The journey of entrepreneurship is bound to yield many lessons no matter what experience level you have.
If you are considering venturing out on your own, I encourage to take that leap. But be prepared to face the hardest challenges of your life. As a life-long optimist/the glass is half full person, starting my own business has truly tested my faith, limits and sanity.
There have been many more downs than ups. But it is from these "unsuccessful" moments that I have learned the most. So in my eyes they weren't unsuccessful, but actually helpful and necessary for me to learn and grow. Even though at the time I felt like quitting or crying. No one ever said being an entrepreneur was going to be easy, so be ready for a bumpy road.
Below are 10 lessons I've learned on my journey. Hopefully they help you.
1. Be Prepared to Hear "No" Often, or No Response at All - Sure there will be some people out there that will say no to you, but don't let this stop you. Just keep reaching out and eventually you will get those yeses. Sometimes I don't hear anything back at all which can be frustrating. I don't let it bother me; I just follow up again and again and again.
2. Don't Be Discouraged. Just Work Harder - This is hard to overcome and I struggle with it daily. When something doesn't work out or an event falls short of my expectations, I just tell myself it's a learning experience.
3. Take Breaks and Disconnect - This is one of the most important lessons. As an Entrepreneur building a business, it is all I think about. Every second of every day. When I wake up in the morning to the time I'm laying in bed at night. And it can drain you mentally, physically and emotionally. So be sure to take breaks. Go outside for a few minutes and meditate. Turn your phone off for the weekend and take an adventure.
4. Realize Your Fears and Ignore Them - Take a moment to think about those things that make you feel nauseous about doing. Are you afraid to approach random people? Or talk in public settings? Think of these things as limitations and they are holding you back. Just do it, whatever it is, and over time your fears will become your strengths.
5. Absolutely Nothing Goes According to Plan - Be flexible, adaptable and quick on your feet. There will be moments when you have to make decisions on the spot, so just go with your gut.
6. Do Research and Never Stop Learning - I've found that you look better when you know what your talking about. Scheduling time to read, take a class or surf the internet is very important and will help in the long run. It will keep you up to date and make you an expert in your field.
7. Get a Mentor or Several - Talking to other people has been one of the most helpful things, because it allows you to see the situation from someone else's point of view.
8. Trust Yourself - One of the hardest lessons to learn. Questioning your thoughts and actions is completely normal, but at some point you need to let go and just trust that everything will work out.
9. Know Your Customers - What are they looking for? What problems are they facing? Where can you reach them? This requires countless hours of research using multiple methods. Surveys, Q&A's, interviews, study your web analytics, etc. Knowing this information is priceless.
10. Don't Be a Perfectionist, Just Get It Done - Time is one of your most valuable currencies especially if you are a solopreneur like me. I can't wait until everything is perfect to show it, because then I would be waiting my whole life and nothing would get done. So even if you feel like it's not 100%, don't worry. It may never be 100% in your eyes. I've learned not to let the little things stop me from doing.
This was a long post and I hope you made it all the way through. To continue following me on my journey you can subscribe the blog, sign up for my monthly newsletter, or follow on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). If you have any questions about entrepreneurship email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm always happy to try and help!
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"