7 Hard Truths Newbie Entrepreneurs Need to Hear
I started my entrepreneurial journey a number of years ago. I’ve been a solopreneur, the network marketer, a business operator and an online marketer focusing on digital product creation, launches, list building and affiliate marketing. I’ve hired virtual assistants and worked in teams. I’ve put my heart and soul, sweat and tears into projects, to only find out that they would never see daylight.
I’ve been tempted by the next bright shiny object syndrome far too many times. I’ve subscribed to too many internet marketers promising how to make the big dollars online… I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and burnt out. I’ve suffered with information overload. I’ve learnt from many failures.
This doesn’t have to be you. You shouldn’t have to go through the learning curve that I’ve had to. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 7 things I wish I knew when I started my journey into entrepreneurship.
1. You’ll wear lots of hats and never have enough time.
It’s important to value your time. The number of hours you’ll spend at the computer will be ridiculous beyond belief. You’ll work harder than you ever have before, in order to create that life you’ve always wanted.
Especially if you’re running a one-person show, you’ll be wearing many hats. If you’re in a service business, you need to work long hours delivering your service. Then you’ll need to balance that and marketing your business. You’ll feel like there’s is never enough time and too many things to get done. If you’re in a product business, you’ll go through the headache of overcoming your perfectionist ways and learn that it’s better to release something than have it in development phase forever.
You’ll need to take a reality check about how many projects you can work on simultaneously. My advice? Work on one project and a time and don’t move to the next until you’ve seen significant progress and you are able to scale accordingly.
2. You’ll need to learn how to delegate and leverage your time.
You probably will start your journey into entrepreneurship on a part-time basis. Meaning, you need to work full-time or part-time hours in order to pay the bills, and then the real work begins when most people are at home on the couch watching TV. When others around you are talking about the latest TV program, you won’t know what they are talking about!
If you’ve got the funding behind so you can devote 100 per cent of your time towards entrepreneurship, you’ll soon realise that regardless of how little or how much time you have – you’ll never have enough time to complete everything by yourself. You’ll need to work smart rather than hard. Put an hourly rate on the work you do. If you can afford it, pay someone else to do the easy, monotonous and boring tasks.
It relatively easy to use a site like fiverr.com to outsource simple tasks, or use upwork.com to hire a contractor by the hour or on a per project basis. You can also hire a virtual assistant either on a full-time or part-time ongoing basis. If you do this, you’ll need to learn how to manage people and build a team. This involves learning how to set tasks, manage expectations and performance evaluation. The idea of having a virtual assistant is awesome, but it can become more of a headache if you don’t follow structured guidelines. You’ll grow tremendously and learn a lot about managing people.
3. You’ll learn to ride through the highs and lows.
Every day I wake up to read what’s new and exciting in my business. Who’s contacted me, what potential opportunities are on the table? How much affiliate income have I made? Did I get a spike in traffic on my websites? The unknowns are exciting. Sometimes they translate to into a massive high; a win for your business. Money in the bank. Sometimes not. Sometimes you’ll be disappointed. You’ll start questioning your business model. You’ll get insanely frustrated and you’ll wonder if you’re wasting your time. You’ll question entrepreneurship. You’ll be tempted by more bright shiny objects.
You’ll burn out. You’ll have days that you can’t stand to look at your computer. Each period of burn out seems to last longer than the last. You’ll yo-yo so many times between burn-out and extreme passion that it becomes normal. You keep reflecting on your goal, and you realise that journey is worth it.
4. Your business model may change.
When I first decided to venture into the world of entrepreneurship, I had a set idea of my strategy. Little did I know that it would change numerous times. I found myself being influenced by what other people thought I should do; from friends, business colleagues and partners, to ‘business-in-a-box’ strategies from online marketers.
You’ll try many different strategies and they aren’t all going to be successful. In the end, follow your heart. Tapping into a passion of yours will help you stay motivated past midnight and keep you inspired during difficult times. All other projects will fall to the side.
5. You’ll lose money.
The truth is, at one point or another you are probably going to make a bad investment. It might be a small amount or a large sum. Regardless, it’s going to hurt. But don’t let it ruin you. Mistakes happen. The wallet might take a hit, but remember: there’s always more money out there.
Don’t worry about the money and don’t beat yourself up for losing it. Focus on your time. Your time is your asset and it can always replace lost money. I’d rather a short term loss and then a long term gain rather than be stuck in the same job all my life.
6. You’ll need to work on your mindset.
I’ve heard a number of motivational speakers say that success is made up of 90 per cent mindset and 10 per cent strategy. I believe it. Your actions are a result of your thoughts and feelings. If they aren’t in check, then your actions will sabotage your strategy.
If you’re trying to implement your strategy and your mind isn’t in the right space, you’re practically wasting your time. Take time out to work on your mindset. Exercise the mind and the body. Read a book, meditate, go for a walk. Keep your energy high and do whatever it takes to make sure you avoid lengthy burn outs.
7. You won’t doubt your decision.
Entrepreneurship. It’s a wild ride, but it’s a ride worth every moment. You won’t doubt or your regret your decision. You’ll have plenty of stories to tell. You’ll meet lots of amazing people on a similar path. You’ll bounce back from the lows, the challenges and the difficult times. Take a chance on entrepreneurship and follow your heart. You might even change the world for the better.
Do you have an entrepreneurial story that you would like to share? Leave a comment below!