The hardest things about starting a business

Starting a business can take many forms, and not every way is best for every entrepreneur/industry/situation. We've gathered together an ever-growing list of entrepreneurs, and they have agreed to share the hardest things about starting a business.


Staying Confident

Margie Traxler - Grain Free Mamas

"Staying confident in your path when obstacles show up and you need to adjust to succeed."  

Knowing Where To Start

James Martin - SLM

"Some of the hardest things about starting a business is knowing where to start. There are many different aspects of a business and the unknowns can be hard for some people to overcome. However, what I have found is you just have to start, ask questions, and keep moving. There are plenty of individuals and small businesses out there that are willing to give you free advice on what is working for them and there are plenty of small business services that can help you on your journey."  

Negative Internal Voices

Josh Wall - Amtil

"The hardest thing can be keeping the negative internal voices, at bay. self-doubt is a part of the game, but your willingness to want to succeed, your drive, and your passion need to override the constant and pestering Voice that keeps telling you you’re going to fail, and that constantly calls you an imposter." 



Donato Tramuto - Health eVillages

"Recognizing the important to be vulnerable and the willingness to share your story no matter how challenging your journey might have been." 



Jheen Oh - Susosu Hydrogen Water

"The hardest thing about starting a business is starting the business. I know a lot of people that have scalable ideas but just want everything to be "perfect" before launching. The proper way to starting a business is by just doing it and making a lot of mistakes and learning from them. That's the only way you can actually push your business forward to growth." 


Proper Funding

Marcus Washington - Howard Rhodes

"The hardest thing about starting a business is getting proper funding." 

Loss Of Identity

Phil Tyreman

"Loss of identity. You quickly discover everything you've done before -- your achievements, career, and so on -- are irrelevant to the overwhelming majority of prospects and clients. It's quite the ego check, and you must find a way to overcome it if you are to succeed." 


The Work

Mark Goldman - 4610 Enterprises

"As basic as it sounds... the work. Practically everyone has said at some point that they would like to own their own business. The truth is that it takes tremendous determination to stick it out through the hard times. Forging a new trail for your life can be lonely. It takes grit." 


Nothing Is Hard

Samara Aldahwi - The Beverly Hills Marriage and Family Therapy

"Nothing is hard about starting a business. It's all about strategy, planning, and creating options. After starting a business, the challenge becomes marketing." 


Be Patient

John Lahtinen - Pago

"Be Patient. With cofounders, employees, significant others, children, family, customers, partners, investors, and most importantly yourself. Things will always move slower than you want, but half the battle is showing up." 


Don't Put Your Eggs In One Basket

Rebekah Edwards - Clara Agency

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to starting your business. Be willing to start small, adding in time as you can manage without diving into your new business being your only available source of income. You might also choose to save up enough money to cover your personal expenses first so you can start full-time right away. Whatever you do, avoid relying on a brand-new business to provide your income for as long as possible. This will help you balance how much hits to your business and seasons of lack (which will come, because that's part of entrepreneurship) will impact your personal well-being and that of your family." 


Managing People

Joe Wilson - PES Electric

"Managing people has been the hardest thing, next to letting go of tasks to employ others." 


Go As Far As I Have To

Shivi Agarwal - Silicon Valley Web Solution

"The first thing I did before officially launching my startup I prepared myself mentally that NO matter what how far I have to go I make it work. Willpower, Consistency, continuity and patience were the key points which helped me the most to keep moving." 


Pushing Despite Anything & Everything

Tatiana Alexa - San Grove

"The hardest thing is to keep pushing despite anything and everything. It's also the easiest too. If you believe with all of your passion, all of your energy, with everything in you, that you are The One that can solve this particular problem. Again, not like you know the answer (today, right now) how to solve, but more like you know that it's YOU that will solve it. No matter what, you will. Do you feel the difference?." 


Seeing Your Idea Through

Jeff Dillon - EdTech Connect

"The hardest thing about starting a new business that is a new model is having the persistence to see your idea through. Nobody asked for AirBNB or Uber. These companies created new industries. It takes time and a commitment to improving the product or service rapidly." 


Define The Vision

Eric Schaffner - Smart Block Engine

"Define the vision of your business and how you want to reach it. Then test it while you are still under a paid job so you can prepare the maximum before you make the big jump, removing the inevitable financial stress until your business starts to deliver." 



Riggs Eckelberry - Origin Clear

"What I've learned first and foremost is how to achieve Guided Disruption™. Meaning, disruption is key to achieving success in a crowded marketplace, but without some kind of Disruption Map™, you won't get very far. The core philosophy behind disruption is experimentation - what I call Mistake-Based Marketing™. As my good friend David Batstone put it, "Enlightened trial and error outperforms the planning of flawless intellects." So get enlightened and start your enlightened journey of trial and error!" 


What To Do Next

Nathan Foeller - Raffles For Less

"The hardest thing for me has been deciding what to focus on next. It's easy for me to bounce from one thing to another while never finishing any of them. One thing that has helped me is writing down my goals for the next week, month, and year. This has helped me stay focused on specific initiatives and ultimately accomplish so much more than I used to." 


Social Rejection

Alan See

"Social rejection causes activation in the same part of the brain as physical pain. When a brand doesn’t follow back their target market, they are in essence rejecting their customer’s attempt to engage and provide feedback. Most major brands do not follow back their social media audience. They really need to work on a follow-back engagement strategy and less on just broadcasting."


Getting Your First Customer

Nate Spangle - Powderkeg

"The hardest part of starting a business is getting your first customer. Finding someone you have never met before to be willing to pay you money for you're good or service. I overcame this by playing the numbers game. Give your pitch, take the learnings, iterate, and shoot your shot again."