If you’re passionate about a topic and are tired of working for an employer, a startup may seem like the perfect solution. However, launching such an enterprise is often full of surprises. Here are 10 things to think about before you begin your startup journey.

1. You Don’t Have To Do This Alone

This may be your dream, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who have been in your position and may have valuable advice.

2. Even With Help, Startups Are Tough

Even with resources and networking, you’re going to struggle. You’ll likely work harder than you ever have at a regular nine-to-five job.

3. Prepare for Failure

You’re going to encounter a lot of problems you never even imagined, and that’s normal. Know that every failure is a learning opportunity and you haven’t truly failed unless you stop trying.

4. Use Empathy To Focus on the Customer

It can be easy to forget that your customers are people with their own unique situations. Understanding your customers’ contexts can help you deliver better service and solutions.

5. Get Ready To Learn a Lot About Yourself

You’re going to be in a lot of new situations and have a lot of “firsts.” You’ll probably find your limits, strengths, and weaknesses. Use this knowledge to plan for the future.

6. Remember the Value of Close Relationships

To succeed, you need strong relationships, both work-related and non-work-related. You need people you can rely on for the tough times, who buoy you up and remind you why you’re doing all this in the first place.

7. You’ll Acquire the Skills You Need by Doing

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prepare yourself in terms of experience. Fortunately, it means you’re as ready now as you’ll ever be.

8. Take Care Of Yourself

It can’t be all about the startup. Though you may be tempted to power through burnout, it’s essential that you take time to recharge so you can devote your best to the business.

9. Your Labor Is Worth Compensation

Many people assume they can pay startups in “experience” or “exposure.” This is unfair. You’re delivering real goods and services, and deserve real compensation.

10. Not Everyone Is Cut Out for It

You have to be at least a little crazy to take on the risk of starting a business. That’s fine because only people like you get to reap the rewards.

Getting a startup off the ground can be a monumental task, but the journey is unlike any other. Remember, even the biggest corporations had to start somewhere.