10 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know (From Someone Who’s Done It)

I am very passionate about helping, empowering, and supporting entrepreneurs. That’s why I wrote this article to share some advice that I wish I’d known early on in my career.

Whether you are just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey or if you already have years of experience, this article will provide you with incredible value.

In this post, I will share 10 smart tips to help propel you toward exponential success.

1. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure

Fear of failure can undermine your ability to succeed as an entrepreneur. Many of us have been raised to view failure as taboo, and in our society, there is a certain stigma that surrounds failure.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that the fear of failure is among the biggest fears most humans have. It’s right up there with fear of public speaking and fear of death.

But, as an entrepreneur, it’s crucial that you find ways of facing and overcoming the fear of failure.

That’s because fear is debilitating. It narrows your focus of attention and forces you to play it safe.

It blocks you from taking action that could lead to your success and limits your chances to grow and scale your business.

If you are to have any hope of succeeding as an entrepreneur, you need to have a paradigm shift right now and start to view failure in a different way.

You need to see it as a necessary part of growing into the successful entrepreneur that you’re aspiring to be so you can prevent it from acting as an unhealthy force that negatively impacts every aspect of your business.

Neal Taparia, a serial entrepreneur who runs classic games and brain training platform Solitaired, explains embracing failure is the key to success: “I always try to fail as fast as possible because you get key learnings from your failures. For example, with my current business, we tested dozens of games to see their impact on mental sharpness. After failing many times, we found that solitaire had the best link to brain acuity.”

2. Time Management is Crucial

Time is one of your most important assets. As an entrepreneur, you often have to wear more than one hat in your business. You’re constantly multitasking in an effort to get more things done in the available time.

That’s why time management is a crucial component of your success.

You need to find ways to prioritize which tasks should come first in your business and how much time you need to allocate to each task.

Also, whenever necessary, you must delegate to others in the business, otherwise, if you’re the only one performing tasks then your business can’t grow bigger than just you.

This means that you need to prioritize time management among your team members so that you can ultimately improve the entire business’s efficiency and effectiveness.

3. Know Your Why

I don’t have to tell you that being an entrepreneur is hard work. It’s often defeating and many aspiring entrepreneurs don’t make it past the constant and never-ending obstacles on the path to success.

To help you overcome these challenges, it’s important to identify why you’re doing it.

As you well know, success doesn’t happen overnight. You need to commit time, energy, and passion to keep the momentum going toward your ultimate goals. Your reason for doing what you do will help drive you when the passion isn’t there and you want to give up.

Turns out my “why” was the biggest determining factor in my entrepreneurial success.

It’s what got me through tough days and helped me through sleepless nights. My “why” motivated me to create the best products and services that I could and kept me focused on my ultimate goal of helping people create and grow their business online.

4. Build a Support Network

In order to gain an advantage as an entrepreneur, you need to cultivate a strong support network around you. You can network locally, nationally, or on a global scale.

One of the most effective ways of creating and maintaining new contacts is through social networks. Your network should consist of a healthy mix of supporters, advisors, peers, partners, allies, and vendors.

Here are a few things you can do to start building your network right now:

  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Engage on social media
  • Develop your media relations
  • Join relevant business groups on LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Attend live events
  • Participate in your local business community

5. Outsourcing is a Requirement to Scale

Outsourcing is the process of hiring an outside company to take care of your business’s activities, functions, or needs, rather than doing it in-house.

As previously mentioned, if you are the only one working in your business, then your business can’t grow past what you can do.

If you want to scale your business, the solution is to outsource some, if not most of the work.

Outsourcing is possibly the least understood tool available for growing a business, but it comes with a wealth of benefits:

  • Outsourcing brings down costs
  • It maximizes employee productivity
  • It allows you to make use of experts
  • It encourages you to learn to delegate
  • It streamlines your processes

With the right outsourcing strategy, you can expand capacity without formally hiring a lot of new staff, investing in new capital equipment, or leasing larger commercial space. In short, you get to grow your business without increasing your fixed overhead.

6. Treat your Employees with Respect

When you treat your employees with dignity, trust, and respect, they respond in kind. This is a radical concept embraced by some of the most successful entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, who believe that you should always treat employees as well as you do your best and most loyal customers.

