Every couple of weeks I see lists of “entrepreneurship myths” – it seems like it’s a never ending story – some are fueling them and the others are debunking them. There is one myth in particular that really bothers me: “if you are an entrepreneur you will more free time and will be able to set your own working hours”. I have strong feelings about this myth but perhaps I should first let you know that I’m a “moonlighting entrepreneur”, taking care of my business while keeping my 9 to 5 job.
OK, so let’s take the “get more free time” myth down. I will talk about the most common reasons why start-ups are not very efficient in time usage, and what you could do about it.
About one month ago, while in Denver, Colorado, I ha the chance to meet and talk to Bob Walsh, the author of several books about Micro-ISV (very small software companies) and blogging. He had a very interesting concept about small companies: any start-up entrepreneur should wear 47 hats to run a business. You have to be the manager, the legal advisor, the sales department, the development team, the janitor and everything in between.
And still, I’ve seen and done a few business plans and the entrepreneur’s time is never taken into account as a valuable and limited resource. Chances are that you start with limited funding and a limited team, but still, there are a lot of things to be done. You have to do paperwork, talk with customers, get supplies and everything else, but you never take into consideration how much time you have available. And secondly, you are unable to give this time a real commercial value, even if at the end every cost should be translated into the product/service price and paid by the customer. I can’t remember how many times I’ve spent one extra hour into the night, from “my own time” to do this or that.
Photo by sugu.