Many famous and successful people have uttered a phrase similar to “It took me x years to become an overnight success!” This is as true for start-up founders as any other profession. Founding a start-up can be a wonderful experience that will expose you to new people, situations, technologies, business processes and opportunities. It may even expose you to one thing many founders hope the most for, wealth.

However, if you are looking to start a new venture and wealth is your main goal, you may want to consider the costs and risks. Most start-ups will take at least 1 to 3 years to start generating any real revenue and 3, 5 or more years to generate any real profit.

Along the way, founders often need to give away sizable portions of the company just to fund operations and keep it afloat. People who fund companies don’t do it to pay the founder. Don’t expect to take any money for yourself, beyond a nominal salary, in the first few founding rounds.

Before you launch your venture, make sure you understand the cost of potential lost income, long hours, angel and venture funding, sole responsibility and many of the other things that come with starting your own business. Being a founder is a special experience made better by an understanding of the investment.