The desire to become an entrepreneur burns deep for many individuals. The excitement of living your dreams and being your own boss are enchanting, falling under the spell and biting from the forbidden apple, without the antidote, can cause startups to fail prematurely.

I myself have spent countless hours daydreaming about my next business adventure. Planning, preparation, and proper execution has kept me focused and on track to build a successful foundation for my business.

Reflecting back to my first business opportunity, there were several aspects of business I wish I had been aware of prior to setting out on the journey of being an entrepreneur. In an attempt to spread some love, I am going to share three pieces of knowledge every entrepreneur should know, before launching his or her startup.

1. A Cash Reserve is Required

It is very important to remember that both you as an individual and your business are going to require two separate streams of income, for at least the first three years. Meaning, the entrepreneur will need an income to maintain his or her current lifestyle. At the same time, the business will need enough money to cover expenses and operating costs.

Its okay, you can breathe. Three years sounds like a heck of a long time and a substantial amount of money. That’s because it is. I have over seven years of experience working with small business owners and startups, as well as running my own. The number one reason businesses close its doors are due to the absence of a reserve.

Reserves can be obtained via savings, loans (I do not advise), and investors. 

I understand the insatiable desire to jump into launching a startup. Unfortunately, jumping without a plan will cause a dream to sink faster than a battleship.

2. Long Hours and Sleepless Nights

Hard work is an understatement when referencing the amount of hours needed to invest into a startup. As an entrepreneur, you will quickly learn that there are not enough hours in the day. No matter the industry, a startup requires constant nurturing. Laying a strong foundation requires sacrifice, dedication, time, money, and constant tweaking.

I have witnessed the fall of several businesses due to the fact of the owner underestimating the amount of time and dedication required to launch a startup.

3. A Strong Support System

Launching a startup requires a lot of support. The strain of making daily pivotal decisions will require the emotional support of a mentor. The compounded stress of working long hours will require support from loved ones and family members. The mounting amount of responsibility due to treading in new, murky water will require the support of seasoned professionals that are willing to answer your questions and help you navigate your way. The emotional damage of making a mistake will require the support of an advisor or peer to tell you it is okay and that you are only human.

Launching a startup requires a lot of work. At the same time, walking in your purpose and living your dreams can be worth every second, as long as you plan, prepare and execute with purpose.