8 Must Know Tips when Getting Started as an Entrepreneur
Getting started as an entrepreneur can be exciting, exhilarating, scary, and at times, downright overwhelming. There’s the pride that comes with owning a business, along with a sense of freedom and empowerment. And then there’s also the pressure to turn your idea, skills, and talent into a profitable, successful business or brand.
It’s very easy to become confused about what steps to take to build and grow your business. So we’re sharing “8 Must Know Tips when Getting Started as an Entrepreneur”.
But first, what are the benefits of being an entrepreneur?
First-time entrepreneurs are in for an extreme change. Entrepreneurship can be a world in and of itself. There’s self-autonomy which comes with self-management. Many people love to brag about time freedom and even location freedom which are benefits you can experience as an entrepreneur. But not enough emphasis is placed on the level of self-discipline, commitment, and countless 10 and 15-hour days it takes to build a successful business that creates those benefits.
Entrepreneurship does allow flexibility with your time, so it may be easier for you to balance your career and personal life. It creates the space for your creativity to flow. It also positions you to create a livelihood doing what you love and what aligns with your values and your vision for your life.
As an entrepreneur, you can always expect the unexpected. You’re constantly facing and overcoming new challenges as you grow individually and collectively with your brand. This helps you to build character and confidence. Sooner or later, you’ll be blown away by all the things you’re doing that you never imagined you could do.
Now that we’ve established a few benefits of being an entrepreneur, it’s time to learn tips when getting started in entrepreneurship. These tips won’t all be ideal for you, but that’s okay. Think about which ones are attainable now and which ones you’d like to aim for in the future. Keep these eight tips in mind:
1) Face your fears
Fears exist for a reason, everyone has them, but they’re never unconquerable. The sooner you can recognize that your fears are a natural part of the process, and that fearlessness is not a requirement of entrepreneurship, the sooner you can face your fears.
Because you will be required to face your fears. Start by making a list of what scares you. Then consider the worst-case scenario in each instance. Will you die? Will you be imprisoned? Will you sin against yourself or humanity?
Chances are you answered no to all of them. So if the worst-case scenario doesn’t end your life, you’ll be here to face your fears for another day. Follow this exercise up with the best-case scenario and settle somewhere in-between so that you’re inspired to take action in spite of your fears.
2) Take action
Aspiring entrepreneurs know that nobody is going to do the work for them. No one can flourish without taking action. That means it’s up to you to widen your skill sets or reach out to new potential customers. It may also mean you need to stop putting off seeking professional help – that may be consultants, freelancers, coaches, or your first employee.
Get out of your head, stop overthinking, stop doubting yourself, and just do it. If you’re a new entrepreneur, remember that every action you take will bring you closer to your success. And yes, that includes the times you get it wrong. Your failures are sometimes your biggest opportunities for growth.
Entrepreneurship is about going all in. It’s about taking big action so that you can enjoy the big rewards.
3) Prepare for financial challenges
Even the best businesses occasionally face financial challenges. That doesn’t mean you should quit. You must keep your costs and budgets in mind. Especially when taking on new projects, you want to prepare yourself for any financial challenges you might face.
And let’s face it! Starting a business always costs more than anticipated. You can allocate part of your budget into an emergency or miscellaneous fund (or both) to prepare for unexpected financial emergencies. As a last resort, you might have to inject your own money into the business.
However, always pinpoint the root cause of any financial problems and resolve them if they are within your scope of control.
4) Find a trusted mentor
Mentors can be great role models for young entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of the mentor-mentee relationship. Someone seasoned and experienced can provide tips and business advice that are steps beyond what you can think of.
Having a mentor you can trust is a valuable asset. Their guidance can save you time, money, and other resources. Whether you’re in a mastermind group, have stayed in touch with your former teachers or other business associates, or seek a paid mentor, the benefits of having an active, trusted mentor are invaluable. Work with someone who has climbed that very mountain you are trying to navigate to shorten your learning curve.
5) Keep your goals front of mind
Without a destination, how will you know when you’ve arrived?
