Entrepreneurship can be a wonderful journey once you get to the point where you start making money, making your customers happy with the product or service you offer, and become known in a competitive field.
But it’s not like that in the beginning and that’s where many realize they can’t handle the pressure, the amount of hard work that needs to be done way before you see any results, and the constant fear of failure.
So if you’re new to this and feel like it’s the right thing to do, here’s what you should keep in mind as a first-time entrepreneur:
Be in it for the long haul
That’s not a short-term thing. It’s what you’ll dedicate all your time, energy and focus to. It’s what you’ll be doing every single day.
So before you dive in, think about this: Are you going to work on one project for some time just to ditch it? Are you in it just for the money? Are you looking for fast results? Do you usually jump from one goal in life to the next without really giving it enough time?
If that’s so, you’ll have to change your approach. The great things in life take the most time. Entrepreneurship is not for quitters. Yes, if something doesn’t seem to be working, you’ll change direction. But you’ll still have the same vision and keep hustling daily.
Always improve your personal brand
Any action you take, be it online or in real life, becomes part of your personal brand. So always think before you act. Make that your mantra actually.
Yes, your brand begins with your portfolio, website, social media presence, professional pictures, testimonials, past work experience, logo and the design of your site, etc.
But it’s also every single email you send (and whether or not you follow up), it’s how you communicate with like-minded people, potential clients, or just readers of your blog on social media (Are you saying thank you when they share your stuff, for instance?).
Every comment you write under an article you just read, every event you attend or course you take, every time you hand your business card to someone you just had a friendly chat with – all these are how you promote your work and personal brand. It’s how you control what people think of you and whether or not they’ll mention you to their friends.
So do your research, get better at branding and take small and focused daily actions towards improving it.
Care about what you do
If you aren’t sure that the market you enter interests you, if you aren’t passionate about the work you do, you won’t get far.
Now’s the time to analyze the situation, to get clear about what you want and see whether that’s your thing.
If you don’t truly care about the problem you’re solving with your product or service, you won’t understand the people who struggle with it either. And no marketing research will ever help you.
And if you’re not passionate about this field, you won’t be willing to explore it further, to read about the latest trends, to be eager to make a business that will last.
Master time management
How you spend your time can be your biggest asset, or your biggest weakness.
Luckily, time management is a skill you can learn over time and thus maximize efficiency and make sure you work only on things that matter to your business.
Successful entrepreneurs know that most of the things average people do in their days are unproductive, and even unnecessary. So they define these early on and eliminate them. That leaves them with more time to focus on the stuff related to business growth and be able to give it their full attention.
Next, the business owners who succeed in the long-term identify their most important tasks for the day and start with them right after they wake up. That’s how you guarantee you’re moving forward in the right direction daily.
Start doing this early on and you’ll see progress sooner.
Learn from the best
There’s always more to learn when it comes to entrepreneurship. Make it a habit to always look for knowledge and experience, even if it’s not directly related to your field.
Read business books, be it biographies of famous entrepreneurs or the stories of the most profitable companies. See how they made it, and what mistakes they made on the way. Highlight what grabs your attention and come back to it later.
Also, meet people who are where you want to be. Listen to their advice. Do them favors and don’t ask for anything in return. Simply being in their surroundings and listening to their words of wisdom is enough.
This way you can skip most mistakes new business owners make.
So that’s where you should start if you want to become an entrepreneur and build profitable businesses.
What scares you the most? And what are you looking forward to from day one?