Being a successful entrepreneur is not always easy, that explains why so many fail. It’s those of us who stick it out, especially when the going gets tough that succeed. I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 10 years. Here’s my list of successful entrepreneur tips I wish I’d known then that I know now.
Things take longer than you expect them to
ALWAYS. I have never had a client complain that things were moving too fast. I’d say it’s the number one challenge I hear from my clients. They feel like they are behind, that things are moving too slow. In the beginning that is just the way it works. It takes time to build the foundational components of your business and these are often the things that are difficult to see. When you build a house you start with the infrastructure, the foundation, then the plumbing, electrical, the flooring. It’s only when the walls, windows and doors are in that it starts to look like a house. Building your business is the same.
Not everyone will support you
Sad, but very true. I saw it with my friends and family when I quit my job and started my own business. People are funny, they don’t always want you to succeed. They love you and say they support you, but often they don’t act like it. Starting your own business takes courage and risk. I’ve found people feel threatened by your gutsy actions, or they are envious that you’ve taken a step they are afraid to. If necessary trade up some of your naysaying friends. If you can’t unfriend your family or loved one, refrain from talking about your business if all they are doing is raining on your parade.
The first $75,000 to $100,000 is the hardest to make
Believe it or not, after you have consistently made over $75,000, doubling or tripling that is easy. The hardest part is getting your foundation, infrastructure, processes and systems in place, once you’re there, growth is pretty easy.
No one ever succeeds without failing first
Every successful entrepreneur or business owner will tell you they failed, not just once but many times before they succeeded. You may have heard the story of Fred Smith, founder of Fed Ex. As a student at Yale University he wrote a paper on the need for a system which would improve the current delivery system and make logistics simpler for both the supplier and the customer. His professor gave him a “C”.
Your mistakes define you
How you react to failure determines your success. Learning from your mistakes, and taking those lessons and trying again. It’s never giving up because something didn’t work out. Success comes from embracing your failures and using them to make you stronger.
Build it and they will come is so not true
A typical example of this is launching a website. I have clients who spend lots of time and money developing their website only to find out that no one knows they exist. Don’t get me wrong, I am firm believer in the need for a web presence, however, it is not enough to build a website and expect people will just show up. You have to drive traffic to your site.
Having online products means mailbox money
A popular myth is that building a website and selling online products means you can sit back and watch the money flow in. Eventually that could be the case, however it takes developing a strong marketing plan, generating leads and follow up to build your online revenue stream.
Follow your passion and success will follow is a falsehood
It’s important to be passionate about what you do, particularly if you are building your own business, however it is not enough. I have coached people who want to build a business around a cause they care about, while possessing none of the skills needed to succeed. A better approach may be to look at your skill set, what skills you have been successful with in the past and build a business around your strengths.
You can’t do it alone and grow
This is for all you lone rangers out there who think no one can do things as well as you can. While that may be true, you’ll never really grow a strong substantial business without team.