The rigours involved with entrepreneurship deter many people with promising ideas from ever getting started. Kimanzi Constable recalled how his father, on his deathbed at 54, said he would have done more; rueing his dreams and goals that would forever remain unaccomplished.
Listening to the success stories usually serves as motivation for inspiring entrepreneurs. It can be enough to make them take a step closer to their dream. But the truth remains that for every successful entrepreneur, there are hundreds of failed attempts.
Working for an establishment places you in a crowd that drowns your voice out. Becoming an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to stand out of the crowd, make an impact in the lives of people and ultimately grant you the financial freedom everyone yearns for. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not a fluke; it comes with making choices - hard choices. Below are seven choices entrepreneurs will probably have to make on their way to success.
1. Setting goals that are greater than you
The first mistake many people make is that they don’t dream big enough. There is a saying that you cannot be bigger than your imagination. Another wise saying puts it as, “Aim for the stars. If you miss one, you at least fall on the moon”. In order words, the higher you aim, the better chance you have of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Those who work for other people may spend 40 to 60 hours a week on the job. When you spend so much time doing something, there is a tendency for it to become boring. Even worse, it can make your work life miserable. When one area of your life is affected negatively, it gradually slips into other areas.
Becoming an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to break away from a monotonous life. It will not be easy, and will definitely come with a price. As you read through this post, there are entrepreneurs around the globe making their dreams into success stories - which means it is worth the risk. All it will cost you is the first giant steps. There is a wealth of opportunity around us. Take time and visualize your goal, then work towards it to make it a reality.
2. Unnecessary comparison
Comparison only breeds envy and animosity, which is a wanton waste of precious time and energy. Sadly, many entrepreneurs often go this route. There are entrepreneurs who only gauge their success against the success of close competitors.
Such unhealthy comparisons will only wear you down. Entrepreneurship is a personal journey. Making changes is inevitable but let it come at your own pace. Imagine you are running a hurdles race, and instead of focusing on the track, your eyes are on the crowd. You’d crash straight into every hurdle.
This does not mean that you should not seek better ways of growing your business. A little bit of positive comparison always helps. The key point is to move at your own pace, or at a pace that is healthy for your business.
3. Letting toxic people hold you down
The world is filled with negative people. You tell them a wonderful idea, and they will give you a hundred reasons why it will fail. The sad news is that some of these people are our family members or trusted friends, and we are often excited to share the progress of our lives with them. Most times, they may not be excited as you are, or express outright negativity about your ideas.
Entrepreneurship is like sailing a dinghy in a stormy sea. Looking at the sea is enough to scare anyone. It takes great courage to get into your dinghy and attempt to sail. Even the smallest negative idea can have a great impact on your decision, so if you really want to move forward in life, you have to steer clear of negative people. People that reek of negativity are not always happy people. In fact, they are a poison that can stall your progress. It won’t take long for you to start seeing sense in what they are saying and quit.
4. Dealing with procrastination
There is always the illusion you have more time - but we cannot say with certainty that tomorrow will come. Have the mindset that every day is a gift, and may be your last. This will help you to end procrastination. Tomorrow is often filled with regrets. The best way to overcome the regrets of tomorrow is to start today.
There is no perfect time to start chasing your dream, so there’s no point waiting for it. Building a business requires a lot of hard work and putting it off till tomorrow will not make it any easier. If you were told that today was the last day of your life, what would you want to be remembered for?
5. Balancing your social life with your business
The early days of entrepreneurship usually require lots of work and planning. The stress of it may well begin to manifest in your social withdrawal. While your business should be your number one priority, you have to make out time to communicate with family and friends.
As much as possible, carry them along with you as you progress. Your family and friends should remain with you through thick and thin. You would not want to be deserted when you need them most, would you?
6. Accumulating what you don’t need
The more you acquire stuff, the more it weighs you down. We are often afraid of letting go of what we don’t need, and ultimately become slaves to it. As a rule of thumb, if it has been more than a year since you used anything, you probably no longer have a use for it. There may be a few exceptions to this, but more stuff creates untidiness and so one way to become more efficient is to declutter.
As you get older, much of what you have will begin to matter less. What becomes invaluable are the memorable experiences you’ve had. The “stuff” here is not limited to physical items. Mental clutter, like bad relationships, bad experiences, and unreasonable fears are some of the things that need to be tidied up if you can. This gives you a sense of freedom and clarity.
We let fear and doubt control our lives when we desire to be more. Freedom here doesn’t mean you need to take up skiing or skydiving. It means you are not holding back from chasing your dreams, or kept from working hard to reach your goal.
7. Handling difficult employees
A lucky entrepreneur will only have one difficult employee on their team. But there are myriads of ways an employee can cause problems including disobedience, ineffectiveness, and bullying. What if the employee has great potential?
Try to resolve any grievance by inviting them to a one-on-one chat. Try to understand the situation, and why they are behaving the way they are. If issues persist, the best option may be to terminate their appointment before they corrupt other employees. It is better to lose one person than the entire team.
The path to entrepreneurship is difficult, but you can make it easier by having a good business plan. Scan through the listings on freelancer.com to find professionals that will produce a business plan that will help to drive your ideas to reality.
If you have read up this far, it means you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Tell us what has been holding you back in the comment box, and feel free to share with your friends.