but I missed many fun times with my family and friends. During this time, I didn’t date and often felt sad before sleeping. My personal life wasn’t great. Some friends I wanted to be close to have drifted away over the years. I wonder if it’s too late to get close to them again. Is it?

Looking Back: The Founder’s Reflection

marketing exit technology business
Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels.com

But despite all the challenges, setbacks, and sleepless nights, I wouldn’t trade my founder’s journey for anything. Yes, there were moments of doubt, instances of despair, but those were balanced out by the small victories — the smile of a satisfied customer, the joy of a team member when an idea worked, the sense of accomplishment when we overcame another hurdle.

To anyone dreaming of their own startup, I’d say this: it’s going to be tough, much harder than you might think. But if you persevere, keep faith, and stay committed to your vision, the rewards — both tangible and intangible — are beyond worth it.

To all the entrepreneurs reading this, in my experience, I started this journey and haven’t made much money YET. But I have grown, faced many challenges, and gained lots of valuable experiences. Maybe this startup will be the successful one. But remember, being an entrepreneur is more about the journey than the end goal.

Leave a Reply