“$1,000 on black!” the professional gambler yells out, in a very confident tone. “Matter of fact, make it $2,000 on black!” What are his chances of hitting black in Roulette? 50/50? Perhaps. What are your chances growing your business and having no setbacks? Well, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of U.S. small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50% have faltered. After 10 years, only around a third of businesses have survived. Those are some dicey numbers, would you still roll? Of course you would. What the numbers don’t tell you is how the people—the entrepreneurs, are affected personally. Being an entrepreneur sounds fun, sounds glorious. It is so intriguing, is it not? But what are some real risks involved in entrepreneurial business?

I had a few entrepreneurs that have failed and succeeded, perhaps not at the first go ‘round, but at the second go. Here are some of their answers for common risks associated with chasing after, and bringing your dreams into fruition via Q & A.

Harry Bugarin

What kind of business did you start and why?

I started a Multi-Media Company. It’s something I have a passion for. Creating designs. Developing video, audio, and online content.

What were some of the challenges you encountered when starting your first business? And, how did you overcome them?
Harry Bugarin

Capital for me. For right now, everything is out of pocket. I have started designing logos and selling shirts, hoodies, hats, and such to help supplement the budget to keep the business running. Another challenge for me is finding the right equipment and tech for me. Even though a 5K camera or audio package may be the top of the line at the moment, it may not be the necessary equipment I would need for what I do now. As far as overcoming the challenges, I believe you go through challenges in different ways. Trial and error. Seeking advice from those in the same industry. Reading and researching.

What did you sacrifice to start your life as an entrepreneur? And, what have you continued to sacrifice to build your business?

Fortunately for me, this is something I love to do, and honestly during the whole Covid Era, time is now something we all have. So time isn’t that much of a factor for what I do. Even though I work out of the house at the moment, spending time with my family and daughters has taken somewhat of a hit, however, I do make time during other parts of the day to make it up. As far as my journey goes, I haven’t had to sacrifice much as of yet.

What are the challenges that you continue to battle with year after year as an entrepreneur?

Being relevant. Being fresh. Having new content. Being able to think three steps ahead of the changing markets, trends, and such. Being able to reach more viewers, users, having more engagement, and such.

What do you believe are some of the most common risks in entrepreneurial business?

Business is a risk, either way you go about it. Until you take the first step, everything is just an idea, a thought, writing on a piece of paper. It can get scary and overwhelming when you first start, however, just like anything, you will learn, assess, adjust, and execute.

Nate Boyette, former filmmaker turned software engineer

What kind of business did you start and why?

I’ve started several business projects, from film projects to software, and they usually revolve around some problem that I’m frustrated by or inspired by a passion of mine.

What were some of the challenges you encountered when starting your first business and, how did you overcome them?
Nate Boyette

One of the biggest challenges I’ve found is getting and keeping people just as motivated and/or inspired about an idea as I am. The first month or two after things get moving, people start to lose motivation as momentum slows down. The idea stage is always the most exciting. The execution stage is when people realize they aren’t as interested or committed to the idea as they thoughtthey were at the start. I’ve found that’s usually the beginning of the end for most projects.

What did you sacrifice to start your life as an entrepreneur? And, what have you continued to sacrifice to build your business?

While I’m not technically currently working as an entrepreneur, getting into the software industry was much like being an entrepreneur. I knew that in order to switch careers I would have to give up my life and make that commitment for an extended amount of time. That meant no social life, and even sacrificing family life. No matter how much I prepared those around me for my journey, it was still difficult for the people closest to me to make that adjustment with me. I believe pulling back from people is also necessary to cut out distractions as well. When you have a vision for something, people who lack the same amount of ambition and/or desire to attempt what feels impossible will usually cast doubt on the vision you have. I’ve tried to stay away from those types of people while training to get into the software industry.

What are challenges that you continue to battle with year after year as an entrepreneur?

One of the constant challenges I’ve had is the motivation to continue to grow. Sometimes you work extremely hard to achieve something, sacrifice relationships or even your own health, and when you achieve the goal you become burnt out because that amount of energy isn’t sustainable. So for me, now that I’ve achieved my major goal, I’m trying to figure out where I need to focus my attention to keep growing at a steady sustainable pace that works for me and my family.

What do you believe to be as some of the most common risks in entrepreneurial business?

I think the biggest risk is financial. Most entrepreneurs bet the savings on themselves, and when it doesn’t work out they have to start their lives over. Another risk is sacrificing relationships, whether it’s family, friends, or a partner to pursue a goal. The last and most important risk to me is the risk of time. You can spend many years pursuing a business goal that doesn’t work out and that’s time and energy that you can’t get back.

Here is a list of common risks in entrepreneurial business according to the other interviewees:

Entrepreneur rolling dice on white background
Entrepreneur rolling dice on white background
  1. Finances – Using your own money to start your business has pros and cons. Biggest con and pro: it’s your money! It’s more than likely that your savings, and yourself, are taking a leap of faith without a plan on where to land. Please consider strategizing your finances properly before taking that leap. Sometimes, certain circumstances make you take the leap due to market volatility, but always think before you leap! But, just make sure you leap, because either way you’ll be figuring out how to fly for a while!
  2. Family time and social life – You will be alone, even when you’re with people you will be alone. You will have the business on your mind 24/7. It’s your new baby and it will take all of your attention. Be careful not to alienate your family and friends. You will need them for support and to keep you balanced.
  3. Emotional, physical and mental health – As stated above, you will need your family and friends for support. Although, sometimes, it’s our family and perhaps friends that put strains on our life while we try to achieve our goals and aspirations in entrepreneurship. Sometimes you have to cut the hand to save the arm, and so-on-and-so-forth (I don’t mean literally).
  4. Misguided marketing – Developing a marketing strategy that is marketed towards the wrong end user is just pure frustration for you to have a heart attack with. It is a drain on your wallet and your mental faculties, measure twice and cut once. This mistake has ended companies.
  5. Time – The jewel that will eventually slip away from you, if you’re not careful. Your time is precious and it can be swept away into unnecessary tasks just as easy as the wind blows. Be very cautious with your time; treat your time like it’s the secret service guarding a president! Be vigilant with those that try to waste your time and that includes you too! Practice developing discipline with your time, love your time, bask in your time, and watch how far you go.

To conclude, I will let my interviewees bring it home despite all the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur. I asked them for their final wordsof advice for those that are on the fence of making the entrepreneurial leap. Here’s what they said:

“Just do it! You have nothing to lose. And try again because there’s nothing worse than working on a hamster wheel. Most people at the head of the table followed their love and passion and blocked out all the white noise to turn that passion into a check.”

Nicholas Brown – Art Gallery Owner

“Take the leap! I’d rather live my life knowing I went for it than regretting never taking the leap at all.”

Nathan Boyette – Software Engineer & Entrepreneur

“Don’t give into your fears. Take that first step, whatever it is. Once you get the ball rolling, things will fall into place. Align yourself with positive people who will help uplift you along your journey. Reach out to those in your space who are successful, ask what their formula is and basically “plug and play”! Use what works and keep the other things to the side, then revisit them to see if they will work later. When it doesn’t work out, you have to reinvent yourself!”

Harry Bugarin – Entrepreneur

“Just do it! You don’t know what’s on the other side for you.”

Delores Hollingsworth – Designer & Entrepreneur

“Don’t do what everyone else is doing.”

Romell Hoskins – Designer & Entrepreneur

What are some other common risks entrepreneurs should be aware of? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.