Starting a business takes a leap of faith. You will be dependent on this business to succeed or else all the time and money you put into it will have gone to waste. This is why building a business from the ground up is one of the toughest endeavors you will ever take on. You are literally trying to turn an idea into a business that supports your lifestyle. It is sink or swim, and it is very hard to swim in the rapid currents of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship will teach you a lot of lessons. Some of these lessons are painful to learn but are needed in order to grow as an entrepreneur. You hate dealing with painful lessons but they make you stronger and help you avoid making the same mistakes twice. Therefore, the lessons you learn are actually educational moments that help you acquire knowledge that would not have been learned if you did not take on the risk of entrepreneurship. There are a lot of people who talk about being an entrepreneur, but few who actually fully submerge themselves in the entrepreneur lifestyle.
Thinking about your entrepreneurial journey, what are some lessons that you have learned that could be beneficial information to aspiring entrepreneurs? No matter how bad you wanted it to be, your journey as an entrepreneur was far from perfect. You still make mistakes today even as a veteran entrepreneur. The benefit you have as a veteran entrepreneur is that you know how to limit your mistakes and the severity of their impact.
Knowing that entrepreneur is sometimes an overwhelming process, we would like to help ensure that entrepreneurs are successful on their path towards building a thriving business. The following are 5 lessons that will help to ensure you know how to deal with common situations that entrepreneurs deal with.
1. Do not make decisions in the heat of the moment
Being an entrepreneur comes with making decisions that must be decided when under extreme pressure. If you are not careful, you can make decisions that will have a negative impact on your business. All that you have done to build your business can be unraveled with one bad decision. You definitely do not want this to happen.
Before making decisions, especially very important ones, take a step back to gather your thoughts. Pressure decisions are usually accompanied with emotional thoughts, rather than logical thoughts. You do not want your emotions to override your ability to make sound decisions backed by facts. This is why making important decisions do not need to be made immediately.
Take your time to weigh the pros and the cons of the decision you plan to make. You want to ensure you are thinking with a long-term view in mind, rather than a short-term view. Once you have clearly thought about the full impact that can come from your decisions and weighed the options of all other decisions, you can then make the decision you plan on pursuing.
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2. Failure can help you become successful
People are always saying that failure is something that should be embraced as an entrepreneur. It is as if you are being encouraged to fail. This can be further from the truth. Anybody who has ever had a business fail will tell you that failure is definitely not something you want to experience as an entrepreneur. It makes you question yourself as an entrepreneur, whether you made the right decision.
What actually is being encouraged is learning from your mistakes when you fail. Failure, if learned from, will help you not to make the same mistakes twice. This is very beneficial when because you learn how to make decisions when faced with challenges and decisions similar to ones you have dealt with in the past. Therefore, failure gives you the much-needed experience to learn how to continually progress as an entrepreneur.
The most successful entrepreneurs have all dealt with failure. From Steve Jobs to Richard Branson, they all had to take risk to produce the success they have experienced. With risks comes failure. If you are not dealing with failure, then you are not taking the risks necessary to be successful. Do not go looking for failure. Do your best to succeed. Just learn from your failure when it does occur.
3. Fear is a normal part of entrepreneurship
There are so many things that you fear as an entrepreneur. You fear not getting the sale. You fear not making any money. You fear that you made a mistake becoming an entrepreneur. You fear that you will be among the high casualty rate of failed businesses.
While fear is normal, you cannot allow it to control you as an entrepreneur. Once you allow fear to control you, it is impossible to think and perform with confidence. Confidence is something that you cannot lose as an entrepreneur. Once your confidence is gone, you will be afraid to take risk and pursue opportunities that you think are too big for you.
Turn your fear into motivation to succeed. Take control of your fear and tell yourself that you control your ability to succeed not anything else. Always think about all the good that can happen instead of all the bad that can happen. When you have an optimistic mindset, you usually produce successful results.
4. Your value should not be given away for free
Entrepreneurs tend to make the mistake that they have to give away their products and services away for free in order to acquire “customers”. This is very far from the truth. First. A customer is someone who pays for your product or service. Second. If you are providing value then you need to be paid for providing that value.
You will not make a million dollars over night, but you can set goals that help you make that financial status possible. You definitely will not make this money giving your products and services away for free. You need to set your focus on selling before anything else. Selling will help your business grow so that you can hire employees to take the pressure of doing everything off of you.
Also, do not make the mistake of underselling your products or services. You will get stuck in a price model that barely makes you money and is hard to reverse. Set your prices and stick to them. If people do not want to pay them, then do not budge. You are running a business, not a hobby. If people do not understand the value of your product or service then they are not someone who needs to be your customer. They will prove to be more of a headache that is not worth the frustration.
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5. You will need to focus on execution
Ideas remain ideas if actions are not placed behind them that can be executed upon. This is why so many people just talk about entrepreneurship or their business never takes off. It is because they are not focused on execution — they believe their idea will carry them to the top of the ladder of success. This wishful thinking is nothing but nonsense.
A business has to have goals that are backed by a well thought out strategy. Without a strategy, execution cannot be achieved because you are operating aimlessly without a plan of action. This is why big ideas tend to fail, Without everyone knowing their part and how their tasks work to complement the other tasks of the team, then they will tend to fail at executing their part of the work. This is why great communication and effective leadership is very important to ensuring that execution takes place.
You will need to plan out the entire process of your strategy from start to finish. Determine how your project will be operated, what every one position will be, the timeline of completion, and the results that need to be produced. Constantly reviewing your strategy will help you remain focused on execution. You are able to see where you are and if you need to pivot in order to ensure you execute your initiatives.
What are some of the lessons you have learned as an entrepreneur? You have surely dealt with some challenges that have helped you grow and learn how to operate better as an entrepreneur. When you first dealt with them, they felt bad and you wondered why you had to deal with stinging defeat. Once you looked back on them, you acknowledge them as lessons that needed to be learned in order to improve as an entrepreneur.
If you are contemplating about becoming an entrepreneur, take these lessons and learn from them. The more you learn about entrepreneurship, the more it will help you to succeed as an entrepreneur. But do not get stuck in the learning mode. Get out there and make your own experiences. Learn from your mistakes so that you acquire the knowledge needed to excel along your entrepreneurial journey. As the saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
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