The entrepreneurial journey is exhilarating. You have the freedom to follow your heart, build something unique, and work at your own pace in your own time.
However, it is not all glitz and glamour. Being a business owner is probably one of the toughest jobs on earth. Without a product or service that meets a need or solve a problem, the right platform and strategy to get your product to market, and an effective marketing and sales plan, your chances of success are slim.
But that’s not all. Nobody tells you that being your own boss requires of you to:
1. Know yourself inside and out
Unless you are aware of your strengths and your weaknesses you will battle to reach your goals and realise your dreams. Your values, personal truths, why you are doing what you are doing, and what makes jump out of bed in the morning will help you stay focussed and keep you inspired and motivated. It is also essential to know which outdated emotions and thoughts, usually as a result of how you were raised, past experiences and how the people in your life affected your sense of self, keep tripping you up.
Increasing your emotional intelligence and cultivating a positive mindset will stand you in good stead on your business journey. You can get to know yourself by taking personality tests, identifying and releasing outdated feelings and thoughts, and meditating on your truths, writing them down, and cementing them as part of your business mission.
2. Not to take things personally
Don’t get disheartened when your cheerleaders don’t buy from you. When you first start out, friends and family will be your greatest fans. They will like and share your social media posts, celebrate the small wins, and encourage you when you feel demotivated. However, when it comes to opening their purse or swiping their credit card, they will hesitate.
Brain Street, a professor of language education at King’s College London said, “Family and friends won’t support you until strangers start celebrating you”. It is hard to explain this strange phenomenon. The most important thing to remember as that you need to celebrate yourself and find the strength within to persist. And when you finally get your big break, your nearest and dearest won’t be able to afford your services or products (nudge nudge, wink, wink).
3. Get out!
When you spend too much time by yourself working on your business, you tend to develop tunnel vision. Your communication and interaction skills also suffer. And you stop learning and growing, which is essential for entrepreneurial success. Leave your house or office at least once a week and work in a coffee shop or attend a networking event.
You need to connect with people in order to make a success of your business. If you haven’t found your tribe yet start your own mastermind or networking group and learn from others who share your views and have gone before you.
4. Stay creative
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, creativity will be one of the top ten skills needed to survive and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Without the ability to constantly come up with new ideas, new ways of marketing yourself and your business, and out of the box strategies, you can kiss your dreams goodbye. Maintain and increase your creative intelligence by shaking things up and moving stuff around once in a while. Also, get a hobby to help you exercise your creative muscle.
By becoming familiar with the pitfalls you can avoid or manage them and live your dream life.