The journey is hard, really hard. Over time it gets even harder. You keep telling yourself that ‘if it was easy, everyone would do it!’ This is what separates the big dogs from the puppies.
The journey as an entrepreneur starting up your own business is one of the toughest processes that I have ever experienced and I know that I am not alone. As if the process isn’t hard enough on its own, throw in a deteriorating economy, rising inflation, living costs rising through the roof and a market that is trying its hardest to merely keep its head above water and you have got your very own Mount Everest to overcome.
I’ve always loved the view that ‘hope’ isn’t a strategy and the biggest lesson that I’ve learnt, and continue to learn, is that we need to make our own success.
All of the not-so-inspirational points that I have raised above are negated with the first ounce of success that you create and experience. Your first ‘win’ if you like.
Often we dilute those wins because we were hoping (there you go again…. Hope!) that we would land the big one. I started out with illusions of grandeur that we had created the next big thing and you know what, we didn’t. But that’s actually okay. In fact, it’s awesome.
The process of making the decision to start your own business and getting it off the ground to the point where you earn your first Rand of revenue is huge, and never forget that. We often dilute how far we have come by the challenges that lie ahead. Don’t let this happen, separate the positive from the challenges that lie ahead.
There will always be challenges
A very good friend of mine always said to me that ‘Life Happens’. It’s so true. There will always be challenges in your business; it is the nature of the beast. Every time something goes wrong, deal with it. It’s not personal.
Learn from your mistakes
There are going to be many mistakes. We all make them again and again. Learn from them. Learn from what went wrong and don’t make the same mistake again. Rather make mistakes from trying something than to not do anything at all.
Replicate what is going right
If something is working, do more of it. Not blindly of course, but leverage that momentum to fuel you and your business.
Celebrate the good stuff
We don’t celebrate enough. We take the successes and wins in our stride and focus on the challenges. One win supports you in dealing with multiple challenges. It is simple ratios that there will be more challenges than wins but that means that you are ‘doing’. That in itself should be celebrated.
You cannot control what happens, but you can control how you react to it
This is always easier said than done, but you cannot control what is going to happen. Economies will shrink and grow, currencies will collapse and new markets will open up. Don’t expend your energy and focus on what has happened or went wrong.
It has happened. Accept it. Now, how will you react or deal with it? Does it create a new opportunity? Do you have to scale back? Put reality on the table and move. Be it forward or sideways or even backwards, do something pro-active.
Upgrade your candle at the end of the tunnel to a spotlight
Success is relative. What is a massive win to one person could seem very arbitrary to someone else. It doesn’t matter. Only you will know what success means to you and you know what? Make it a big thing. It is in our nature to down play progress.
Celebrate moving forward. Celebrate that you are still in business 6 months later. Pat yourself on the back. You will need to in order to fire yourself up for the next summit.
Believe in yourself no matter what
You can and will do it. Never doubt that. Back yourself over and over and it will become a habit!