There are a lot of would-be entrepreneurs out there that think running a successful business only requires two things: a laptop and a good idea. 

Many people want the personal and professional freedom that can stem from being your own boss and doing your own thing. And there are plenty of entrepreneurs and influencers out there who are ready to sell the idea that running a business is a walk in the park.

The reality is that a laptop and an idea are only the very, very beginning of what goes into a business. 

This isn’t to discourage anybody from having a business, if they really want to. But it’s better to know going into it that building and maintaining a profitable business takes SO much more than those two things. It isn’t all beaches and fancy coffees and four-hour-work weeks. Sometimes the reality of entrepreneurship is not so pretty!

The truth of it is, running a business will require you to do many things. You’ll need to get feedback on your initial idea. You’ll need to work to understand your target market, and listen to them closely so you can find out what they really want and need. You’ll have to build a network of trusted peers, get to know mentors and business coaches, and build new skills (sometimes every day!). 

As you spend more time with your business, you’ll learn that experience is the most important teacher you’ll ever have. You won’t achieve all of your goals overnight, but by showing up consistently and being willing to learn, you will create things you never thought would be possible.

There will be plenty of ups and downs along the way, too. And if you let it, your business will bring out a level of resilience that you didn’t know you had. You can lean into the good parts, learn from the tough ones, and become more emotionally intelligent than ever.

Running a business isn’t a walk in the park, and a great business isn’t a get-rich-quick tactic either. But being an entrepreneur can be one of the most transformative, fulfilling, and challenging things you’ll ever do.