How will you know how to get there, if you don’t know where you’re going?
As an entrepreneur, one of the common questions you will be asked is “do you have a business plan”? And believe it or not, too many entrepreneurs start their businesses without one.
Outlining your goals and objectives, and creating a clear plan of action are key to improving your success factors. Visualize your goals, and by visualizing your goals, we don’t only mean to close your eyes and imagine. What we mean is to define your goals so clearly and so specifically that it’s real and tangible.
It’s very easy in business to forget why you started, to forget where you’re going and what your larger vision and goals are.
Write your goals down and keep them in your working documents where you can frequently see them, make updates and check off your wins. You can also create a poster with your goals which you can frame and place somewhere, like the wall in front of your desk, to always keep your goals front of mind.
6) Look for tools to use
Every industry has its unique set of tools to increase productivity and efficiency. There are tools you can use on the back and front end of your business. As you’re getting started, do your research to learn what are some of the standards as well as more cutting-edge tools being used in your industry.
You may overlook tools thinking you can do it all manually. In today’s competitive marketplace, automation is the way to go if you don’t want to be steps behind your competitor. We use tools in our business like ClickUp which is an all-in-one project management software that allows our team to collaborate in real-time, track project goals and progress, automate tasks and so much more. It makes such a huge difference in how we function internally in a virtual environment. And it’s just one of the tools that make it easy to run our business.
If you’re not sure what tools may be best for you, take advantage of the free trials most of them offer before committing to an investment.
7) Do work that you love
You’re an entrepreneur because you want to chase your passion right?
Just recently I came across this post on Facebook from a successful athletic trainer and he was sharing his secret to still being in the game after 15 years is his love and passion for what he does. This is a sentiment we’re sure you’ll hear over and over again from successful, veteran entrepreneurs.
It’s like the famous quote by Oprah Winfrey:
“Follow your passion. Do what you love, and the money will follow. Most people don’t believe it, but it’s true.”
Create a business that you are passionate about. Frame your days around topics and projects that fill you with the most happiness. Hire or outsource talent to do the rest.
8) Take care of yourself
The transition to being your own boss can be tricky. You may find your work-life balance fading into one significant cloud of a blur. It’s important to make mindful decisions to take care of your well-being. This means clearly defining cut-off times for work. There’s always going to be a deadline. There’s always going to be a customer that needs nurturing. There’s always going to be something that seems to urgently need your attention.
The sooner you can create boundaries that allow for work-life balance and time for you to take care of yourself, the sooner you’ll build a sustainable business avoiding the horrors of burn-out and overwhelm.
Find ways to unplug regularly, like going for an afternoon walk or eating your favorite food. Be intentional about being kind to yourself and rewarding your hard work.
How hard is entrepreneurship? Is it worth it?
The bottom line is that successful entrepreneurs aren’t born overnight. It takes time, hard work, discipline, and resilience to experience long-term entrepreneurial success. When you are getting started, expect to adapt and pivot to the needs of your clients and your business. You can expect to face many challenges on your journey as an entrepreneur and you can also expect to grow. Be willing to give yourself time to arrive at your “sweet spot”. That place where you’re in an ideal flow of what works best for your business.
Will there be moments you’ll want to quit?
Very likely. Entrepreneurs can feel the weight of their business on their shoulders every day. The pressure can be overwhelming.
Being aware of what can negatively impact your well-being can help you build strategies to protect it. Your hard work and dedication will be worth it when you’ve overcome the obstacles, remained committed, and achieved the goals you’ve set for yourself as an entrepreneur.
And our team at Elemental Business Solutions LLC is committed and passionate about helping startup entrepreneurs grow. We’ve had the pleasure of working with over 25 small business owners at different stages of their growth journey – from creating their brand concept to developing systems and processes to launching new projects, brand photography, brand design and so much more. We’d love to help you too!
Set up a 30 minutes discovery call today!
– Lovepreet S., EBS MCC
BTW: If you’re launching a new project or business, check out 4 Elements of a Successful Business Launch.