Your employees are your most important assets and you need to actively invest in them. Encourage them and show appreciation for their work by getting them small gifts like a funny T-shirt as a thank you.

When you treat your workers well, they will treat your customers and clients well, which results in a massive boost for your business.

Treating your employees with respect also helps to create fierce employee loyalty. In fact, it helps with all three stages of your employees’ lifecycle, which means you’ll be able to effectively attract, recruit, develop, and retain the best talent.

I do my best to host a webinar monthly with my team to make sure that they know the direction that the company is heading and help them increase their own communication.

7. Take Time to Rest

Burnout is a big issue that is all too common among entrepreneurs. It can lead to a host of problems including indecision, dissatisfaction, and even health problems, such as depression and heart disease.

Researchers have found that entrepreneurs are more likely to experience burnout because of factors such as lack of autonomy, passion, engagement, and motivation.

One of the best ways you can avoid falling prey to burnout is by always remembering to take time to rest.

This can be hard to do, particularly if you are the only one working in your business (believe me, I know!)

However, it’s important that you carve out the time to take care of yourself. Spend time with the people you love, doing the things that make you happy.

That’s what I do to get the rest and relaxation I need so I can destress and revitalize my body and mind – all of which are essential to my success as an entrepreneur.

8. Practice Gratitude

Studies show that gratitude and optimism are linked to well-being. Gratitude has a significant impact on our brains. It affects the way we live our lives, how we do our businesses, and so on.

It’s also clear that cultivating gratitude as an entrepreneur can create a massive boost for your business.

By making gratitude a habit, it helps you enhance your problem-solving abilities. Instead of focusing on the negative effects of any challenges and obstacles you may face, it keeps you open to focusing on the daily wins that build your confidence.

Here are a few other competitive advantages that gratitude gives you:

  • Managing stress: Gratitude helps you manage stress, something that is particularly important for entrepreneurs. When you’re focusing on the things that you are grateful for, you can’t, at the same time, be focused on problems in your life.
  • Building relationships: Being grateful of someone (e.g., writing a short note to say “thank you”) is a powerful way to make a positive first impression. This is great for networking and relationship building.
  • Motivating employees: With the majority of people giving 10 times more negative feedback than positive feedback, gratitude can be a powerful tool in motivating your employees and making them feel appreciated.

9. Be Ready To Pivot if Something Isn’t Working

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to be determined to never quit. Entrepreneurship comes with a ton of hurdles, and you should always be prepared to persevere.

However, it’s important that you don’t get too stuck on an idea. 

If something isn’t working, it’s time to move on to something else. Of course, you need to make sure you’ve given it enough time to prove the concept and enough data to back it up.

For instance, I started my business by trying to sell online courses about internet marketing. Frankly, that didn’t go too well because I didn’t have a voice yet in the online business world.

Now that I’m more experienced, and have had a certain level of success, I teach people about the different online course platforms they can use themselves. This was quite a pivot from what I did previously and has proven to be more lucrative and helpful for my audience.

Remember that there’s never a reason to stick with something that isn’t working, and you should use that failure as a learning experience and pivot quickly to what will work.

10. Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture

My final tip is that you should never lose sight of the big picture. It’s easy to get so stuck in the small day-to-day details that you experience drift, and by the time you look up, you have veered off course from where you’re trying to go.

It’s important to frequently take a step back and look at the big picture to ensure you’re on course.

Here are some tips to help you think big and avoid getting caught up in ego:

  • Set aside a period of time each week to specifically focus on your big picture thinking
  • Don’t idealize perfection.
  • Learn to delegate what you cannot do yourself. 
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Use journaling or mind mapping
  • Ask “big picture questions” that allow you to see things through a different lens such as, “Who else might be affected by this decision?,” or “What ethical boundaries are there to consider?”

Summary

That’s everything on my list of 10 things every entrepreneur needs to know – from someone who’s done it.

Use these tips to save yourself time and energy in your daily operations and grow your business a lot quicker.

 

What else do you wish someone had told you when you first became an entrepreneur? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About the author

Ron Stefanski
+ posts
Ron Stefanski is an internet entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business.  You can learn more about Ron by visiting OneHourProfessor.com 

 

You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin, or on his Facebook Community.

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