10 Things Entrepreneurs Have to Learn The Hard Way

By the small business content developers at  BizLaunch.com.

Building your business is your dream. You’re dedicated to creating success, but it’s possible you might be getting in your own way. While there are many skills and habits you’ll develop and grow as your build your business, there are some things to look out for as you head down the entrepreneurial path. Here are ten things to keep in mind as you set out on your adventure:

1. You don’t have to do it all yourself.

It can be exciting and heady to feel 100% responsible for every aspect of your business, but it doesn’t mean that you must create every marketing campaign, pack every package, or write every line of code. At a certain point, your business may grow enough that you can hire someone else to tackle a project or process. Embrace that. It’s a good sign, and it allows you to focus on what you do best in your business.

2. You must develop your ability to prioritise and organize.

It’s possible that you’re putting too much time and energy into a task with too little reward. That’s why it’s imperative that you always take a step back and look at the work that you are doing. You may be spinning your wheels on tasks that don’t have a strong bearing on the concrete success of your business. Pay attention to things in your process that are slowing you down.

3. You have to work hard and smart.

Success is usually the result of long-term, dedicated effort. As much as we all hope for shortcuts, there’s no replacement for hard work. However, it’s also extremely important that you work on the right thing at the right time in the right way. This is where working smart comes in. Sure, you can bash away at a problem, but without the right approach, you might create more problems than you solve.

4. You must face your fears.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you must be ready to do things that scare you. Your fear is actually a benefit in disguise. If you were fearless, you might not be careful about how you do things, but since you’re scared, you’re motivated to discover the most prudent way to accomplish your task.

5. You need to know how and when to say no.

Sometimes we associate ‘yes’ with creating opportunities, but the truth is that sometimes saying ‘no’ will get you closer to your goals. Pay attention to why you want to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and build on that. It’s important to discern your reasoning, so that you can have the confidence to say ‘no’ when something is not right for you and your company.

6. You can use failure to create success.

Failure is not the end all, be all. Of course, it can be unnerving and undermine your confidence when a deal or a project goes sideways, but when your keep your eye on the big picture, you can regain equilibrium that much more quickly. What did you learn? What would you differently? How can you apply those lessons in the future?

7. You must keep your eye on the bottom line.

Enthusiasm can accomplish a lot, but it doesn’t pay the phone bill or the printer. It’s important to always stay on top of your financial situation as an entrepreneur. If you have an aversion to knowing your bottom line, you might just be avoiding facing a problem.

8. You always have to keep learning.

The world is changing at a breakneck pace and it will be for the foreseeable future. Therefore the need for continuous learning has never been as strong. While you may be an expert today, it only takes one innovation or new technology to render your expertise invalid. Staying current will keep your skills strong.

9. You should surround yourself with smart people.

If you’re the smartest person on your team, you definitely have a problem. An entrepreneur must focus on building a strong team. If you fear surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you, you only undermine your enterprise.

10. You are not your business.

It might sound counterintuitive, but your business and you are separate. Success at work does not necessarily translate into success outside of work. At the same time, you mustn’t let a professional failure define your personal life. If you keep growing in both aspects, you can be sure that your development is sustainable and healthy, which only helps you as an entrepreneur.

By Andrew Patricio

November 25, 2015