With business startup activity continuing to swing upward, now is a great time to be an entrepreneur. If you have plans to open your own business, you have most likely started to seek financing tips and advice from seasoned entrepreneurs. However, the plethora of information about starting a new business can make it hard to know which pieces of business advice you should follow, and which ones you should toss to the side.
Below is a compilation of the most significant advice to assist an aspiring entrepreneur navigating the beginnings of starting a business.
Lean into discomfort
Many of the most extraordinary athletes actually love the training process and competition more than they love winning. Why? They embrace the discomfort because they know the toughest days are actually the best days; they recognize that challenges are what lead to the most growth, mentally and physically. As you push towards your business goals, know that you will go through some difficult times. Rather than steering clear of the discomfort, be brave and lean into it. If you are faced with a situation where you feel that you have failed, quickly reflect, learn from that lesson and use it as motivation to move forward. Appreciate tough situations as an opportunity to grow stronger personally and to lead your team more successfully.
Take time to strategize
As an entrepreneur, countless opportunities to expand will come your way. As awkward and uncomfortable as it can be to say “no” or “let me get back to you”, it is important to be considerate about what you agree to. Take the time you need to strategize and determine how that decision will impact the future of your business. Ask yourself, Do I truly want to do this? What purpose does this serve? What will my business gain from this decision? Does this opportunity move me closer towards my greater goals? Staying close to your values and focusing on the bigger picture will ensure you make decisions that are aligned with your ultimate business goals.
Value every relationship
Relationships are an integral part of business success. Each individual you meet has the potential to impact and contribute to your business’ success. People might forget your name or what your company stands for, but they will always remember how you made them feel; therefore, treating everyone with respect is imperative. The intern your business has now might become an invaluable partner later down the road. A client that recently said “no” might come back at a later date to take advantage of what your business has to offer. To build strong, lasting business relationships with great people be authentic, identify shared goals and values and stay connected with as many people as you can.
Choose the right mentors
To be successful, you must surround yourself with the right people; people who will push you past your appetite for risk and growth. If you never push yourself to think outside the box and take a risk, you will never reach your highest potential for creativity and innovation. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and motivate you when you struggle with self-doubt. Choose mentors that challenge you to consider new perspectives. Your mentors should also have a long history of watching companies rise and fall, and whose world views and philosophies are aligned with your own. As they say, show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.
Keep your customers in the forefront
As you focus on growing your business, it is easy to allow your decisions to be based on numbers and forecasts. Before you know it, the numbers have overshadowed the needs and desires of your customers. A strong relationship with the individuals who might purchase your products/services is essential. Businesses that are wildly successful know exactly what their customers want, their likes and dislikes and what their buying behaviors are. Having this knowledge about your customers will ensure your business delivers the right features and support. Spend more time listening to your customers and then respond wholeheartedly and intentionally.
Reconnect with your “why”
One of the most popular words in a child’s vocabulary is “why”. Even from a young age, we recognize intuitively that the motive behind an action or decision is the most important part. When it comes to running your business, knowing your why will help you stay committed to your goals. What are you passionate about? What are your strengths? Where can you add the most value? How do you want to measure your life? Your why serves as a driving force behind everything you do. When your business experiences inevitable growing pains, your why reunites you with your inspiration and reconnects you with your mission. Embracing your why also creates an awareness of when things are coming together, so you can celebrate each achievement along the way.
Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most unpredictable and exciting things you will ever do. Learning from entrepreneurs who have already found success will help you navigate the path more easily. Down the road, you might even have the opportunity to share this valuable advice with someone else.
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