When it comes to business advice, the tendency is to oversimplify. “Anybody can do it! You just have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and before you know it you’ll be riding around in a Limo to all your meetings, sipping champagne on your lunch break, and…”

Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

While the tendency may be to portray starting a business as a piece of cake, it’s important to understand one thing from the get-go:

Starting a business is hard work!

If you’re not willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to get your business off the ground, you may want to reconsider. It won’t be worth the wasted initial effort.

Getting past the starting line in business is the hardest part. You’ll probably have to struggle to offset your initial expenses until the business becomes profitable. It can be touch and go in the beginning, which isn’t something a lot of people prepare for. Instead, they imagine themselves kicking back and enjoying the rewards of being a business owner without actually thinking about the time they need to invest in it.

So, what does it take to start a business? What do you have to do to push over that initial hurdle and make it on the other side where profits happen?

Have a Plan

Whatever you do, don’t start a business without having a plan first. You’ll need a solid plan to get a bank loan, so take the time to fully envision your business and what it will take to run before you start talking about it with anybody.

Be Committed

Once you have some start-up money and have opened up shop, be prepared to spend a lot of time on your business. You may not have much of a social life at first. You might have to sacrifice some time with your family. But if you want your business to succeed, you need to commit to it from the start. In fact, the first year of a business is in operation is its most crucial time. This is when most businesses fail, so you need to be on point and be prepared to get done what needs to get done.

Do What It Takes

Along with being committed and having a plan, you also need to just do what it takes to keep your business running. If that means working extra hours, do it. If it means getting a part-time job to cover initial startup costs, do it. There’s nothing wrong with working for somebody else while you’re getting your business off the ground. In fact, it’s smart. You’ll have some stable money coming in that you can live on while your business heads toward turning a profit. That way you won’t be struggling so much financially in that first year. You’ll be incredibly busy, don’t get me wrong, but if you want to be a business owner and if you have entrepreneurship in your blood, you’ll do what you need to do keep your dream alive.