Let’s be realistic. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Some have the stomach for it, most don’t. What separates a true Entrepreneur from the dreamers is the willingness to take the first step, which often involves spending and risking your own money. He hardly has a comfortable notion. Knowing what you are doing and what you are getting into helps alleviate some of the anxiety. When it comes to pursuing what you love in life, entrepreneurs don’t take no for an answer. The true entrepreneur understands risk vs. reward ratio, and live by the motto … “No guts, no glory!”
Learning from people who have already “been there, done that” is the best resource available. But at the end of the day, someone else’s experience won’t launch your business. It takes fire in your stomach, passion and drive, and a deep and lasting faith in your idea and yourself. Nothing less will keep you on track in the troubled waters that threaten a fledgling business. Over the next few months, we will look for ways to optimize the chances of your business start-up success. Stay tuned for more “NO TRIPLES, NO GLORY!” Articles and tips for aspiring entrepreneurs based on interviews with successful entrepreneurs.
Tip No. # 1: When in doubt, take a small step forward.
Believe in yourself. This is the first rule of entrepreneurship. There are enough barriers to starting a business without questioning your own abilities. Once doubt arises, rash and ill-considered decisions are made. Vision loses focus and energy. Fear and doubt have a smell and people can smell it. It is a natural repellent for potential investors or clients. It’s normal to be anxious when embarking on a new adventure … but don’t let them see you sweat!
You are so protective of your idea that you are not even willing to solicit feedback from your closest friends and family. Stop! Don’t be too proud or scared to ask for help. That’s what family and friends are for, to listen to your crazy ideas. Even if they don’t see your vision, articulating it helps refine and strengthen it in your own mind.
Often the biggest impediment to moving forward is clutter in your own head. Get rid of all that useless baggage, it will only weigh you down. Live the moment. Yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is cash!
Tip # 2: Develop thick skin.
Take a deep breath. Calm the mind. As Entrepreneurs we already have leadership tendencies, but we confuse that drive with the need to dictate the vision and strive to maintain its holiness. Stop! Not all conversations have to end with a kiss. Don’t let business get personal. It is bad practice that leads to bad decisions. Learn to compromise, listen, and agree to disagree when the occasion calls for it. Also, if you are presented with unfavorable treatment, walk away. Leadership is not about being right, it is about achieving the goal.
On the other hand, a successful colleague once said, “If I’m the smartest guy in the room, my business is in trouble.” Hire talented people and let them shine.
Learn to laugh at things. Time heals all wounds. Give it time, time. We all make mistakes, so ask “in five years, will this matter?” Probably not in most cases. Life is too short to waste time getting upset and angry. Also, it’s bad business to let someone else live rent-free in your head.
Tip No. # 3: Don’t compare your situation with that of others.
If we all put our problems in a pile and looked at each other’s, we would get the bears back.
Often times when work is overwhelming and nothing is going right, we have a tendency to feel like a victim, wishing we had never started the business. We may be envious of someone else’s success. Stop! You have no idea how his trip has been. Envy is worse than a waste of time: it is a corrosive practice that blinds you to the blessings of your own life. You have everything you need to discover your own potential. At this point, go to a trusted friend who has started a business and have an honest conversation about your situation. Ventilate with someone. It’s much better than licking your wounds alone.
All entrepreneurs have been through what you are experiencing and most are happy to share some guidance. One of the moral imperatives of success is lending a hand to the next looming Entrepreneur, to guide and inspire future generations of Entrepreneurs. Seek the advice of experts.
Tip # 4: Over-prepare, then go with the flow.
No matter how good or bad a situation is, one thing is for sure: it will change. Therefore, the best course of action is to prepare for any eventuality. Apply your game plan to memory, then consider all the possible scenarios that may arise. Hopefully, you won’t face the more serious problems that some startups face, but being prepared is the best way to combat adversity and keep a business prosperous. And when faced with a difficult decision, don’t worry about it. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
As you go along, new ideas will emerge. Share the credit. Does it really matter where a good idea comes from? Be grateful for any contribution to the success of your business and acknowledge the source. Ignore the envious, the detractors. Celebrate the idea because sometimes you are the only one who will. Be the champion of the idea.
Tip # 5: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Come on, this is meant to be fun. This is what you always wanted. So prove it. Smile, it’s contagious. Simplify. Some claim that he is “only at the top.” Yes, if you are a tyrant, a bully or a real headache. But if you respect your employees, treat them like family; Running a business can be fun. It’s all about your approach and attitude. If you go in with the mindset that you are the “boss” then it will be a lonely road, but if you stick with the design, you are the leader of a team and the inspiration behind the plan then you will create an environment. that encourages growth and prosperity. Let people feel empowered, a sense of ownership, and a feeling of belonging and of being needed.
Trust is important. Even if you don’t feel safe, pretend. Trust breeds loyalty, enthusiasm, and productivity, which are contagious. Panic and fear cause chaos, which will ultimately destroy your business.
In conclusion, I leave you with this … be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to have blue hair. Now get out there and have fun. Good luck. Remember, “No guts, no glory!”