rawpixel / Pixabay

Every single day, new startups emerge and set out to create the next best thing. From artificial intelligence to snack delivery, there are opportunities in just about every field. With so much potential and so much experience to be gained, of course you’d want to join the action. But should you really join a startup?

Yes, it’s true that startups arguably have the most potential financially. In addition, the experience and lessons you learn will pay dividends forever. That all said, it’s not as glamorous as you may think. Before jumping the gun, you should consider the not so glamorous sides of the startup life.

If you’re thinking about joining a startup, check out these four reasons why you should reconsider.

The majority of startups will fail.

When you join a startup, you’re likely going to fail. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. And in startups, the truth hurts. It’s estimated that about 90% of startups fail. Even after you’ve raised huge sums of money, there are still plenty of unforeseen factors that may derail your operation.

The majority of successful entrepreneurs failed many times before they finally succeeded. If you don’t have that resilience to get up and keep going, the startup life may not be the best fit for you.

You may never get paid.

As a startup employee, it’s common to work for the first few months for no pay. Some founders may even go up to a year without taking a salary. In return for their hard work, they are paid with equity. The goal is that equity will hopefully be worth millions one day.

This assumption has two major flaws. First and foremost, the startup is likely to fail as mentioned above. That means the equity you’ve worked so hard for may be worth nothing. Second, startups remain frugal even after they’ve raised funds. If you think you’re going to cut a huge pay raise once the company is funded, you’re sadly mistaken.

You’ll still probably have a boss.

Be your own boss. Choose your own hours. This is one of the most enticing things about being an entrepreneur. You don’t have to work for “The man”.

When you join a startup however, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to have a boss. You’re going to need to deliver results and your boss is going to hold you accountable for your deliverables.

It’s really, really, really, hard.

Startups are tough. Startups are arguably the toughest challenge you can take on in life. Think about it. You are setting out to build a business from the ground up. You aren’t just building an app. You’re not just making sales. You are part of a team building a company.

To build a successful company you need to give it your all. You’re going to work 12 to 15 hour days and will probably have more than a few sleepless nights. There will be times when you race against the clock, and there will be times when your lose your cool. This kind of pressure is what us entrepreneurs face on a daily basis. If this sounds interesting to you, then startups may just be your thing. If you prefer swiping your keycard at a 20-story corporate office, then stay clear of the startup life.

While startups seem glamorous from the outside, they truly aren’t for everyone. This article is not meant to scare you away. Nor is it meant to discourage you from taking the leap. Simply put, you need to understand what startups are truly like before joining.